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Hollis Russell (5-10-15) service 5-13-15

Hollis Wellington Russell, Col., USAF, Ret, died Sunday, May 10, at Briarcliff Health Center. 
Funeral services were 2 p.m., Wednesday, May 13, at Kavanaugh United Methodist Church under the direction of Coker-Mathews Funeral Home. Rev. Stephen Cotten officiated.  Interment with full military honors followed at Memoryland Memorial Park. 
Hollis grew up during the depression in rural south central Tennessee. He hunted, fished and rafted along the Tennessee River that ran through his family farm.  Participation in sports was always a big part of Hollis’ life; as an 11-year-old, he built a tennis court in “downtown” Saltillo.  As a teen, he played high school and exhibition basketball.  Tennis, golf, bowling and “power walking” were a part of his daily routine as an adult.
He attended Tennessee Technical College, Austin Peay University and Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.  He graduated April, 1942, cadet pilot training school at Moody Field, Georgia.  He was a B-17 and B-29 flight instructor during World War II.  His 27-year military career took him around the world, assigned to stations in California, Colorado, Florida, Germany, Tennessee, Texas and a clandestine assignment in Laos.  In 1963, Col. Russell moved to Green to become the second commander of the Air Force Material Logistics Command Detachment 2 645th, at Majors Field.
His military metals included “The Legion of Merit” decoration for exceptional and meritorious service for implementing the USAF Special Mission Systems Big Safari LISA ANN program.
Born in Hardin County on Aug. 29, 1919, he was the son of Jess Russell and Mildred Couples Russell. He married Elizabeth Sanders on May 10, 1944 in Hendricks Field, Sebring, Florida. 
He was a member of Kavanaugh United Methodist Church for 50 plus years, Greenville Elks Lodge for 45 years and Oak Creek Country Club for 50 years.  Col. Russell was a pilot in the U.S. Air Force for 27 years; a civilian employee of LTV in Greenville and Grand Prairie; past owner of Russell Oil Company and Russell Real Estate.
Survivors include his daughters, MaryAnne Hinton of Dallas, Jane Jackson and Gail Beasley of Greenville; grandchildren, Sarah Hammett of Jackson, Mississippi, Ellen Myers of Plano, Russell Beasley and Matthew Chapman of Greenville and Michael Chapman of Mid Cities; five great-grandchildren; and the Briarcliff family.  He was preceded in death by his parents; wife; siblings, Ida, Mary Grace, Sam Houston and Wallace.
Pallbearers were Jason Barborak, Matthew Chapman, Preston Chapman, Daniel Latimer, Clint Myers, Chad Arnold and Matthew Nyera.  Honorary pallbearers were J.C. Chapman, Perry Goen, Bob Gunnels, Vernon Holzwarth, Royce Litchfield, Darrell Holloway and Mike Speight.
The family requests memorials be made to Kavanaugh United Methodist Church, 2516 Park Street, Greenville, Texas 75401 in Colonel Russell’s memory.

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