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Henry Emmett Russell

Henry “Hank” Emmett Russell passed away on Wednesday, December 27th, 2023, with all his family by his side at the Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Hank was born on May 12th, 1953, in Maryville, Missouri to Anita Osburn Russell and HK Russell and was welcomed home by older sisters Evelyn, Kay, and Opal, who were very fond of him from the beginning. Hank grew up on a farm in rural Bedford, where he and his dad were known to raise and sell registered Angus bulls and heifers. He graduated from Bedford Community School in 1971 where he met the love of his life, Marcia Louise Anderson. On May 7th, 1971, they were united in marriage. As his 4 daughters were growing up, he supported each of them in their own endeavors, whether that be showing cattle or sports. While in Bedford, he was a strong member of the First Baptist Church, Taylor County Sheriff’s Reserves, Bedford Country Club, and Taylor County Cattlemen.
In 1984, he started his banking career at the Bedford National Bank, as a loan officer. Henry took a job at Union National Bank in 1990. Shortly after, their family moved to Massena. Hank was a volunteer at the Massena Fire Department and was active in community betterment. He also enjoyed woodworking with friends Dean Downer and Bill Amdor. Henry was an active member of the Grid Iron Club and enjoyed taking football stats.
In 2003, Hank and Marcia moved to a farm south of Diagonal to become closer to their children and grandchildren. To make this possible, Hank made over an hour drive to work everyday so that he and Marcia could spend quality time with their family. On their farm in Diagonal, they raised purebred Angus cattle, a huge garden, and row crops. He was also notorious for (and very much enjoyed) owning and buying older equipment to “fix” and use.
His fondest memories revolved around his grandchildren playing sports, showing livestock, attending and pulling in tractor pulls, or hunting racoons, coyotes, waterfowl, or deer with them. Hank was never late to anything, many times arriving before the bus full of athletes (because he had no choice if he wanted to ride with Mamaw). He never missed an event that any of his grandkids participated in. Hank’s favorite title was Papa or Grandpa Hank and that is what many knew him by.
Hank’s education came from life experiences and learning from mentors. This made for a very successful career within the banking industry. In 2019, he retired from banking full time and was able to enjoy going to Texas during the winter months with Marcia and a few of their friends. Something he looked forward to every morning was having coffee with his crew at Jerry’s in Diagonal. He also enjoyed being a member of the Mount Ayr Country Club, Clearfield Lion’s Club, and the United Church of Diagonal. During retirement, he still continued to work and stay active as a compliance officer, FNB Bank and State Savings Bank board member, and a member of the Iowa Bankers Association.
He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 51 years, Marcia; his parents; brother Richard “Karl” Russell; sister Opal Russell; in-laws Leon “Swede” and Wilma Anderson; brother-in-laws John Anderson, Tom Fisher, and Dr. Jim Lucas; nephew Daniel Lucas; niece Sheryl Frey Dahm, along with many close friends.
Left to cherish his memory are daughters: Tricia (Colby) Holmes, Jennifer Russell, Deborah Russell, and Robyn (Brian) Bickel; grandchildren: Katelyn Holmes, Russell (Sara) Holmes, Cauy Bickel (Alissa Weinkoetz), and Brady Bickel (Jenna Tlach); sisters Evelyn Fisher and Kay Lucas; sister-in-law Nancy (Steve) Davison, and several nieces, nephews, and close friends.
Memorials are in his name to be decided. Armstrong Funeral Home in Mount Ayr is in charge of the arrangements.

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