John N. “Jack” Russell, 77, of Vermillion, passed away peacefully at his home on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013, after a brief battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his loving family.
A prayer service will be held at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 22, at St. Agnes Catholic Church. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, Dec. 23, also at St. Agnes Catholic Church, with burial in Calvary Cemetery.
Jack was born June 2, 1936, in Vermillion, to William R. and Alma (Nelson) Russell, the fourth of eight sons. He graduated from Vermillion High School in 1954 and married his high school sweetheart Mickey O’Connor on Sept. 2, 1957, at St. Agnes Church. They were blessed with nine children and 25 grandchildren.
Jack served in the Army from 1958-1960. In 1961 Jack went into the construction business with his father and four of his brothers building concrete grain elevators throughout the Midwest. He and Mickey called Shenandoah, IA home for 19 years before moving to Seward, NE, and eventually back to their childhood home of Vermillion in 1988.
Jack was a member of St. Agnes Catholic Church. He was a quiet man with a strong presence and an unparalleled sense of humor. The greatest joy in his life was his family. He was fiercely devoted to his wife, children and numerous grandchildren, who thought the world of their “Papa Jack.”
Jack is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Mickey of Vermillion; his nine children, Randy Russell of Council Bluffs, IA, Patsy (Rick) Cogdill of Tyler, TX, Sheila (Keith) Pearson of Vermillion, Jack (Mary) Russell of Seward, NE, Kathy (John) Stampfel of Red Lodge, MT, Marty (Wendy) Russell of Spring, TX, Melissa (Luke) Wolsky of The Woodlands, TX, Annie Russell of Houston, TX, and Tim Russell of Denver, CO. He is also survived by and is the proud Papa to 25 grandchildren, Taylor Russell, Mickey Russell, Danielle Russell, Dylan Russell, Nick Cogdill, Max Cogdill, Daniel Pearson, Thomas Pearson, Andrew (Danielle) Pearson, Sam Pearson, Matt Pearson, Katie Pearson, Ben Russell, Alex Russell, Jack Russell III, Annika Stampfel, John Stampfel, Jacob Stampfel, Grace Stampfel, Henry Stampfel, Morgan Russell, Molly Russell, Joe Russell, Charlie Wolsky and Sarah Wolsky.
Additional survivors include five of his brothers, Bob (Dosie), Roger (Carol), Bill (Valerie), Mark (Susan) and Dennis; in-laws, Pat and Jerry Pratt, Fran and Joe Zuppo, Jerry O’Connor and Tim O’Connor, and daughter-in-law Kyle Russell. Jack also leaves behind numerous nieces and nephews and many close friends who will miss his colorful personality. He is preceded in death by his parents, William and Alma Russell; and two brothers, Byron and Jim.
The family would like to acknowledge with special thanks: Sanford Hospice Care (Joanne and Kay), Dr. Bill Dendinger, Rennee Ondrozeck and Linda and Gordon Reetz.
Condolences may be posted online at www.hansenfuneralhome.com. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Agnes Charities or The Vermillion Food Pantry.