Kenneth Melvin Russell, CMSgt USAF (Ret)
Services for Mr. Kenneth Melvin Russell, age 80, of Palmetto, GA, will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, at Palmetto Baptist Church. Chief Russell was born Dec. 7, 1932, in Section, AL, the son of the late Bernard S. Russell and Gertrude Patterson Russell.
He entered the Army Air Corps on Jan. 28, 1948, and then branched to the USAF and served in Vietnam in the Vietnam War in 1969. He was stationed in Warner Robbins, GA; Elmendorf and Cold Bay, AK; NC State University, NC; Pease AFB, Portsmouth, NH; Yokota AFB, Japan; Dover AFB, Dover, DE; Vietnam, Kadena AFB, Okinawa and retired at Dover, AFB, Dover, DE as a chief master sergeant Jan. 28, 1978, having served 30 years. He was one of five chiefs nominated for the Chief of the Air Force during Dover AFB assignment and received recognition for the Field Training Detachment organized at Dover Air Force Base. His aeronautics education, USAF in Aerospace Management, allowed him to pursue what he loved professionally.
Following his military service retirement, he worked for ILC, Frederica in the Space Suit Program. He joined Lockheed Aerospace Industries in 1979 as training manager in Athens, Greece. He returned to ILC until joining the Lockheed Administrative Team for GAMECO in Guangzhou, Peoples Republic of China. He served as training manager, director of maintenance, and director of quality assurance during an eight-year period. During the China assignment, Mr. Russell was awarded the prestigious Lockheed Martin Nova Award in Washington, D.C., in 1996. He later joined Lockheed Martin in Cairo, Egypt, then retired in Southport, NC, and after five years moved to Newnan, GA, then Palmetto Park, Willis Cottages, Palmetto, GA.
He was blessed to serve in a church or with Christian associates wherever he was stationed and lived. He was ordained as a deacon in Screven Memorial Baptist Church in Portsmouth, NH, and served on many committees and boards during the years. He was a member and deacon emeritus of Palmetto Baptist Church. The Christian church family meant a greater Lord fellowship to him. He was a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary for 20 years and used his boat many hours for service, notably patrolling Oak Island, NC, following the 9/11/01 attacks.
Chief Russell is survived by his wife of 56 years, Sarah E. Adams Russell; two daughters, their husbands, one son and wife, eight grandchildren and one great-grandson. They are Angelynn Russell Whitlock and Marcus Whitlock Jr. and Erin R. Whitlock of Newnan; Sarah (Beth) Russell Hall and Joel D. Hall, Lauren M. Hall, Elizabeth A. Hall, Kathryn R. Hall, April L. Hall of Newnan, GA; Kenneth M. Russell Jr. and Wendy M. Strickland Russell, Corbin A. Russell, Morgan L. Russell, and Madison L. Russell of Westerville, Ohio; sister, Nora Maxine Dodd of Ft. Oglethorpe, GA; sisters-in-law, Marguritte Adams Clifton and Melba Adams Chandler; brother-in-law (deceased), Fleetwood Adams.
He leaves nieces, nephews, and friends.
Preceding Chief Russell in death are his parents, Bernard and Gertrude Russell; brothers, Bernard S. Russell Jr., Hugh W. Russell, Billy B. Russell, James R. (Rayford) Russell, Edward J. (Jack) Russell; sisters, Marie Russell, Kathryn (Kitty) Burkhart, and Vera Russell Tanner.
Interment will be at Arlington Cemetery at a later date.