Chet Russell, 97, of Albany, OR went to his eternal reward peacefully.
He was born in Hatfield, AR to Orin Austin and Cora Belle (Cobb) Russell. His parents were both school teachers and his mother was his first-grade teacher in Grannis, AR.
Chet moved to Weed, CA in 1937 and graduated from Weed High School in 1940 at the age of 16. His first steady job was washing dishes at the Log Cabin Hotel in Weed. He began working for Long Bell Lumber Co. in August of 1941.
Chet served in the US Navy from March 1943 until November 1945. He served on a minesweeper, the USS Seer, in Algeria, Tunisia, Italy and southern France. His ship was damaged by a mine on September 10, 1944, and was towed to Sicily. He was then assigned to a destroyer escort, the USS Vammen, and took part in the invasion of Okinawa in 1945.
When he returned from the war, he went to work again for the Long Bell division of International Paper Co. In 1946 he married Delores Mae Alves and they had three daughters: Marcie, Noni, and Sheri. In 1964 Chet was transferred to the Gardiner, OR plant where he was office manager and accountant. In 1976 he was transferred again to the Vaughn, OR plant.
In 1979 Delores died of cancer at the age of 51. They had been married for 33 years.
Chet married Arlene Sheley in 1980 and lived in Florence, OR until his retirement from International Paper in 1982. After living in CA for several years they moved back to OR in 1993 and settled in Albany. Arlene preceded him in death in 2017.
Chet was always active in his church teaching classes, home groups, singing in the choir, in quartets, and singing duets with both of his wives. At the time of his homegoing, he was a member of Hope Church in Albany.
Chet loved hunting, fishing, horseshoes, walking, tennis, gardening, and of course, singing! He would often be reminded of a chorus or song at the mention of a word or phrase and start singing. Most of all he loved being with friends and family and playing with his grandkids.
Chet is survived by his three daughters, Marcie Wettig of ID, Noni Coe of Albany, and Sheri O’Donley (Jack) of ID. He is survived by Arlene’s children, Jon Sheley (Lynn) of CA and Denise Hadley (Gary) of Panama. He is also survived by numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren, and his sister, Helen Flora of Vancouver, WA.
Preceding him in death was his stepson, Daryl; sisters, Laura, Hazel, Louise and Naomi and his two brothers, George and Richard.
Chet will always be remembered for his fun-loving personality, but mostly for his love of the Lord and the great example he was for his family and friends.
AAsum-Dufour Funeral Home handled the arrangements (www.aasum-dufour.com).
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