Godly lives ended on Thursday, February 24 where husband and wife, Harrison and Barbara Russell were escorted by the angels to be with the LORD.
Harrison James Russell was born April 21, 1961, in McCrory, Arkansas to the late Hartzell Watson and Lula Ethel Russell.
Affectionately known as “Jamie,” after high school graduation, he moved to California and accepted a position at Garrett AiResearch as an Aircraft Turbine Engine Mechanic. While in Indiana he was selected to participate in a training course that took place in Germany. After he acquired specialized skills, and upon his return to Indiana, he trained additional staff on how to operate complex machinery and equipment. While in Arkansas, he worked several jobs including Land O'Frost where he was employed for several years.
Jamie was highly gifted and skilled in carpentry work. As a master craftsman, he could repair, remember build, restore, and reconstruct anything. His gifted hands and strong work ethic made room for him and brought him before great men. He was highly sought after for his craftsmanship from family, friends, and local businesses. Jamie was an excellent grill master who loved everything about outdoor cooking, grilling, and barbecue. He had an infectious laugh, a warm smile, and a witty sense of humor.
Jamie’s capacity to make time for family was limitless. He had an uncanny ability to make family—immediate and extended, young and old—feel very special. With open hands and heart, he graciously and generously gave to others, frequently opened up his home to others, and often drove and flew across state lines to visit his beloved family. The greatest gifts that he gave to family and friends are timeless pieces of advice and wisdom, long conversations, precious memories, and unconditional love. He was an extremely proud husband to Barbara and a devoted father to Aric and Jalen Russell.
Through God’s amazing grace, support from family and friends, and an active support group, one of Jamie’s greatest accomplishments was his sobriety and active recovery. He was a beloved man of God who served the LORD with gladness and was grateful for his Heavenly Father's richest blessings upon his life. With great joy, he used his time, talents, and possessions to help build the Kingdom of God.
Jamie married the love of his life, Barbara O’Neal on September 2, 1995. They were blessed to be together for over 26 years. From this union, Jamie and Barbara were blessed with two bundles of love and joy—Aric and Jalen Russell.
Barbara Ann O’Neal-Russell was born July 12, 1965, in Augusta, Arkansas to the late Thomas Burad O’Neal, Sr. and Elsie Lee Dinwiddie-O’Neal.
Affectionately known as “Barb,” she earned her undergraduate degree in Accounting from Purdue University North Central Campus. She had over 20 years of experience working with La Porte Hospital as the Director of Physician Billing, Coding, and Finance and Director of Business Operations and Finance. Barb earned a graduate degree in Business Administration in May 2021 from Bethel University. Following graduation, she accepted a position with Franciscan Alliance, Inc in the area of Corporate Finance.
Barb’s talents and love for numbers were more than a hobby and career. She used her talents for the glory of God, to advance the kingdom of God, help others, and improve the world around her. As a member of Community Christian Center Church, she served as the church’s financial officer and member of the choir and praise team. Often during Sunday services, she sang solos of traditional and contemporary gospel songs that aided the people of God in worship and prayer.
Barb was a strong role model for her family and a gracious host who welcomed family and friends into her home for conversation and fellowship. She’s known as the glue that kept the family closely knitted together. Spending time with family is one of the greatest gifts Barb gave to others. She encouraged family to spend time with each other and attend events and services together to support and strengthen family bonds. She was a devoted wife and proud mother to her two sons - Aric and Jalen.
Both Jamie and Barb were committed to God, their marriage, raising their sons, and providing guidance and unconditional love to a host of nieces and nephews. For the past five years, they cared extensively for their great-great nephew, Avery Wilson.
They were preceded in death by parents: Thomas Burad O’Neal, Sr., Elsie Lee Dinwiddie-O’Neal, Hartzell Watson, and Lula Ethel Russell, sisters: Janice O’Neal-Boyd, Ella (Edward) O’Neal-Fobbs, and niece: Dr. Tamara E. O’Neal.
Left to cherish their memories are their children, Aric and Jalen Russell.
Siblings of Jamie: sisters, Marsha (Richard) White, Gwendolyn (Jerry) Brandon, Pearl Robinson, and Wazell Watson; brothers, Donald (Daesha) Hatchett, Limmie (Michelle) Watson, Motten (Charlette) Watson, Timothy Watson, and Aaron Watson; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, and other relatives.
Siblings of Barb: Granvile (Pameliah) O’Neal, Thomas (Glendell) O’Neal, Jr., Terry (Nichele) O’Neal, Phillip O’Neal, Kal O’Neal, Linda (Alfred) Hall, Vickie O’Neal, and Patricia (Alvin) Rallings, and a host of nieces and nephews, great-nieces- and nephews, and great-great nieces- and nephews.
Both Jamie and Barb will be forever remembered, always loved, and will eternally hold a special place in the hearts of their family and friends.
A wake for Jamie and Barb will be held on Friday, March 11, 2022 from 5:00 – 8:00 pm CST at Haverstock Funeral Home, 602 Maple Ave., La Porte, IN.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, March 12, 2022. The viewing will begin at 11:00 am and service at 12:00 pm CST at First Church of God, 2020 E. Lincolnway, La Porte, IN.