William Jesse “Bill” Russell, Jr., age 94, long time resident of Watervliet, Michigan, passed away April 7, 2020 at Morning Breeze Retirement Center in Greensburg, Indiana where he was a resident for the last 5 years.
Bill was born to parents William Jesse Russell, Sr, and Velma Vera Wallace on July 4, 1925 in Memphis, Tennessee. After spending his early years in East Prairie, Missouri and serving in the Civilian Conservation Corps he relocated to Watervliet, Michigan where he lived most of his adult life. It was there that Bill met and on May 23, 1948, married Leona Clinard, his wife of 66 years.
Bill was preceded in death by his father and mother, his wife Leona, who passed away June 28, 2014, as well as by three brothers, two sisters, and one half-sister. He is survived by two sons; Richard E (Debra) Russell of Asheville, North Carolina and James G (Wendy) Russell of Greensburg, Indiana, six grandchildren; Bryan, Jennifer, Jason, Adam, James, and Erin, several great grandchildren, many nieces and nephews and by one half-brother.
Bill was retired from the Watervliet Paper Company and during his life in Watervliet he regularly attended the Watervliet First Methodist Church. He loved music and spent countless hours listening to, recording and cataloging his collection. He also enjoyed gardening, and traveling and was especially proud of his “R” tree; two maple trees he started as saplings and grafted together to grow into the shape of the letter R.
There will be no visitation but a family only graveside service will be held at Watervliet Cemetery in Watervliet, Michigan on April 11 at 1 pm. You may leave a message of comfort for Bill's family.
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