The J. Russell Wylie Family Fund was created to broadly support the Washington community.
In 2007, James Russell (Russ) and Marilyn Wylie initiated the J. Russell Wylie Family Fund because of their love for the area and because they believed in the importance of giving back to the community that supported their family for so many years.
Russ grew up in Washington County, PA. After graduating from East Washington High School, Russ attended Grove City College. It was during that time that Russ met Marilyn (Amberson), a graduate of Grove City High School. Having received honors at a local commercial prep school, Marilyn worked as a bookkeeper for the Carson Finance Company.
The couple married in 1950, and afterwards, they moved back to Russ' hometown of Washington, PA.
In his youth, Russ worked for his father at the Isaly’s store on Main Street in Washington. While working at his dad’s store, he decided he wanted a future in the golf business. So, in 1958 Russ opened Rolling Green Golf Course in Eighty Four. Not long after, he opened Lindenwood Golf Club in Canonsburg in 1965. Marilyn, meanwhile, took care of the accounting for both the golf courses.
In 1994, Russ and his son, David, added a third nine-hole course to Lindenwood. Then in 2013, Russ and David bought Chippewa Golf Club in Bentleyville.
Marilyn also spent her time in Washington pursuing her passions. In the 1950s, she was introduced to Helen Hallam Wolfe, a well-known soprano in the area. Marilyn joined Helen’s all-female barbershop quartet, singing the baritone part. Later, she joined the Symphony South Music Club. And as members of the Church of the Covenant in Washington, Marilyn lent her voice to the choir for 30 years.
Another of Marilyn's interests is playing bridge. Although Russ played some, over time Marilyn became a very accomplished bridge player. Her favorite game is duplicate bridge where she competes for masters’ points through the American Contract Bridge Association. Her love of bridge is only surpassed by her love of gardening. Still today she can frequently be found working the landscape around her home in McMurray.
Unsurprisingly, Russ and Marilyn also shared a passion for golf. The couple were past members of Nemacolin, Lone Pine, and Valley Brook Country Clubs. And, Marilyn even scored a hole-in-one at Nevillewood Country Club.
Throughout the years, Russ helped to organize the Pennsylvania Golf Course Owners Association, and he served as its first president. He was also a president of the National Public Golf Course Owners Association. Locally, Russ was a president and 33-year member of the Washington Cemetery Board, president of the Eighty Four Boys Baseball League, as well as an advisory board member of Pittsburgh National Bank in Washington.
Russ was also a distinguished Rotarian, serving as a charter member and president of the Rotary Club of McMurray. In 2015, he was honored not only as a founding member but also for 50 years of continuous active membership.
Russ passed away in 2017. Marilyn still resides in McMurray and continues to enjoy playing bridge, gardening, and spending time with friends. Marilyn’s son, David, and daughter in law, Barb, live nearby as does her three granddaughters and six great grandchildren.