Virgil George Russell of Mobile passed away on June 11, 2021 at the age of 96 years. He was a native of Puckett, Mississippi and was the only child of Schley Albert Russell and Vera Mae Russell. Virgil spent his early and adolescent years in Sumrall, Mississippi, moving to Mobile in 1941. Virgil entered the Army in 1942 and served his country in World War II as a Paratrooper School Instructor in the 541st Paratrooper Infantry Regiment stationed at Fort Benning and Camp Mackall. Sergeant Russell was transferred to Manila in the Philippines in early 1945 and reassigned to the 11th Airborne Division. After the Japanese surrender, the 11th Airborne moved to Tokyo where Virgil served as a member of the Japan occupation force for several months. As a WWII veteran, he was given the honor and opportunity many years ago to travel with the Mobile-based Honor Flight III to Washington, which he enjoyed immensely. Following the war, Virgil's creative and industrious nature led him to open and operate two local businesses, one dealing with the sale of pecans and the other shoe leather supplies. His longest career was with the Gulf Mobile & Ohio Railroad, later the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad, from which he retired in 1985 after 41 years of service. Virgil is preceded in death by his wife of 73 years, Patricia McBroom Russell. He is survived by three sons, Stephen Virgil Russell (Janet), Philip George Russell (Cissy), and Charles David Russell; grandchildren Emily A. Beaird (Brandon), Amy R. Bedsole (John), Benjamin S. Russell (Millie), Laura M. Russell, and Natalie P. Russell; and great-grandchildren Thomas Bedsole, James Beaird Jr., Joseph Bedsole, Elaina Beaird, Palmer Russell and Lott Russell. He also is survived by his brother-in-law and sister-in-law William McBroom and Harriet McBroom. BP, as he was known to his grandchildren, had an indelible impact on his family and led a life of exemplary character, loyalty. and humility serving as an excellent role model for his family. He was a long-time active member of Westminster Presbyterian Church serving several terms as a Deacon and Elder. Visitation will be held on Friday, June 18th from 11am to noon at Pine Crest Funeral Home followed by grave side services at Pine Crest Cemetery on Dauphin Island Pkwy. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2921 Airport Blvd., Mobile, AL. 36606
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Published by Mobile Register and Baldwin County from Jun. 14 to Jun. 16, 2021.