Adams announces the funeral services of Mr. Paul Russell, Jr. which will be held 11:00 A.M., Saturday, August 17, 2019 at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church located 1401 MLK Jr. Blvd.
Public viewing: 10:00 A.M.- 4:00 P.M., Friday at the funeral home followed by a
Visitation with the family that will be held from 6 P.M.-8 P.M., Friday at Woodville Thompkins Tech Career High School located 151 Coach Joe Turner St.
Interment: Cherokee Hill Cemetery.
Paul Russell, Jr., affectionately known as “Coach,” was born March 8, 1932 in Port Wentworth, GA. He was the fourth child of Paul Russell Sr. And Hester Mikell Russell. He was preceded in death by his parents, and siblings: Dorothy Peters, Arthur Russell, and Helen Bowen. Coach Russell was the last of a generation who lived by a tradition of self-sufficiency through farming fruits and vegetables and raising animals, built homes and places of worship, protected and provided for their family along Grange Road.
Coach Russell attended public schools in Savannah, Chatham County, GA, graduating from Woodville High School in 1950. He furthered his education graduating from Voorhees School and Junior College in 1952. He served his country in the United States Army from 1952-1954, receiving a National Defense Service Medal. Paul Russell completed his education at St. Augustine College with a Bachelor of Arts (Physical Education) degree in 1958. While at St. Augustine College, he was initiated into Kappa Epsilon Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated in 1957.
Paul Russell was united in marriage to the love of his life, Carolyn Hayes on June 18, 1960. This marriage of two fiercely independent spirits was a model of enduring love and mutual respect. The couple enjoyed a life together educating youth, supporting their church and participating in Greek life. She preceded him in death nine months ago. In 1963, he was baptized and confirmed as a member of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, where he faithfully supported the ministry and participated in the Men’s Club.
Coach Russell retired from Savannah/Chatham County Public Schools after 30 years of faithful service in 1986. With Coach Joseph “Joe” Turner and Coach Alexander Speed, he coached at Tompkins High School from 1958-1976 and later W.S. Scott Middle School. Coach Russell was a role model and inspirational leader for many youth of the Currytown Community. He mentored untold numbers of youth to adulthood from West Savannah/Chatham County neighborhoods. He continued his coaching career at Savannah State University and the tennis courts in Forsyth Park. Coach Russell was passionate about sports, and physical education, teaching football, basketball, track, softball and tennis.
Coach Russell received numerous accolades and awards during his lifetime from municipal associations, former classes and the sports community. He was inducted into the Woodville-Tompkins High School Hall of Fame in 2005. He was a lifetime member of the National Alumni Association of both St. Augustine College and Voorhees School and Junior College. A generous spirit, he always extended a helping hand to family and friends alike. He wrote numerous letters of support for other inductees into the Woodville-Tompkins High School Hall of Fame. Having no children, he helped care for his nieces and nephews, as his siblings departed this life, by supporting their efforts to complete school, build businesses and provided assistance through many emergencies.
Left to cherish his memory are his nieces and nephews: Harold Peters (Joyce), Gail Peters, Akosua Nson Opoku, Paulette Baxter, Debra Francis (Andrew), Janice Bing, Timothy Peters (Angel), James Russell (Donna), Angelyne R. Johnson (Paul), Clarence Bacon (Prince Etta), Bernard Russell (Gwendolyn), Vanessa Russell, Connie Salisbury (James ), William Hayes, Jr., Janeen Carter, Sharee Byrd, brothers-in-law: John Hayes, Carl W. Hayes (Jean) and William Hayes (Earlene), godsons: Donald and Ronald Baynes; and a host of grand nieces and nephews, classmates, colleagues, former students, Friends of Forsyth Park and a grateful community.
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