William Trower Russell, Maj. (ret)
July 16, 1932 – December 2, 2018
WILLIAM TROWER RUSSELL MAJOR (Ret.) UNITED STATES AIR FORCE 16 JULY 1932 -2 DECEMBER 2018 William “Bill” Russell passed away surrounded by family at his home on December 2, 2018 after a valiant battle with cancer. Bill was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and lived there surrounded by loving parents, grandparents, and a great-grandparent until he was ten. His parents moved to Baton Rouge in 1940, where he was educated by the Brothers of the Sacred Heart through high school. After a semester at LSU, he enlisted in the US Air Force. He earned his wings and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in 1954.His first assignment was to the 376th Air Refueling Squadron at Barksdale AFB in Shreveport, LA. There he met and married Betty Bryant. He returned to LSU in 1956 but was recalled by the Air Force in 1958. He returned to the 376th and moved with the squadron to the island of Newfoundland for three years. After duty stations in California, his last station was CCK in Taiwan, flying combat missions in Vietnam. His wife and children followed and lived on the economy in Taiwan until the war ended. Bill was selected to be the operations officer for the Bob Hope Christmas shows in Southeast Asia in 1972. He was the last operations officer in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and was privileged to be an escort for the prisoner release in Hanoi. He retired from active duty with 24 years of service on 1 September 1973. He accepted a position with Agrico Chemical Co. in Donaldsonville, LA, and retired from industry in 1990. Bill and Betty spent the next three years doing volunteer work in Amarillo, Texas with the Daughters of Charity and in Santa Fe, New Mexico with the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. While in Santa Fe, they built their “real home” in the village of Angel Fire, New Mexico. During the twenty years in Angel Fire, he enjoyed doing wood work and building furniture. Both he and Betty were involved in helping with fundraising to build Holy Angels Catholic church. They also traveled up to six months a year until Betty’s health made it necessary to move to Katy in 2014.
Bill and Betty became parents of Stephanie, Michelle, and William Trower III. All three loved being military “brats,” enjoyed making new friends with the moves between bases and treasured the opportunities to travel. Wherever they lived, the family was involved in the local community, especially in their church. Bill served as a Eucharistic Minister from 1969 until he became ill earlier this year. He was always involved in his children’s education, and served as president of PTA. He was a fourth degree Knight of Columbus, a member of the Elks, and served in the Louisiana State Militia. Their children are Stephanie Russell Neal (Bruce Neal, deceased) of Katy, Michelle Russell Faulk (Derek Faulk) of Ft. Wayne, IN, and Lt. Col. William Trower Russell III (Katarzyna Orzech Russell) of Orlando, FL. Additional members of the family are six grandchildren: Elizabeth Neal Uptmore (Dr. David Uptmore, Jr.); Blair Neal (Katie Peterson); Joshua Faulk, Samantha Faulk; Anna Russell, and William S. Russell. Great-grandchildren are David Uptmore, III, Makayla Uptmore, Jillian Uptmore, and Reese Neal.
In lieu of flowers, we request donations to charity. Wounded Warriors or St. Jude Hospital are our favorites, or any charity of your choice.
- Funeral Mass Thursday, December 6, 2018
William Trower Russell, Maj. (ret)
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