Both men were friends for more than 50 years.
Both were named last year as 2013 Georgia Trustees by the Georgia Historical Society.
Chick-fil-A acknowledged Russell’s and Cathy’s friendship and contributions on Friday with a full-page ad as the city prepared for Russell’s memorial service on Saturday.
Russell died Nov. 15 at age 83. Cathy died Sept. 8 at age 93.
A wake for Russell is set for 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday at Ebenezer Baptist Church, 101 Jackson St., Atlanta. Speakers will include U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson. U.S. Rep. John Lewis, U.S. Rep. David Scott and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.
A memorial service for Russell will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at Saint Philip AME Church, 240 Candler Road SE, Atlanta. The eulogy will be delivered by lawyer, business executive and former Clinton administration adviser Vernon Jordan.
Both Russell and Cathy were not only accomplished businessmen, but also noted philanthropists. In naming the two as 2013 Georgia Trustees, Georgia Historical Society President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Groce said, “Their leadership and selflessness have shaped the destiny of our state and nation.”
Chick-fil-A’s ad in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Friday noted, “As iron sharpens iron, we know these men made each other aspire to do more, to achieve more, to give more.”
The ad ends with the familiar “fought the good fight” passage from Chapter 4 of the Apostle Paul’s second letter to Timothy.