William H. "Bill" Russell, 97, of Bargersville, IN died on Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019, at Community Hospital South in Indianapolis, IN.
Mr. Russell and his son, Bill, had a nice display of Farmall and International tractors and equipment and were annual visitors at the summer Olde Tyme Tractor Show in Hillsboro.
Mr. Russell was born June 28, 1922 in Banta, IN, to Irvin and Elsie (Stewart) Russell. He married June R. (Janitz) Russell on May 2, 1942, in Indianapolis, IN, and she preceded him in death on Feb. 19, 1993.
A 1941 graduate of Center Grove High School in Greenwood, IN, he was the oldest living alumni at the time of his death. On Nov. 2, 1942, he enlisted in the United States Army and was part of the 42nd Rainbow Division entering into North Africa, Corsica, Italy, Napel-Foggia, Rome-Arno, Austria, and the Rhineland of Central Europe during World War II. His division was the first to cross the Rhine River and also the first to enter the Daktel Concentration Camp in Germany. He was honorably discharged on Sept. 15, 1945, at Camp Atterbury, Johnson County, IN.
He had been a lifelong farmer in White River Township, Johnson County, IN, and also a foreman and asbestos worker for the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Asbestos Workers Local 18 in Indianapolis, IN, for 40 years, retiring in 1984. He was a 74-year member of the Greenwood American Legion Post #252 where he had served on the Military Funeral Honor Guard, past State Southern Vice Commander of the American Legion, and also past Seventh District Commander, a member since 1967 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Whiteland Post, a member of the 40/8 Legion Sanction Organization, charter member of the 42nd Rainbow Division Organization, he also participated in the Indy Honor Flight on Sept. 5, 2015 to Washington, D.C., was a 17-year member of the Yuma, AZ, Elks Lodge #476, a life member of the Johnson County Antique Machinery Association, the Center Grove Alumni Association, and a former board member of the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery Association in Greenwood, IN. For the past 20 years, he enjoyed spending the winters in Yuma, AZ.
Her is survived by two sons, William C. "Billy" Russell of Bargersville, IN, and Eugene Lee Russell (Diane) of Gardendale, AL; two grandchildren, Ruthann Russell Schaefers (Charles) of Gardendale, AL, and Toby Russell (Jayna) of Carthage, IN; three great-grandchildren, Sarah J. Jennings (Phillip) of Hayden, AL, Jessup Russell and Cora Russell, both of Carthage, IN; and one great-great-grandchild, Ella Grace Russell; and a nephew, Paul Robert Russell (Marjorie) of Waverly, IN.
In addition to his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by a brother, Paul Russell.
Funeral services were conducted by Pastor Dustin Hite on Friday, Nov. 29, at Swartz Family Community Mortuary and Memorial Center in Franklin, IN. Burial with full military honors by the United States Army Honor Guard and the Greenwood American Legion Post #252 Honor Guard was at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Greenwood, IN.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Wounded Warriors Project, P.O. Box 758516, Topeka, KS, 66675-8516, or at www.woundedwarriorproject.org. Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.swartzmortuary.com.