Grand Knight 1995-1996
Grand Knight 1994-1995
In his second year as Deputy Grand Knight, Russell Gully was in the process of getting prepared to take over council affairs beginning in July 1994. So he was somewhat startled at the March ’94 meeting when Grand Knight Ron Pinkston abruptly announced that he’d taken a job that would require relocation and was resigning as Grand Knight effective immediately. “Didn’t give me a heads up,” Russell recalled with a laugh. “It was my show next meeting.” Russell’s two fraternal years as Grand Knight (1994-95 and ’95-96) are marked by the council earning Star Council recognition for the first time in ’94-95 and repeating the feat the following year. One of the first things that Russell initiated upon becoming Grand Knight was an active phone list for inviting members to attend the monthly general membership meetings; membership at the time was fewer than 100 Knights. Speaking of meetings, it was during Russell’s tenure that the council’s officers and directors began their own monthly meetings. “I wasn’t confident that the council wanted to have another meeting every month,” he said. Under Russell’s leadership, Room 221 was first adorned with council items such as the photos of Grand Knights. Some members who joined during his years as Grand Knight were Paul Wood, Juan Chapa, Alex Peralta, Larry Balagna, Steve Zehnder, Tull Rea and B.J . Tucker. Transfers and reactivations included Bill Chalko, Leo Mattingly, Bill Dover and Bob Foster. Leo and John Prasifka were the Knights of the Year. We lost James McCorcle in August 1995. “I got more out of it than I expected,” Russell said of his time as Grand Knight. “I found it very rewarding.” After being Grand Knight, Russell served two years as the State Advocate and has been the council’s Advocate for years since. He joined the Knights in March 1987 in our council, a few months after he and Patricia moved to DeSoto after starting their married life together in an apartment in Dallas. Russell grew up outside San Angelo. He graduated from the University of Texas with undergraduate and graduate degrees in mathematics before returning to school to study law. He works for Thompson and Knight LLP focusing on employee benefits. He and Patricia have three daughters: Monica, Teresa and Rachel.