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Theater Founder Jerry Russell Dies in Fort Worth

Russell was father of Sen. Wendy Davis

Thursday, Sep 5, 2013  |  Updated 11:38 AM CDT
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Father of Sen. Wendy Davis Dies in Fort Worth

Wendy Davis Family Photo

Stage West founder Jerry Russell, late father of Sen. Wendy Davis. Russell died Sept. 5, 2013 following complications from surgery.

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Actor and director Jerry Russell, the father of state Sen. Wendy Davis, has died at a Fort Worth hospital following complications from surgery.

Russell died Thursday. He was 77. Davis, who's considering a run for governor, announced Russell's death on her Facebook page. Russell founded Stage West Theatre in Fort Worth.

Davis says her father died peacefully surrounded by family and she's "heartbroken" at the loss. The Democrat from Fort Worth thanked everyone for their prayers in a message posted to Facebook Thursday morning.

"I am heartbroken to report that my father, Jerry Russell, passed away peacefully in the early hours of this morning. He was surrounded by his children and his wife, our stepmom, Suzi. During his time in the hospital, there was never a moment that one of us wasn't by his side. We, and the community, will forever be grateful for the significant impact he made on our lives. He and his warm, sparkling brown eyes will be deeply missed. My family and I thank you for surrounding us with your prayers and comfort during this time."

Davis last week delayed any announcement on her political plans to concentrate on her ailing father.

Davis on June 25 carried out a nearly 13-hour filibuster against an abortion bill. Her delay forced GOP Gov. Rick Perry to call a second special legislative session to pass the ban on most abortions after 20 weeks.

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