Rev. Roger Earl Russell, 87, of Newton died Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014, at Skiff Medical Center in Newton. A celebration of Roger’s life will be at 11 a.m. today at Wittemberg Church in rural Newton. Burial will be held at South Fork Cemetery in South Fork, Pa., at a later date. Memorials in Roger’s name to be designated by the family at a later date may be left at the celebration of life or at the Wallace Family Funeral Home and Crematory.
Roger, the son of James and Christina E. (Wilson) Russell, was born on Jan. 1, 1927, in South Fork, Pa. He received his degree from Drew Theological Seminary in Madison, N.J. and later received an honorary doctorate in theology from Morningside College in Sioux City. Roger was united in marriage with Stealla (Neill) Cook on Sept. 16, 1987, in Mobridge, S.D. He was a United Methodist pastor for 64 years and served in churches in Mason City, Sioux City, Cedar Falls and Davenport; and as district superintendent in both Spencer and Des Moines. He also was the foundation director at Southwestern College in Kansas and Scarritt College in Nashville, Tenn. Later he served in churches in Des Moines and Creston before moving to North Dakota and serving a church in Bismark, where he retired from. After retirement he served a church in Hillsboro, N.D., and then moved to Newton, serving at the Wittemberg Church in rural Newton.
Those left to honor Roger’s memory are his wife, Stella Russell of Newton; daughters, Cheri Russell of Seattle, Wash., Jamie (LeRoy) Augustine of Seattle, Kathie Olsen of Seattle, and Cindy (Don) Caughron of Carrollton, Texas; his son, Timothy (Andrea) Russell of Seattle; step-children, Ronald J. (Jennifer) Cook of Newton, Lori (Todd) DeVries of Newton, and Paul (Leann) Cook of Grand Forks, N.D.; his 14 grandchildren; one great-grandson; two brothers, James (Rebecca) Russell of Polk City and Fred (Carlie) Russell of Sidman, Pa.; and a sister-in-law, Shirley Russell of Pittsburgh, Pa. He was preceded in death by his parents, and a brother, John Russell.