Russell was born Oct. 31, 1923, in Cambridge, to the late Joseph D. and Cora B. Potts. He graduated from Cambridge High School in 1942 and married the love of his life, Betty Jane McKirahan, on Nov. 22, 1942.
After working a short time as a machinist with the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company Aircraft Division, Akron, he was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he served as a military policeman during WWII in Fresno, Calif., at Camp Pinedale with the 462nd Army Air Force Unit. After an honorable discharge in 1946, he attended Muskingum College, graduating in 1950 with a B.A. in education. After moving to Wooster in 1953, he attended Kent State University, where he earned his masterís degree.
Russell touched many lives in many ways during his 33-year teaching career. It began at Dresden High School in 1950 and ended with retirement in 1983 after 30 wonderful years with the Wooster City School District as a sixth grade teacher at Bowman Street and Parkview Elementary Schools.
After retirement, he and his wife enjoyed some traveling to Florida and just being together. Russell had many collections including several hundred ball caps, campaign buttons, special golf balls, bells, VCR movies, and several smaller collections. He was well known for his happy personality and always having a smile on his face.
Russell had been a faithful, active member of Wooster Church of the Nazarene over the years, serving on the board of directors, teaching adult Sunday school classes, and leading the singing in the choir.
Surviving are children, Marilyn Butzer of Wooster and Ronald Potts of Tallahassee, Fla.; grandchildren, David, Matthew, and Janelle, all of Ohio, and Robert and Marcy, both of Florida; eight great-grandchildren; and a great-great-granddaughter.
In addition to his wife, Betty, he was preceded in death by brothers and sisters, Everett Potts, Margaret Thompson, Beatrice Gates, Ross Potts, Florence Stage, Jim Potts, and June Hart; and several nieces and nephews.
The family wishes to thank Hospice of Greater Wayne County for the wonderful care they gave Russell and the support they gave the family.
Celebration of life services will be held Sept. 9, at 11 a.m., at Custer-Glenn Funeral Home, Wooster, with Pastors Nathan Ward and Eric Fairhurst officiating. Interment will be in Wooster Cemetery, where military rites will take place. Visitation will be Sept. 8, from 6-9 p.m.
Words of comfort may be shared with the family at http://www.custerglenn.com.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice & Palliative Care of Greater Wayne County, 2525 Back Orrville Rd., Wooster 44691; or the Salvation Army Wooster Corps, 437 S. Market St., Wooster 44691.
Published: September 8, 2011