James Edwin “Jim” Russell, Jr.

Jim-Russell obit photoThis story begins in 1932 when James Edwin Russell, Jr. was born in Mauldin, Massachusetts on August 3rd to parents James Edwin Russell and Mabel Veale Russell. He lived a long and happy life for almost 83 years and left to meet his Lord on February, 28th, 2015. Highlights of his life are too numerous to completely list but include an Eagle Scout ranking,  flying solo while in the Air Force, a 42-year career in Education, a 29 year marriage, raising two kids and a lifelong love of beagles.

His family returned to their home in Floresville, TX where Jim was raised and graduated from high school in 1949. He received his B.A. from Baylor University in 1955 and then his Masters of Education degree in 1957. After that, he served as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Air Force in Merced, CA. He began his teaching career in Temple, TX in 1960 teaching science and math.  He married Bonnie Frances Miller in 1961 and moved to Austin in 1962 where he taught science at Fulmore Junior High.  He furthered his career into school administration as Assistant Principal of Brownfield High School in 1965 and then Principal of Brownfield Junior High School. In 1968, he moved to Austin and later to New Braunfels in 1970 as Assistant Superintendent of Comal Independent School District.  During this time, he further studied and received his PhD in School Administration from the University of Texas at Austin in 1972. Jim continued as Assistant Superintendent at C.I.S.D. until 1983 when he accepted a new position as Assistant Superintendent of Personnel at Hays Consolidated Independent School District.  Moving with his family to Buda at that time, he continued there until his retirement in 1994. During “retirement” he worked seasonally for the I.R.S. for ten years.

Jim was an active person who enjoyed basketball, tennis, water skiing, snow skiing, scuba diving, bowling, and many other activities. Jim also enjoyed music and sang throughout his life with church choirs, barbershop groups, and his gospel quintet. He was an active member of the First Baptist Churches in New Braunfels, Manchaca, and later at Allandale Baptist.

Jim is survived by his son, James Lawrence Russell (Jimmy) and wife Tamara; by his daughter Laurie Frances Garrant and her husband Tony; by his sisters Jeanne Ruhmann and Karen Ewing and their families; and by numerous nephews, nieces, and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother-in-law Ed Ruhmann, nephew Paul Ruhmann, and brother-in-law Paul Miller.

Services will be held at Eckols Funeral Home in Kenedy, TX  (420 W. Live Oak.) on Thursday, March 5th at 2:00 p.m. with viewing starting at 1:00 p.m. Burial to follow at Kenedy Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the following charities:  Accolade Hospice,  Alzheimer’s Association, and University United Methodist Church in Austin, TX.  Accolade:  PO Box 525, Yoakum, TX 77995  University United Methodist Church: 2409 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78705  Alzheimer’s Association: www.alz.org