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In Memory

Phillip Russell


Phillip & Linda Russell

Linda Lou Russell (November 23, 1944-February 2, 2023)

Phillip Samuel Russell (April 6, 1942-February 3, 2023)

“I just love to be with you. Especially when I can have you in my arms. That’s the best of all.” - Phillip to Linda, 1963

“I will be very glad to marry you and it all will be very wonderful. Don’t you think so?” - Linda to Phillip, 1964

Phillip Russell and Linda Shaffer Russell met at church camp in 1961 and wrote each other love letters every week til they were married in 1964. They both kept every single letter. Forever inseparable, as in life, they traveled to heaven together after 57 very wonderful years of marriage.

Phillip was born in Gallia County, OH on April 6, 1942. He spent many of his teenage years working at the family hotel in Athens, and graduated from Athens High School.

Linda was born in Fairfield County, OH on November 23, 1944 as the youngest of eight children. She graduated from Liberty High School. 

Phillip and Linda moved to New Haven, WV from Athens, OH in 1981. Linda adorned the walls of their home with her beautiful paintings and beloved salt and pepper shakers. Phillip loved Linda’s homemade pies and being surrounded by the many, many teddy bears gifted by his kids and grandkids. Together, they cruised around the world, though family vacations at Myrtle Beach always had their hearts. They doted on their kids, grandkids, and cat, Mr. Gibbs. 

Phillip served his community in many ways over the years. He was a member of the Athens police force, a volunteer firefighter for Richland, and an aide at the Athens Mental Health Center. He then worked for Kaiser Aluminum in Ravenswood before retiring from Pleasant Valley Hospital in 2011, where he was the hospital’s first male nurse’s aide, among other roles. 

Everyone loved Linda’s cooking, and she worked as a school cook and for multiple restaurants over the years. She began working for Bob’s Market and Greenhouses in 1991. Linda loved flowers, especially pansies, and she painted pumpkins every fall. She retired in 2022.

Phillip was a long-standing member of many organizations: Grand Lodge of F and AM of Ohio, Lodge #25; Athens Commandery #15, Knights Templar; Ohio Priori #18, Knights of the York Cross of Honour; Ohio Valley #196, York Rite; Ohio River Valley Council #104; and the Grand Council Royal Select Masons of Ohio, Athens Council #15, where he served as Past Illustrious Master. 

Phillip and Linda were beloved members of the Eastern Stars Chapter #175. They served together as Worthy Patron and Matron numerous times. 

Phillip was the son of Rev. N. L. and Alice Russell of Athens, OH. He is predeceased by one brother, Paul, and is survived by brothers Harry and Jim (Marilyn) and a sister, Mary. 

Linda was the daughter of Nile and Anna Heistand of Baltimore, OH. She is predeceased by sisters Midge, Phyllis, and Bonnie, and brothers Bill, Harold, and Darrell. She is survived by a brother, Charlie.

Together, they are survived by their two children, Jeff (Anita) Russell of New Haven and Angie (Keith) Johnson of Gallipolis. They are also survived by their three grandchildren, Kayla, Adam, and Noah, of whom they were so proud.

Visitation will be on Thursday, February 9th 5-7pm, at Fogelsong-Casto Funeral Home in Mason, WV, with a ceremony for Eastern Stars immediately following. The funeral will be Friday, February 10th at 11am, followed by a graveside service at Sunrise Memorial Garden in Letart. 

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the “Phillip and Linda Russell Memorial Scholarship” fund. Donations can be made via check, or by calling City National Bank of New Haven, WV. Phillip and Linda loved watching their grandchildren go to college as first-generation students, and would love to help other kids do the same.