PONTIAC — George G. Russell, 86, of Pontiac, passed away at 10:03 p.m. Thursday (July 11, 2019) at OSF HealthCare Saint James-John W. Albrecht Medical Center, Pontiac.
A memorial service will be at 1 p.m. July 21 at First United Methodist Church in Pontiac with the Rev. Tom Goodell officiating. Inurnment will be at a later date at South Side Cemetery, Pontiac. Calvert & Martin Funeral Home, Pontiac, is handling the arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, memorials should be made to First United Methodist Church, Pontiac; Evenglow Lodge, Pontiac; Livingston County Food Pantry; or NOMADS, P.O. Box 3508, Shawnee, KS 66203.
George was born Aug. 19, 1932, in Mardela Springs, Md., the son of Elisabeth Russell English. He married Rubye Katherine Simpson on June 6, 1953, in Springfield, Ky. She passed away on July 14, 2017.
He is survived by three children, Donna (James) Diehl, Normal; Wesley (Connie) Russell, Shorewood; Daniel (Joni) Russell, Pontiac; five grandchildren, Ashleigh, Aurora; Danielle, Pontiac; Dakota, Pontiac; Samantha Zeigenhorn, Normal; Jeremy Zeigenhorn, Ancona, Italy; four great-grandchildren, Zoe and Ava Zeigenhorn, JR and Tori Zeigenhorn.
George graduated from Asbury College, Wilmore, Ky., in 1954, and from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, in 1962. He pastored churches in the Kentucky Annual Conference until moving to Illinois in 1959. He served as pastor in Central Illinois Annual Conference in Buffalo, Fairbury, Taylorville, Springfield and Pontiac, retiring in 1996 after serving for 44½ years. He served as district superintendent of the Pontiac District 1980-1985. During this time, he served on most of the major committees of the conference. He led mission teams to Cherokee, N.C.; DuLac, La.; McCurdy School-Espanola, N.M.; Monterey, Mexico; Tampico, Mexico; Fontera, Mexico; and Alaska.
Following retirement, he and Rubye served with NOMADS (a mission outreach ministry of the United Methodist Church) working on churches, homes and daycare centers. In 2014, Rubye and George received the Pontiac Citizen of the Year Award and in 2016, the Pontiac Volunteer of the Year Award.