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Raleigh Loses a Beloved Icon; His Family Needs Your Help

This past Sunday at 7:16PM, Raleigh lost one of its most beloved and inspirational characters–Russell Lee, a.k.a. “Sho Nuff”. His family is unable to find life insurance information for him, and needs help with funeral and other final expenses.

A reader, Abby, left a comment on our original post on Russell, stating she heard a rumor he had passed away in a scooter accident. A quick google search yielded a Craigslist post from his daughter, asking if anyone could assist their family with final expenses. I spoke with Sanya by phone, and confirmed that he was involved in a scooter accident that took his life.

She went on to say that he had gone in to a ditch, and had been there for some time before someone found him and went for help. He arrived at the hospital paralyzed from the neck down, but his health had already begun to deteriorate–his heart failed, then his kidneys. After being on dialysis and not being conscious, his family arrived to give the OK to remove him from life support. The doctors speculated that he may have had a heart attack just prior to the accident, but not all of the reports have come back to confirm this.

Russell and my sister, Katie, at Sadlack's

Russell was a loved and cherished figure of the Downtown Raleigh scene. He was in the First Friday bike rides, contributed time at 1304bikes sharing his bicycle repair knowledge, as well as shared his wisdom with the younger generation at all of the downtown hot spots. He could be seen performing in his soul band at various venues and on street corners. Most everyone that has met him has been enthralled by his style, his wisdom, and kindness.

Raleigh will not be the same without Russell.

If you can help his family in this time of need, please contact his daughter Sanya:

Sanya Garner

Read more about Russell Lee: Sho Nuff – Owner of the Most Fly Ride in Town

Every time he walks into my bar, I feel the overpowering urge to announce his presence. and people turn and notice. One day, the entire bar erupted into applause and you could tell he was loving it.

I love seeing him walk in because I know that he opens people up and just…talks. Sho Nuff ain’t scared to pull up at a table of young kids and tell them about the world. The look of enraptured interest is always priceless.

— Jay Winfrey

I ask all of the cyclists out there to heed his advice to me over a year ago:

Wear a helmet and use plenty of lights. Be seen and make sure they see you.

— Russell Lee