Lee Monroe Russell was born in Macks Creek, Missouri on September 21, 1923 to Delia Hattie (Eidson) Russell and James Marion Russell. After graduating from high school, in Macks Creek, he went to Stillwater, Oklahoma to do aircraft engine training. He wanted to enlist in the Navy but instead he was drafted into the Army Air Corps. He volunteered to train to be a fighter pilot in WWII. He began his training on the PT-13 Stearman then the P-51 Mustang for deployment to the Pacific Theatre in WWII. The war ended before he was able to deploy. He married Opal Pearl Williams on January 4, 1946. They had two daughters Janet Kay and Judy Carol. He started his marriage and family life as a farmer but said Macks Creek kept taking out his crops, so he decided to go to the Big City. He loved his career working for the Missouri Pacific Railroad. He was employed for thirty-three years. He took his family on vacations every summer in the camper touring many of the national parks and monuments. Lee had many interests and hobbies. After retirement, he continued his love of fishing, hunting, and gardening. He was a lifelong car lover. He learned and loved to play golf. He also enjoyed playing pool with friends at church. He was active for years at First Baptist Church of Urbana.
He leaves behind his wife of almost seventy-five years, Opal Pearl (Williams) Russell; one daughter, Judy Carol Voelter & husband Bill; one grandson, Christopher Creighton Douglas; three granddaughters, Tiffany Prier Lamb and husband, Scott; Alexis Malay Douglas; and Rebecca Prier Gleason and husband, Chris; six great-grandchildren, Carlee Beth Lamb; Caroline Ashlee Gleason; Nicholas Warner Lamb; Kate Alexandra Gleason; Harris Norwood Gleason; and Owen Russell Douglas; his brother, James Marion Russell and wife, Connie; and his, sister Mary Frances (Russell) Wirths and husband Buddy.
He was preceded in death by his mother Delia; his father, James; one daughter, Janet; his brother, Len; his sister, Pauline; his brother, Charlie; his stepmother, Eva; step-sister, Georgia; and step-brother, Jerry.
Funeral services will be conducted at 10 a.m. on Saturday, September 19, 2020, in the Urbana First Baptist Church with Bro. Claire Reed officiating. Escorts will be Scott Lamb, James Russell, Chris Gleason, Jody Johnston, Christopher Douglas and Jerry Williams. Honorary escorts will be Larry Harbit, Bill Voelter, and Hobert Bellew. Interment will be in the Mission Ridge Cemetery under the care and direction of the Cantlon-Otterness & Viets Funeral Home of Urbana. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Mission Ridge Cemetery Fund.