Carl Ray Russell Sr.

 Manchester, Tennessee – Carl Ray Russell, Sr. passed away peacefully on May
18, 2021, after an extended illness, at age 87. He was born on January 12,
1934, in Newport, Arkansas, as the oldest son of the late Glen and
Gwendolyn Russell. He was the first in his family to graduate from high
school and later college. He grew up in Marked Tree, Arkansas, and by age
15, was one of the brightest and most promising athletes ever to attend
Marked Tree Schools. On September 22, 1949, during a high school football
game, he suffered a broken leg during a football game which never fully
healed. His resilience and toughness became his defining characteristics
from that day for the remainder of his life. He endured many surgeries over
the next many years. Carl met Carol Stubblefield, who became his wife of 65
years, while attending Harding College. She offered to carry his lunch tray
in the cafeteria because he was on crutches, and the rest is history. Carl
lived a life of commitment to his Lord, his family, his church family and
the students he served. He preached the Word of God for over 65 years. He
was honorable and dignified, curious and intelligent, a lover of books and
words, loyal and steadfast, dependable and resilient. He loved classical
music and passed his talent and love of music on to his children. Carl
hunted and fished and enjoyed his woodworking shop. He was a voracious
reader and exchanged books, words, and ideas with almost anyone who would
listen. Carl graduated from Harding College in 1957, and later earned M.Ed.
and Ed.S. degrees from M.T.S.U. He taught and coached at East Jr. High in
Tullahoma and Coffee County Jr. High. In 1966, he began teaching at Coffee
County High School and ultimately became the Vocational Director and
Assistant Principal. He received the outstanding Tennessee Vocational
Administrator in 1991. He retired in 1998 after 41 years of service to the
school systems. Life after retirement was filled with community service and
church ministry. Among other pursuits, he served as a Coffee County
Commissioner, board chairman of the Coffee County Christian Housing, board
member of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, and many other boards
associated with Manchester City Government. During his long career in the
pulpit, Carl served the Berry, AL, Church of Christ, Hillsboro Church of
Christ, Hickerson Station Church of Christ, and Trousdale Church of Christ.
He held many gospel meetings in Tennessee and Alabama. His preaching was
clear and very well received. He was a good man and a fine preacher. In
addition to his wife, Carol, he is survived by three children, Ray Russell
(Rhonda), Jeanne Newton (Mike), and Julie Edwards (Tim), seven
grandchildren, Leah Berry (Denny), Laura Kennedy (Jeff), Ashley Newton Lacy
(Ahren), Andrew Newton, Jessica Duke, Justin Duke (Kristen), and Roman
Edwards, and five great-grandchildren, Amelia Berry, Russell Berry, Sloane
Kennedy, Josephine Kennedy and Blair Lacy, a brother, Gerald Russell, and
nephew, Chris Russell. A celebration of Carl’s life will be held at Central
Funeral Home in Manchester on Saturday, May 22, 2021. Visitation will be
from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. with the service beginning at 11:00 a.m. Internment
will be at Rose Hill Memorial Gardens in Tullahoma, TN. In lieu of flowers,
memorial contributions can be made to Churches of Christ Disaster Relief
Effort, Inc. at P.O. Box 111180, Nashville, TN 37222 or at
disasterrelieffort.org. Central Funeral Home is serving the family,
931-723-7774, centralfuneralhome.com