Thomas James Russell Sr. (better known by TJ) was born on August 22, 1932 in Atwood, Oklahoma to Thom Russell and Elsie Leona (Phillips) Russell. He passed away on August 23, 2021 in his home in Cement, Oklahoma at the age of 89.
A memorial service will be held at Fort Sill National Cemetery in Elgin, OK at 11:00 am Friday August 27, 2021, with the Stephens County Honor Guard and Patriot Guard presenting Military Honors. Following the service, please join us at 1:00 pm at Jake's Ribs in Chickasha, TJ's favorite restaurant where we will enjoy sharing stories.
TJ graduated from Butler High School. He then joined the army during the Korean War and earned four service medals. The Purple Heart Medal, the Silver Star Medal, the Korean Service Medal, and the United Nations Service Medal. He was medically retired with an honorable discharge. He was very patriotic and loved the army and his country. Later he went to college at East Central Oklahoma where he got his bachelor's degree. He attended UC Berkeley and Eastern New Mexico where he worked on his masters. He became a teacher, principal and superintendent. After he retired from teaching he owned and ran a ranch in Oklahoma for several years. Later, after fully retiring he decided to go back to school at Oklahoma University to pursue his law degree for fun. His favorite hobbies after retirement were riding in parades and playdays with his Chickasha riding club, and then traveling the nation with the OK SMARTS Retired Vets RV travel club. He made it to 49 of the 50 states in his lifetime, plus several countries.
He has 6 children, 6 step-children, 22 grandkids, and 18 great grandkids. He loved his family and his wife of 28 years, Sandra Mary (Williams) Russell.
Thomas is survived by his wife, Sandra; children: Thomas Russell Jr. and wife Paula of West College Corner, IN; Laura Schuh and husband Steve of Arroyo Grande, CA; Mary Bowers and husband Colton of Sherwood, OR; Shauna Murphy of Shoreline, WA; Dusty Russell and wife Lailoni of Aledo, TX; Kristine Karlen and husband Corry of Ft. Worth, TX; Marta Greer of Ft. Worth, TX; Wade Post of Amarillo, TX; Victoria Bogard of Village, OK; Sharon Stropes of Cyril, OK; and Tracy Eager and husband Rich of Dallas, TX; brother, Dickie Russell; and sister, Bell Downey,
He was preceded in death by his parents; daughter, Nancy Gibbs; brothers: Bobby Russell, Eddie Russell; and sister, Joy Bell.
Online condolences may be made to the family at www.whittfh.com.
A Memorial Tree was planted for Thomas