George G. Russell, 86, of Pontiac, IL passed away at 10:03 pm on Thursday, July 11, 2019 at OSF St. James-John W. Albrecht Medical Center in Pontiac.
A memorial service will be held at 1:00 pm on Sunday, July 21, 2019 at First United Methodist Church in Pontiac with Rev. Tom Goodell officiating. Inurnment will be held at a later date at South Side Cemetery, Pontiac, IL. Calvert & Martin Funeral Home, Pontiac is handling the arrangements.
Expressions of sympathy should be made to First United Methodist Church, Pontiac or Evenglow Lodge, Pontiac or NOMADS, PO Box 3508, Shawnee, Kansas 66203.
George was born on August 19, 1932, the son of Elisabeth Russell English in Mardela Springs, MD. He married Rubye Katherine Simpson on June 6, 1953 in Springfield, Kentucky. She passed away on July 14, 2017.
He is survived by three children: Donna (James) Diehl, Normal, IL, Wesley (Connie) Russell, Shorewood, IL, Daniel (Joni) Russell, Pontiac, IL; five grandchildren: Ashleigh, Aurora, Danielle, Pontiac, Dakota, Pontiac, Samantha Zeigenhorn, Normal, Jeremy Zeigenhorn, Ancona, Italy; four great grandchildren, Zoe and Ava Zeigenhorn, JR and Tori Zeigenhorn.
George graduated from Asbury College, Wilmore, KY, in 1954 and from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, IL in 1962.
He pastored churches in the Kentucky Annual Conference until moving to Illinois in 1959. He served as pastor in Central Illinois Annual Conference in Buffalo, Fairbury, Taylorville, Springfield and Pontiac, retiring in 1996 after serving for 44 ½ years. He served as District Superintendent of the Pontiac District 1980-1985. During this time, he served on most of the major committees of the Conference. He led mission teams to: Cherokee, NC; DuLac, LA; McCurdy School-Espanola, NM; Monteray, Mexico; Tampico, Mexico; Fontera, Mexico; and Alaska.
Following retirement, he and Rubye served with NOMADS (A Mission outreach ministry of the United Methodist Church) working on churches, homes and daycare centers. In 2014, Rubye and George received the Pontiac Citizen of the Year Award and in 2016, the Pontiac Volunteer of the Year Award.