William Franklin Russell, 87, passed away on Oct. 13, 2016, at the Hospice of Chattanooga Care Center after a courageous battle with cancer and Alzheimer's disease. He was born on Oct. 29, 1928, the only child of Perry Lee Russell and Birdie Sharp Russell, in Scottsboro, Ala. Following graduation from high school in Bridgeport, Ala., he then moved to Chattanooga and has resided in Red Bank since 1953. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He worked 40 years in the electrical wholesale business including Graybar Electric Company, Sies Electric Supply Company, and retired from Tennesco Inc. He was a member of First Presbyterian Church of Chattanooga and was a member of the Sanctuary Choir for 25 years. He enjoyed many kinds of music and was an accomplished guitarist. Bill particularly enjoyed Bluegrass music and was formerly a member of the Friends of Folk Music. He was a great example of a true Southern gentleman. He was kind, caring, and patient. He looked for the good in everyone and would not speak unkindly toward anyone. He was always content and happy with his life and enjoyed working in his yard and growing a vegetable garden. He will be so missed by his loving family. He is survived by his wife, Anna L. Wilkes Russell, whom he married in April 1953. His children include, William Lawrence (Teresa) Russell, Chattanooga, Luann (Michael) Lawson, Albuquerque, N.M., Wayne (Judy) Russell, Atlanta, Ga., and the Rev. David (Karen) Russell, Mishawaka, Ind.; He is also survived by seven grandchildren, Jamie Russell Jenkins, William Christopher Russell, Lisa Lawson, Tracy Lawson, Karlee Elizabeth Russell, Patrick O'Neal, and Dr. Michael O'Neal. There are also 12 great-grandchildren. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016, at Chattanooga Funeral Home, Highway 153, Hixson, TN, with visitation from noon to 1 p.m. and the service beginning at 1 p.m. led by Rev. Chris Ehlers. Eulogy will be given by Rev. David Russell. Interment will be held in Hamilton Memorial Gardens following the service. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to Hospice of Chattanooga, 4411 Oakwood Road, Chattanooga, TN 37416. This obituary was originally published in the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
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