Former Duluth Advocate, City Councilor Barb Russ Remembered As ‘Exemplary Public Servant’

DULUTH, Minn. – Duluth City Councilor Arik Forsman is one of many city leaders reflecting on the life of Barb Russ, a longtime Duluth advocate and former city councilor.

“She didn’t get high or low, and she wasn’t going to be baited by sort of the circus element of it. I always enjoyed it, especially out of certain other councilors who would try to get a rise out of her. She wouldn’t take the bait,” Forsman said of Russ’ time on the council.

Russ died Monday of natural causes at the age of 74, according to a news release from her family.

Russ was a longtime attorney for St. Louis County before serving as a Duluth city councilor for nearly six year.  She resigned in 2020 because of health reasons.

At the time, Russ said she was proud of her work fighting for the homeless and underprivileged members of the community.

Councilor Forsman said Monday that Russ was the best at what she did.

“When I think of Barb Russ, I just think of like your exemplary public servant. She was always somebody in it for the right reasons. She wasn’t flashy, she wasn’t there to score political points. She was there to help people and that’s all you can ask for, for somebody who steps up in a role like that. Certainly it’s a sad day to hear that she has passed,” Forsman said.

Russ’ husband, Neil released the following statement Monday:

“Barb was a passionate woman,” her husband Neil Glazman said. “She always looked out for others and worked hard to create policies that served our community’s homeless and underprivileged members. She was proud of the impacts she made as a St. Louis County attorney, a Duluth City Councilor, and board member for several organizations. She was a fierce advocate for others and would want to be remembered that way.”

A celebration of life will be scheduled at a later date.

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