Orville Dale “O.D.” Russell

03/15/1919 — 09/25/2013

From Richland, WA, US | Born in Timmer, ND

Orville Dale “O.D.” Russell

Orville Dale "O.D." Russell, 94, passed away on September 25, 2013, at the Richland Rehabilitation Center in Richland, Washington, of natural causes. He was born on March 15, 1919 at Timmer, North Dakota to Emer Ellsworth and Oella Miriam Shelhart Russell. He grew up on the family's 40 acre homestead in a sod house with seven brothers and sisters. He was especially fond of working with horses and would scare his mother by riding his horse bare foot and standing up. He was drafted into the Army in 1942 and served 4 years in the Chemical Warfare Services and spent most of his time training other recruits during the war. O.D. was a self taught musician, and after the war played guitar in bands and taught music lessons. In 1948, the music store he was working for in Vancouver sent him to the Tri-Cities to see about opening a shop. The shop never opened, but he stayed on and got a job at the Hanford Site. In the spring of 1952, while disbursing checks one Friday at the end of work, one of the pretty girls in the accounting department said, "I've been making eyes at you for a long time. How come you never ask me out?" So he did, and on October 11th of the same year he married her, Betty Elzene Lewis. After briefly living in West Richland they made their home in Richland where they lived for over sixty years. During that time they raised four sons and two daughters, Curtis, Jim, Craig, Tom, Karen and TracyAnn. O.D. worked on the Hanford Site for multiple contractors for almost 40 years, riding the bus to the outer areas for 33 of those years. He started in construction and maintenance, but most of his career was spent in data and records management, having worked at many locations around the Site. He never stopped playing the guitar, and taught lessons from the family's home for several decades. Shortly after getting married, O.D. joined the LDS church and was very active in church service all his life. He served in four bishoprics, and on the High Council for seven years. When he retired in 1987, he and Betty went to Australia on a mission for the church, and upon returning home, were quickly out the door again to serve a mission in Des Moines, Iowa. When they settled back down to retirement in Richland they often commuted to Seattle to serve in the LDS Temple there.

O.D. is survived by his wife, Betty in Richland; sons Curtis of Riverside, CA; Jim of LaGrande, OR; Craig Jolyn of Mount Freedom, NJ; and Tom of Las Vegas, NV; daughters Karen Glenn Walley of Richland; TracyAnn Dan Rasmussen, Kennewick; 24 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, all seven of his brothers and sisters, and daughter-in-law, Kim Russell Jim.

Visitation will be Sunday, September 29th from 5 to 8 PM at Einan's Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held at 11 AM on Monday, September 30th at the Richland LDS meetinghouse on Thayer. Interment will follow at Sunset Memorial Gardens with arrangements by Einan's Funeral Home.

Many heartfelt thanks to those friends who have offered gifts of flowers and prayers. A special thanks to the staff at Prestige assisted living who gave so much love and attention to our father.

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Orville Dale “O.D.” Russell

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  • O.D.was a special man and one of my favorite patients. He had an unfailingly positive attitude and I enjoyed every minute of his company. I’m very sorry for your loss, he will be fondly remembered.

    Lori Cook RN
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA, USA
  • To Craig & the entire Russell family and extended family,

    My condolences on the passing of your father, husband & grandfather! Craig, I don’t know if you remember me or not from your days at RPD, when you were a Senior Cadet, and I was an officer. At that time, if I remember correctly, your family lived on Benham St in a remodeled ‘A’ house. What a small world, when years later, O.D. & Betty moved in next door to my brother, Gary Bush, on Turner St. I’d see your father taking walks when I visited my brother; and, I’d always say, “Hi” to him. Though he may be physically gone, just remember all the memories you have of him and share them with the rest of the family. In that way, he will never be forgotten!!

    Lee Bush
    November 4, 2014
    West, Richland, WA
  • I have very fond memories of sharing time with O.D. Russell. I took guitar lessons from him in the late 60’s, not only was he a great teacher but he shared the love of music that I still have to this day. Best memories I have are at the end of the lesson, he would let me play that big Gibson hollow body electric of his and we would do a song together.

    Randy George
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA, USA
  • Thru the years O.D.is one who has left a lasting impression – always the big smile – always upbeat – even when I visited him and Betty in Eagle as he declined. I have always been impressed with the musicianship of him and Betty.

    Burt Johnson
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA
  • Enjoyed having OD & Betty as our next door neighbors when they lived at 2003 Turner Street. We’ve missed them since they moved.

    Gary & Carol Bush
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA, United, States
  • O.D.was a special man and one of my favorite patients. He had an unfailingly positive attitude and I enjoyed every minute of his company. I’m very sorry for your loss, he will be fondly remembered.

    Lori Cook RN
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA, USA
  • To Craig & the entire Russell family and extended family,

    My condolences on the passing of your father, husband & grandfather! Craig, I don’t know if you remember me or not from your days at RPD, when you were a Senior Cadet, and I was an officer. At that time, if I remember correctly, your family lived on Benham St in a remodeled ‘A’ house. What a small world, when years later, O.D. & Betty moved in next door to my brother, Gary Bush, on Turner St. I’d see your father taking walks when I visited my brother; and, I’d always say, “Hi” to him. Though he may be physically gone, just remember all the memories you have of him and share them with the rest of the family. In that way, he will never be forgotten!!

    Lee Bush
    November 4, 2014
    West, Richland, WA
  • I have very fond memories of sharing time with O.D. Russell. I took guitar lessons from him in the late 60’s, not only was he a great teacher but he shared the love of music that I still have to this day. Best memories I have are at the end of the lesson, he would let me play that big Gibson hollow body electric of his and we would do a song together.

    Randy George
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA, USA
  • Thru the years O.D.is one who has left a lasting impression – always the big smile – always upbeat – even when I visited him and Betty in Eagle as he declined. I have always been impressed with the musicianship of him and Betty.

    Burt Johnson
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA
  • Enjoyed having OD & Betty as our next door neighbors when they lived at 2003 Turner Street. We’ve missed them since they moved.

    Gary & Carol Bush
    November 4, 2014
    Richland, WA, United, States
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