Celebrating the life of John C Russell
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Born October 25, 1925, in Kinston, Alabama, John lived in south Alabama until joining the U.S.Navy in January, 1944. He served in the North Atlantic until V-E Day, after which his ship traveled to join the fleet in the South Pacific. The war ended while his ship was docked in Pearl Harbor and was then tasked with delivering mail to the sailors on several islands in the South Pacific. Once discharged he went home to Alabama and married his childhood sweetheart, Nell Meek. John was devoted to Nell for 72 years and has missed her every day since her death.
John graduated from Auburn University with a B.S. in Agricultural Science. His first position as a County Agricultural Agent was in Independence County, Arkansas, where his only child, Judy, was born in 1950. In 1952 John accepted a position with the University of Florida’s Extension Service in Holmes County, Florida. He later moved the family to Gadsden County where he worked for the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences as the Gadsden County Agent (1956-1985).
John earned a Masters In Science degree from the University of Florida in 1964 and in 1969 he received the Distinguished Service Award from the National County Agents Association, recognizing his contribution to the application of scientific methods to farming. He retired from the University of Florida with the rank of full professor in 1985, and within the year obtained his realtor’s license, and worked at Lawrence Realty for over 20 years. John thoroughly enjoyed his years working for the Extension Service, and as a realtor. At age 85 he finally stopped working to care for his wife as she battled cancer.
Preceding him in death are his wife, Nell Meek Russell, his parents, W.E. and Estora Russell, and siblings Harry, Billie, and Margaret. He is survived by one daughter, Judy Russell Arthur, grandsons, Troy Daniel Arthur (Tocoi), David Russell Arthur (Stephanie), and six much loved great-grandchildren: Logan, Tris, Conner, Jude, Fiona, and Felicity. His other close survivors include niece, Kathy Bozeman (Max); nephew, Gregory Platt (Deborah), and several other nieces and nephews.
The family wishes to thank all the caregivers at Westminster Oaks, and long-time friends from First Baptist, Quincy, who continued to visit and send cards. A special thank you to our family friend, Patsy Kickliter, the friends he made at Westminster Oaks, and Drs. Lisa Granville and Hugh Vanlandingham. We are also grateful for Home Instead caregivers, especially Janine Hogan and Stephanie Kilham, and the staff at Big Bend Hospice.
Memorial gifts may be directed to: The Florida Baptist Children’s Home, 8415 Buck Lake Rd Tallahassee, 32317, First Baptist Church, 210 W. Washington St. Quincy, Florida, 32351, or Big Bend Hospice 1723 Mahan Center Blvd. #1, Tallahassee, 32308. A private service will be held with burial at Hillcrest Cemetery in Quincy. Charles McClellan Funeral Home, is in charge of arrangements.
My father treated everyone he met with kindness and always looked for the best in people. He was an amazing husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather; his life truly demonstrated unconditional love. We will think of him every day with much love and gratitude.
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