Fifty years ago, the Methodist Community Church of Los Altos, Calif., was the scene of a happy occasion on July 22, 1962 when Alex and Judy Russell were married. The couple met as teenagers five years earlier in Atlanta, where Alex was a freshman at Emory University and Judy was a junior in high school. It wasn't until Alex had completed his first two years at the medical College of Georgia and Judy had earned her B.A. degree at San Jose University in California that Alex went to "fetch his bride."
During the remaining two years of med school, Judy taught first grade, after which Alex served three years in the navy, completing a year of rotating internship, a year as the doctor on a missile test firing ship and the third year on the marine base in Albany, GA.
After Alex's pediatric residency in Atlanta the couple moved to Anchorage in 1968 with two little girls. Alex set up his practice there, but in 1975, he temporarily left it for a year to fly for "jet Alaska" In 1976, the family moved to Soldotna where Alex is still practicing pediatrics. He still stays current as a flight instructor, par excellence, and just stepped down from a five-year term as president of the Missionary Aviation Repair Center (MARC) board. He flew trips for MARC and Samaritans Purse for many years.
Judy began the Cook Inlet Academy kindergarten in 1976-78, then joined a traveling gospel team, "Heartsong", for 10 years and sang special music in her church. She has appeared in numerous musical productions beginning with Anchorage Lyric Opera and continuing here on the Peninsula, in both leading roles and chorus parts. She was given several performances at Kenai Peninsula College and other venues, sung as a soloist in several community chorus "Messiahs", and other recitals, and retired three years ago on a high note with a final opera aria for a Kenai Peninsula Orchestra benefit concert. Judy is a long standing member of the Christian Women's club board and regularly leads bible studies for Stone croft Ministries. Judy also holds a private pilot's license.
The Russell's two girls Temple and Patience both live in Palmer. Temple is married to Rod Christiansen and homeschools their four teenage sons. Patience is a microbiologist and a helicopter student pilot.
The couple will celebrate with a family supper and a reception from friends and family at Soldotna Bible Chapel following Sunday School.
Published in the Anchorage Daily News on July 25, 2012