Well Known Washington County Golf Course Owner
James Russell “Russ” Wylie, age 88, of McMurray, PA died peacefully Saturday morning, May 6th in McMurray, Pa.
He was born January 17, 1929, in New Kensington, Pennsylvania, a son of the late Russell McBride Wylie and Beatrice Kecler Wylie.
Mr. Wylie was a 1947 graduate of East Washington High School and a 1950 graduate of Grove City College where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree. On September 3, 1950, he married Marilyn Jean Amberson, who survives, whom he met while attending college.
Mr. Wylie worked for his father at the Isaly’s store on Main Street, Washington in the 1940’s and early 1950’s. While working at his dad’s store, friends took him golfing at Meadowbrook and later South Park golf courses. After realizing how few golf courses there were and how many people enjoyed the game, he decided he needed to get into the golf business. He eventually purchased a farm along Rt. 136 in Eighty-Four where he designed and constructed 9 holes which opened in May of 1958. He built and opened the back nine 2 years later and named this Rolling Green Golf Course which is still in existence and remains in the family today.
Seeing the growth of golf in the early sixties, he started searching for more land to build his second course. In 1963 he found property along Linden Creek Road in Canonsburg and designed and built the first nine holes which later will be referred to as the “gold nine” at Lindenwood Golf Club which opened in May of 1965. He later purchased an additional property and built what will later be known as the “red nine” at Lindenwood. His son, David added more land and designed and built what is now the “blue nine” at Lindenwood. In 2013 he and his son David bought Chippewa Golf Club in Bentleyville, Pa.
Mr. Wylie had many interests, one of which was a 1911 Maxwell Runabout he bought while in college. He and his wife Marilyn restored it and joined the Antique Automobile Club of America. They participated in the Glidden Automobile Tour in 1952. The car still runs today and is displayed in a museum at the clubhouse of Lindenwood Golf Club.
Mr. Wylie helped organize the Pennsylvania Golf Course Owners Association serving as their 1st President in 1973 and 1974. He was President of the National Public Golf Course Owners Association in the mid 1970’s and was the honored guest at the Superintendents Association at their 50th annual banquet held in Atlanta, Georgia. He was also past President of the Washington Cemetery and served on their advisory board for 33 years.
Mr. Wylie was a Charter Member and past President of the Rotary Club of McMurray and was awarded the Paul Harris Fellow Award of Rotary International. On June 17, 2015, he along with two other Rotarians were honored, not only as founding members but also as continuous active service members of the Rotary Club of McMurray for the past 50 years.
Mr. Wylie, known to everyone as “Russ” was President of the Eighty-Four Boys Baseball league for 2 years in the late 60’s. In the early 70’s, he served on the advisory board of Pittsburgh National Bank in Washington, Pa.
He was a past member of the Church of the Covenant, serving as an ordained Deacon and later, as a member on the Board of Trustees. In 2001, he and his wife joined the Peters Creek Evangelical Presbyterian Church in McMurray. Mr. Wylie has been a past member of the Coral Ridge CC in Ft. Lauderdale, FL., ValleyBrook CC, The Golf Club of Washington, The Club at Nevillewood, Nemacolin CC and most recently Quail Ridge Country Club in Boynton Beach, FL where he and his wife also resided during the winter months.
Mr. Wylie loved doing the jitterbug, playing bridge but most importantly loved being with his family. Surviving in addition to his wife are his son David J. Wylie and wife Barbara, three granddaughters; Megan Wylie Ruffing (Danny), Laura Ann Wylie, Amanda Catherine Wylie, three great-grandsons; Rowan David Ruffing, Emmett James Ruffing, Wyatt Daniel Ruffing and several cousins currently residing in Florida. Deceased, in addition to his parents are sons Douglas McBride Wylie, Richard Russell Wylie and a cousin Merle McBride Wylie of Punta Gorda, Florida.
Visitation will be Tuesday, May 9th, from 1 pm to 5 pm and 6 pm to 8 pm at the Warco-Falvo Funeral Home Inc., 336 Wilson Avenue, Washington, PA, S. Timothy Warco, Supervisor/Director, Susan Falvo Warco, Director, S. Timothy Warco II, Director. Funeral services the following day will be private with the Reverend Doug Brandt officiating. Entombment at the Serenity Chapel Mausoleum at the Washington Cemetery will take place immediately following the funeral service. Online condolences may be expressed at www.WarcoFalvoFuneralHome.com