Herb as he was known by friends and family was born in Atlanta, Georgia in July 1923 to Weldon H. Russell and Cora Hutchins Russell. He was the youngest of identical twins born that day. He was 3 minutes younger than his brother-Harold. They had an amazing childhood together as you can guess, they would change places in class, on the baseball team and yes, even on dates. They were joined by a younger brother when they were about 3 years old.
Herb was an active sports fan, enjoying all sports and participating in many. His favorite was baseball, and at completion of high school was drafted to play shortstop for the St. Louis Cardinals. Unfortunately, that dream was never realized as he was also drafted a few weeks later by the United States Army. We all know who won that draft.
Herb joined the Army and served in the U.S. Signal Corp during World War II. He served in the South Pacific, in Guam and the Phillipines, setting up telephone and radio lines in the jungles and was always in peril.
He went in the Army as a private and rose to the rank of Staff Sargent. After his service was over, he received an Honorable Discharge and awarded several medals and ribbons.
After leaving the Army, he returned to Atlanta where he to took classes at University of Georgia. (go Dawgs) After a short time, he took a job with General Electric as a salesperson and quickly was promoted to Regional Sales Manager and was transfered to Asheville, N.C. That was when he met the woman of his dreams, Marcene. They married soon after and together had three children. After the birth of their oldest daughter, Herb left General Electric and moved the family to Charlotte, N.C., Where He went into business with a friend Dave Spear. Dave and he Started Electrical Distributors (EDI) and served as a salesman as well as the Vice President until he retired. Herb stayed in Charlotte until his death. After losing his wife to an accident in 1964, he became a single dad of three young children. He did a good job as Mom and Dad for several years. He would find another love years later and married Peggy Helms. They were married 40 years until her death.
He and Peggy lived at Wilora Lake Lodge, now known as Brookdale Charlotte East, in independent living. Not long after Peggy's death, Herb moved to assisted living where he died on Feb. 1 2021 after a brief illness.
He was active at Brookdale, volunteering in the Market and going on excursions with ROMEO Club (retired old men eating out.) During his life he enjoyed Golfing and family outings. As I said, he was a sports enthusiast. He had several holes in one in golf and bowled a perfect game among other sports accomplishments.
Herb and Marcene joined Memorial Methodist Church early in the 50's . He was active in the church, teaching Sunday School, serving as president of the Livingston Class, an usher and many other positions. He sold Christmas Trees and pumpkins and helped with the yearly BBQ for many years until his age and health caught up. He continued to attend services for many more years. After his marriage to Peggy, they continued to attend Memorial United Methodist Church for years, and then attending Sunday services at Brookdale. At the time of his death, he was the oldest male member of the church.
Herb was pre-deceased by is Mother and Father and both Brothers- Harold Russell and Weldon H.Russell Jr., his first wife, Marcene, his son Alan Daniel Russell and his wife Peggy Helms Russell, He also lost his daughter-in-law Gloria Helms. who he said always made him laugh.
He is survived by his daughters Denise Greenway (Pat) and Teresia Francis (Jim), his stepsons Richard Helms (Ann) and Phil Helms. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
I lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Alzheimer's Assoc. Western Carolina Chapter at 4600 Park Rd.. Suite 250 Charlotte, N.C. 28209 or Hospice and Palliative Care Charlotte Region at 7845 Little Ave. Charlotte N.C. 28226.
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