Russell W. Binder, 81, of Swarthmore, a manufacturer's representative, former track star, and decorated World War II veteran, died of heart failure Wednesday at the Coatesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
Mr. Binder graduated from Media High School, where he played basketball, was a track star, and was president of his senior class. During World War II, he served in the Army in Europe. He suffered a permanent hearing loss after his foxhole was blown up in France, and received a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star. In Germany in July 1945, he won three events in an Army track meet.
After his discharge, he was on the track team at Ursinus College and for four years was the 100-yard-dash champion for the Middle Atlantic Collegiate Conference. He was a member of the Ursinus College and Delaware County Sports Halls of Fame.
After graduating from Ursinus, he joined the family firm, Russell Binder & Sons, a manufacturer's representative for lawn and garden suppliers. He became its owner in 1964.
Mr. Binder was a former deacon, usher, and Sunday school teacher at Media Presbyterian Church. He was active with the Disabled American Veterans.
He enjoyed attending his grandchildren's sports events.
Mr. Binder is survived by his wife of 56 years, Barbara Powell Binder; a son, Ronald; a daughter, Susan Sciarra; and four grandchildren.