ALFRED RAY RUSSELL
Alfred Ray Russell, 83, of Cabot, Arkansas, departed this life on Sunday, May 14, 2017. He is survived by his former spouse, Ruth Thomas Russell, and his four children, Anna (Randy) Sansom, Sandy (Kevin) Melroy, Naomi (Jerry) Bratton, and James (Michele) Russell. He was the grandfather of Chase Passmore, Jared Dyer, Ian Russell, Bailey Gibson, Chloe Dyer, Jordan Sturgeon, Jillian Bratton, Case Bratton, and Grace Russell, as well as the great-grandfather of Sage Russell, Braxton Dyer, and Rylee Rodriguez. Also surviving are brothers and sisters-in-law, David (Beezie) Russell, Coloma; George “Dubby” Russell, St. Joseph; Rev. Ken (Ardith) Russell, Norris City IL; Sharon Russell (Watervliet).
Al is preceded in death by his parents Bill and Ruby Russell (Keeler) and brothers, Ed Russell (Watervliet) and Danny Russell (Keeler).
Funeral services were held May 20 at A Natural State Funeral Service in Jacksonville, Arkansas.
Al Russell never met a stranger. He needed human company the way other people need water. We never failed to be amazed at the number of friendships he formed with people from all walks of life and in places near and far. He genuinely liked people, and they liked him back.
He was known to most of his large family as Poppy or Papa. Our father was a handsome, charismatic man with an easy laugh and a big smile that was never far from his face. His brilliant blue eyes twinkled brightly when he told one of his terrible puns or corny jokes that could make you groan with laughter. Dad was also a gifted musician with a wonderfully rich baritone. Our home was always filled with the sounds of guitars, pianos, and singing.
He loved working with his hands and spent every possible moment outdoors, working in his shop or out in the garden and flower beds. Dad delighted in making beautiful things grow. He was a hard-working man, spending much of his career as Transportation Director for Cabot Public Schools and later with Pulaski County Special School District. He served many decades in the ministry, establishing and leading churches and emphatically preaching the gospel. It was a work that never stopped; his health faltered but his faith never did.
Anyone who spent even a few minutes with Al Russell would soon learn about the two great loves of his life: his family and his faith. He spoke lovingly and often of his brothers, George, Edward, David, Kenneth, and Danny, and his parents, Bill and Ruby Russell. Even after their divorce, my mother and father retained a precious bond of trust and rich friendship. He formed a special relationship with Betty Thurman that enriched and sustained him late in life.
Dad’s belief in God was the unshakable foundation upon which he constructed a house of love for his family. He grew tremendously both as a man and a father, becoming our role model and our rock. No matter how much we loved him, we always knew that, somehow, he loved us even more. His place in our lives and in those of so many others is one that cannot be filled, but still we rejoice that his passing was peaceful and that he is now in heaven, carefree from all worry and embraced in the loving arms of his family and his God. Of his life and his legacy, we could not ask for more.
May he rest in eternal peace.
Arrangements were under the care and direction of A Natural State Funeral Service, 2620 West Main Street, Jacksonville, Arkansas.
RUTH C. STANTON
Ruth C. Stanton, 96, of St. Joseph, passed away July 17, 2017, at Royalton Manor.
A visitation will be held Friday, July 21, 2017 at Starks & Menchinger Chapel & Cremation Services 2650 Niles Road, St. Joseph from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. prayers recited at 6:30 p.m. Memorial contributions in Ruth’s name may be made to Caring Circle. Those wishing to leave a condolence or sign the guest book online may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com.
Ruth was born November 12, 1920 to Edward & Mary (Enders) Callender in St. Joseph, Michigan. She was employed at Tosi’s as bar manager for 29 years. She was a member of the American Legion Post 568 in Stevensville. Ruth was an avid reader and liked to read anything especially mysteries. She loved to travel around the country visiting many different states and spent time living in Europe.
Ruth is survived by her daughters, Starr (Larry) of Texas, Jacquelyn (Roy) Ballard of Watervliet; step-sons, Marc (Kathy) Huff of California, Dean (Lidia) Huff of California, and Scott Huff of California; five grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; seven great-great-grandchildren; sister, Elizabeth (David) Karsten of St. Joseph; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; daughter, Jill Huff; siblings, Milton Callender, LaVern Briney, Leroy Callender, Mary Ulery, Harry Callender, Donald Callender, John Callender and Charles Callender.
Donald Dean Rose, 87, of Hartford died July 11, 2017 at Caretel Inns of Lakeland. Calvin Funeral Home, Hartford