We Remember

"Up, up the long delirious burning blue; I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace.

Where never lark, or even eagle flew; And while with silent, lifting mind I've trod

The high, untrespassed sanctity of space; Put out my hand, and touched the face of God."


H. Russell "Rusty" Preston III '85

Harvey Russell “Rusty” Preston III of West Suffield, CT passed away suddenly in Fort Worth, Texas on February 9, 2024 at the age of 56. Born on April 6, 1967 Rusty was raised in Longmeadow, MA where he attended grade school, Avon Old Farms in Avon, CT, Ithaca College, NY while graduating from American International College (AIC) in Springfield, MA with a degree in business management. Early in his career, Rusty started in field project management working for Tanknology, eventually moving into the construction management business for various companies in MA & CT and finally for The Conti Group of Orlando, FL where he managed international construction projects in the Caribbean, Wisconsin and most recently in Texas.

Rusty had an unyielding desire to appreciate life with all that it offered him. He enjoyed nature and a variety of outdoor sports whether on land or water. Rusty also appreciated the opportunity to take on anything that required an existing skill or developing it and then applying it in all endeavors. An accomplished athlete in his youth, excelling in lacrosse, Rusty looked forward to mentor and see others in their own youth attain athletic prowess especially his children: Maxwell 3 (deceased in 1998), Samantha 21, Peter 19 & Julia 17, all of Longmeadow, MA and his nephew Preston 19, of Flossmoor, IL. Rusty also looked forward to imparting on younger family members his philosophies on life; all the qualities and beauty that it offered and for everyone to have a generally great time. Always one to make friends easily wherever he went, Rusty enjoyed a good laugh, a good ribbing even more so when he was the recipient especially when he deserved it. His smile, ever-present upbeat attitude even when being pragmatic about life’s challenges will be greatly missed by his colleagues, friends, family and most of all by his long-term partner in life, Christine Taggart.

Rusty is survived by his partner Christine Olschafskie Taggart of West Suffield, CT; his children: Samantha, Peter, and Julia of Longmeadow, MA with his former wife Janine Barkett Preston; his parents Harvey Russell “Russ” Preston Jr. and Karen Henschke Preston of John’s Island, SC; his sisters Kimberly Preston and her partner Andrew Kristiansson of Newport, RI & Kristine Preston Lund and her husband James with their son, Preston of Flossmoor, IL. Rusty was predeceased in 1998 by his son Maxwell Parker Preston with his former wife Nicole Preston-Cullen of Longmeadow, MA. He is also survived by his uncle, Robert Henschke of East Hampton, CT and his cousins Alan and Amy.

To honor Rusty, a funeral service will be held on Friday, February 23, 2024 at 2:00pm at First Church of Christ in Longmeadow, 763 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA. Burial will take place at a later date in Longmeadow Cemetery. Forastiere Smith Funeral & Cremation is entrusted with arrangements. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Maxwell Parker Preston at or by mail to Griffin’s Friends Baystate Health Foundation, 280 Chestnut Street, 5th Floor Springfield, MA 01199. To share a memory or for more information, please visit

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