1926 - 2013|
Russell Gene Hales, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend, died peacefully at home August 18, 2013. Russell was born in Springville, Utah, October 9, 1926 to Eugene Arthur and Blanche Groesbeck Hales. He was the oldest son of four children and spent much of his childhood with his Grandfather and Grandmother Groesbeck. As a youth he loved participating in drama productions, competing in tennis, and playing saxophone in jazz band. During World War II, at 17 he enlisted in the United States Navy where he served as a Chief Petty Officer and as an aviation radio instructor.
On December 27, 1949, Russell married his high school sweetheart, Carma Jane Mendenhall in the Salt Lake Temple. Dad and Mom are sweethearts for eternity and their love and devotion for each other will always be an example to their posterity. Russell loved his family and called them his greatest accomplishment. He modeled service and helped many who had nowhere else to turn. He was a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and loved the gospel and avidly studied it throughout his life. He served a mission in Czechoslovakia and later served two missions in Nauvoo with his wife. Russell served in many capacities, as well as being a Stake Missionary in every area he lived.
Russell graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in secondary education. He taught history and loved making the past come alive for his students. For several years he worked with his father-in-law in V.C. Mendenhall Construction/Ideal Asphalt Paving. He also earned a Ph.D. in education from the University of Utah and worked at the U of U. Division of Continuing Education and the Utah State Retirement System.
Russell loved photography, fishing, Arabian horses, his garden, and nature. Our father was a gentleman and taught us the importance of family, testimony, service, and perseverance. For many years, he took tender care of his dear wife who had suffered several debilitating strokes. Dad fought the good fight and has returned home with honor.
The family wishes to thank Pamela Beiza for her loving care of our father during the last six years. Russell is survived by his children, Ellen Potter (Alan), Brenda, Laura Finlinson(Richard), Nicholas (Michal), Rebecca Pittam (David); 17 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren; sister Kathryn Webb (Howard) and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife Carma, his parents, his brothers (Harold and Robert), and his granddaughter, Madeline Hales.
A viewing will be held at Larkin Sunset Lawn, 2350 East 1300 South, Salt Lake City, Utah, on Friday, August 23, from 6:00 to 8:00p.m. Funeral services will be held at Little Cottonwood Fifth Ward, 6350 South Rodeo Lane, Saturday, August 24, at 11:00a.m. Prior to the funeral, a viewing will be held at the ward from 10:00 to 10:45a.m. Interment will take place at Larkin Sunset Lawn. Online condolences at www.LarkinMortuary.com
Published in Deseret News from Aug. 22 to Aug. 23, 2013