Mr. Russel Joe White died peacefully in Mercy Health St. Joseph Warren Hospital on October 5, 2021, at the age of 91.
Russel is survived by his wife, Joan White, and their three children, Rebecca J. Dye [spouse, Rick], Rhonda J. Clark [spouse, Jeff], and Russel J. White [spouse, Elise].
Russel was born October 14, 1929, in Reedy, West Virginia to Jesse M. and Esta M. White, just two weeks before the start of the Great Depression. He is preceded in death by 9 siblings - James White, Elsie Patterson, Cora Miller, Goldie Bennett, Lucy Milhoan, Margie Milhoan, Roy White, George White, and Mary Bell. He is survived in death by 3 siblings - Charles White (Ripley, WV), Carl White (Ravenswood, WV) and Helen Balser (Silverton, WV). He was the middle child of thirteen.
Russel attended Fairplain elementary and middle school (WV), Spencer High School as a Freshmen (WV), and graduated from Ripley High School (WV) with the honor of valedictorian in 1948.
With only a high school diploma and a passion for education, that fall he was recruited to teach at Sand Hill, a one room school in Jackson County, WV. Soon after he began attending Morris Harvey College on Saturdays in pursuit of a college degree in education, which he completed in 1956. Russel then returned to Ripley High School (his alma mater) where he taught for 4 years. Ripley’s graduating class of 1959 even invited him to join their 60th class reunion in 2019, which he did; he was a favorite among his students. Russel completed his master's degree in education at Marshall College in 1961, and in 1962 relocated to Ohio to teach in the Newton Falls School District. In Newton Falls he worked the next twenty-six years as a teacher, principal, and the last five as superintendent. He helped the school system rebuild the high school after the devastating tornado in 1985; he was a highly respected member of the community. In his summers he enjoyed painting houses with his good friend Mel Shepard. He retired in 1988, and gave up professional painting sometime thereafter.
Russel and his loving wife Joan recently celebrated 58 years of marriage; she misses her partner. Both Russel and Joan were devoted Christians and active members of the First Baptist Church of Newton Falls, where Russel served as a deacon for many years.
Russel was a kind, thoughtful man of exceptional character and great integrity. He was down to earth and easy to talk to, and he was sought out for his wise council by friends and family alike. He provided a calm, rationale voice that people listened to when he spoke. He enjoyed going for coffee in the morning, working on his cars and tractors, harvesting fresh vegetables from his garden, and tending to his yard. He appreciated the help from good friends Rick Dye (son in law) and Brian Guthrie to “get’er done” in his very senior years. He was a good neighbor to everyone. Russel had an immense love for his siblings and their families (who he would visit often), for his kids (Becky, Rhonda & Russ), his grandkids (Amber, Cody, Logan, Cierra, Kaylie, Ryder & Adeline), great grandkids (Cade, Cruz, Coen), and step grandson (Jay Dye, children Gianna, Jaren, Jaxon).
Calling hours are scheduled for Sunday, October 10, from 3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. at the First Baptist Church of Newton Falls (2640 South Canal St, Newton Falls, OH, 44444). A service will follow at 5:00 p.m. A graveside service will be held at the Ravenswood Cemetery (1115 Washington St., Ravenswood, WV, 26164), on Monday, October 11 at 1:00 pm. Reverend Steve Spurlock will officiate the ceremonies. Masks are encouraged.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Russel J. White Educational Opportunity Scholarship (contact: Cody Dye).
Caring and Dignified arrangement have been entrusted to the care of the Staton-Borowski Funeral Home, 962 North Road, NE, Warren, Ohio 44483, 330-394-6200. Dedicated To Serving Your Loved Ones. This obituary may be viewed, and condolences sent to www.statonborowskifuneralhome.com.
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