Austin Russell

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Austin Russell


Austin Henderson Russell, 91, passed away Tuesday, November 1, 2011, at Aldersgate Retirement Community in Meridian, Mississippi. He will return to his earthly paradise Oxford, Mississippi, for burial in St. Peter's Cemetery on Saturday, November 5, 2011. Visitation at Waller Funeral Home in Oxford will begin at 12:00 p.m. followed by a service in the chapel at 1:00 p.m. Dr. Robert Allen, administrative pastor at First Baptist Church of Oxford, will officiate.

Austin, known as "Russ" to his friends and "Pop" to his family and "adopted grandchildren", was born December 5, 1919, in Thomasville, North Carolina. He graduated from Lenoir Rhyne University in Hickory, North Carolina. A gifted athlete, he played baseball there and in the semi-pros before joining the military for World War II. A recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross and numerous other citations, he was a B-25 pilot for the 490th bomb squadron, serving in China, Burma, and India. He was active duty military from 1941 through 1946 and retired from the active Air Force Reserve as a Lt. Colonel in 1966. Oxford became his cherished home in 1946. He was postmaster at the University of Mississippi and later served as Oxford postmaster until his retirement. He loved working with young people and was active in youth baseball and boy scouts. He enjoyed quail hunting, golf, and attending Ole Miss Sport's events. "Pop" especially loved Ole Miss Baseball games and often led the crowd in singing "Sweet Caroline."

He was preceded in death by his son, Robert Pritchard (Skip) Russell M.D. of Jackson; his parents, Christie Royd and Mariam Conrad Russell; his brother, Conrad Roy Russell; and his sister Lois Russell Huffman, all of Thomasville, North Carolina. He leaves his wife of 68 years, Ruby Pritchard Russell of Oxford and Meridian, Mississippi; his son Dave Russell, M.D. and daughter-in-law, Lynn, of Meridian, Mississippi; his daughter-in- law Olivia Walker Russell of Flowood, Mississippi; grandchildren Robert Pritchard Russell and wife, Gina, of Madison, Mississippi; Denise Russell Hunter and husband, Steven, of Brandon, Mississippi; David Austin Russell and wife, Kristen, of Madison, Mississippi; Jennifer Russell Gunn and husband, Clay, of Madison Mississippi; and Daniel Pritchard Russell of Meridian, Mississippi; and two great-grandsons, Robert Pritchard Russell III (Trace) and Russell Clanton Gunn of Madison, Mississippi.

Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church, 800 Van Buren Avenue, Oxford, Mississippi 38655, the Ole Miss Baseball Program, UMAA Foundation, P.O. Box 355. University, Mississippi 38677-0355, or Aldersgate Gift Account 6600 Poplar Springs Drive, Meridian, Mississippi 39305.

In honor of Mr. Russell's service to his country, the flag of the United States Air Force will be flown at Waller Funeral Home during the funeral service.

For additional information or to sign an online guestbook, visit our website or call 662-234-7971.


Published in Clarion Ledger on Nov. 4, 2011
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