William Russell Sr.

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HUDSON - William "Willy" Russell Sr., 67, of Hudson, passed away March 29, 2013, in the Southern N.H. Medical Center, Nashua, following a courageous battle with cancer due to his exposure to Agent Orange while serving his country in Vietnam.

He was born July 31, 1945, in Burlington, Vt., son of Mary Young and the late Clark Russell.

Drafted in 1965, Willy served two tours of duty in Vietnam with the U.S. Army. Upon his discharge he became a truck driver, driving for Blue Line Express for 20 years and for TransGas for another 20 years. The highlight of his trucking career was driving Dave Dion's Racing Hauler, as he had been devoted to Dave's racing career. His proudest accomplishment was his family and his grandchildren were the joy of his life. His favorite saying was "Living the Dream" and was known for his positive outlook on life and his fighting spirit. Willy had been a resident of Hudson for the past 43 years. He enjoyed watching NASCAR races, sports and the Patriots, was a member of the Hudson American Legion, and was active in the Baptist Church for many years.

He is survived by his wife; Dale J. Russell of Hudson; four children, Wendi Colby of Nashua, William Russell Jr. and his wife Kathy of Eliot, Maine, Kristi Turner and her husband Christopher of Pelham, and Brett Russell and his wife Danielle of Nashua. He is also survived by 10 grandchildren, Avrie, A.J., Austin, Alana, Emma, Jeanne, Jake, Carson, Callie and Ella; his mother Mary Young of Burlington, Vt.; four siblings, Judy Sanders of St. Albans, Vt., Danny Russell and his wife Fran of Littleton, Colo., Clark "Butch" Russell and his wife Barbara Moeykens of Raleigh, N.C., and Patty Hood and her husband Howard of Northfield, Vt. Willy is also survived by a brother-in-law, Bernard O'Brien and his wife Diana of Norwich, Conn., and two sisters-in-law, Pat Niles and her husband Bob of Moosup, Conn., and Paula Toland and her husband Tiger of Preston, Conn. Besides his father, he was predeceased by a brother, Jimmy Russell.


services: Visiting hours will be held Thursday, April 4, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Zis-Sweeney Funeral Home, 26 Kinsley St., Nashua. A memorial service will follow in the funeral home at 7 p.m. Interment with military honors will be held at 10 a.m. Friday in the N.H. State Veterans Cemetery, 110 D.W. Highway, Boscawen. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284 to help support sarcoma research. Condolences may be offered at www.zissweeneyfuneralhome.com.

Published in Union Leader on Apr. 2, 2013
William "Willy" Russell, Sr.
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Arrangements under the direction of:
Zis-Sweeney Funeral Home
26 Kinsley Street | Nashua, NH 03060 | (603) 882-3501
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