Russell Mathews

  • "Gracie is nearer to you now... Grace Mathews RIP 10/10/15"
    - Anna Haley
  • "My deepest condolences to Julie, Grace and Helen. I am so..."
    - Beckee Glenn
  • "The Mathews family, Grace, Julie, and Helen, my apologies..."
    - Jarin Glenn
  • "In a couple days we would be celebrating your 27th..."
    - Gracie Face
  • "Lil Russ I can't believe it man - so bummed out - see you..."
    - John Holly

Russell Thomas Mathews died March 15, 2011, at the age of 23 in Kodiak.

A funeral service will be held today at United Methodist Church in Chugiak, with visitation from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. and the service afterward. The service will be officiated by the Rev. Marc Dunaway of St. John's Orthodox Cathedral in Eagle River. Russell will be buried at a later date at the National Cemetery on Fort Richardson near his father, who served in the U.S. Army.

Russell was born in Anchorage on Aug. 11, 1987, and grew up in Eagle River. He was an Orthodox Christian who enjoyed hiking, camping, being outdoors and spending time with friends. His greatest joys in life were in the outdoors, connecting with people and being "Uncle Sasu" to his nieces.

He is survived by his mother, Julie Mathews; his sister, Grace Mathews; his sister and brother-in-law, Helen and Breandan Coleman; his nieces, Corrina and Claire; and many aunts, uncles and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his father, Michael Mathews.

Russell's death was a suicide. His family prepared the following statement: "It is difficult to admit to the public that Russell took his own life, but we do not wish to hide this fact because it has become an epidemic in this state and this country. People need to be more aware of each other and those directly and indirectly in their lives. Please pray for Russell and all the youth who struggle to find their identity and the light which exists in all of us."

A memorial fund has been set up at Alaska USA FCU in Russell's name to assist the family with funeral expenses and to make a donation to the St. Silas Prison Ministry.

Arrangements are with Janssen's Eagle River Funeral Home,

Published in Anchorage Daily News from Mar. 22 to Mar. 23, 2011