Melvin A. Russell

April 25, 1936September 16, 2021

April 25, 1936 - September 16, 2021

Keith & Keith Funeral Home

Loving husband to Jackie and father to Melvin, Katherine and Cindy.

He was born in Altoona, Kansas to Argyle and Katherine Russell, Mel was the firstborn son of 8 children. The Russell family moved from Kansas to Walla Walla when Mel was around 8 years of age. At 17 he joined the Army for 3 years in service to his country during the Korean conflict. In 1964 Mel married the love of his life Jackie David of White Swan, and together they made their home in Yakima.

Mel was a genuine “Jack Of All Trades” which was reflected in the jobs that he held: Railroad Bridge Maintenance, Trucker, Pet Shop Owner, Hertz Driver, Costco, Guest Preacher, and Church Song Leader for Summit View Church of Christ.

Mel possessed a wonderful sense of humor, loving to laugh, tease children, family and friends. He had a generous spirit. His children remember having to check their cars and cupboards after visits because Dad always left a little money hidden somewhere. He loved people and served them unreservedly. Mel was always alert to the needs of others.

In addition to his parents, Mel was preceded in death by five siblings. He is survived by his loving wife Jackie and children Mel, Katherine, Cindy and spouses, 10 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren and 2 brothers.

Memorial gifts can be given to Alzheimer Research or Church of Christ Disaster Relief Effort Inc.

Visitation will be held at Keith & Keith Funeral Home from 4:00 until 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 22, 2021. A Funeral service will be held at Summit View Church of Christ, 100 N. 72nd Ave., Yakima at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 23, 2021 followed by a committal service at 3:00 p.m. at Terrace Heights Memorial Park with military honors.


  • Jeb Bristow Hanna
  • Zachary Hanna
  • Blaine Birchem
  • Sam Russell
  • Kylie Hanna
  • Brandon Birchem
  • Norman Russell, Honorary Bearer
  • Dennis Russell, Honorary Bearer


  • Visitation

    Wednesday, September 22, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Thursday, September 23, 2021

  • Graveside Service

    Thursday, September 23, 2021


Melvin A. Russell

have a memory or condolence to add?

Doug Lewis

September 23, 2021

As a small boy, and his oldest nephew, I always looked at Uncle Melvin as the “coolest” uncle in the world! Not only was he fun to be around, but he was the first person that I had ever known to have a Harley! I only wish I could have spent more time with him. My heart and my thoughts are with his two brothers, his three children and Jackie.

Loretta Munger

September 23, 2021

One of my favorite memories of Uncle Mel was his laugh. If something was funny you knew it by the way he would express himself with his laugh, it was unique and hard to explain. Now granted, when all five of the Russell boys got together and the stories started to flow it was hard to tell who was louder, but he held his own. It was a fun time being with them growing up. As the eldest niece I spent many good times with all of them.
Uncle Mel was loving, not a huggy, kissy kind of uncle but you knew he cared. I spent a couple of summers in Yakima and what became the in famous watermelon story was born. For those of you that don’t know the story here goes. Uncle Mel had a watermelon patch one summer and was so proud of it that he spent a great deal of time out in the garden with his watermelons. Well, one day Aunt Jackie and I were at the grocery store and she came up with the idea to buy a melon and put it in the garden and let Uncle Mel believe he had grown it. Well when he found the melon his reaction was over the moon. Anyway, I just remember a man that was a friend to me plus a loving uncle and he will be sorely missed.

S Cobb

September 21, 2021

I remember when Mel and Jackie owned their pet store. He and I would talk for hours about tropical fish. What a wealth of knowledge this man had. He taught me much back in the day. Prayers to the family. He will be missed.

Margaret gangle

September 19, 2021

So sorry to hear about uncle mel
We are sure all your memories are beautiful as is your lifelong love story
Dave & margaret gangle