Russell buried here with military honors

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FORT DAVIS - For 36 years, Ralph Russell taught hundreds of young people in Fort Davis - and for many of those he was always on the list of "my favorite teachers." Many of his former students attended his funeral here Oct. 1, graveside services at Hillcrest Cemetery in Fort Davis under direction of Alpine Funeral Home. Russell was born Jan. 7, 1924, in Bidville, Ark., and completed high school in Monument, NM, in 1942, in the middle of a world war. He enlisted in the U.S. Army that same year and was sent to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio to serve in the 78th Infantry Division. He saw service in England, France, Belgium, Holland and in Germany, including going into Berlin. He received both the Bronze Star Medal and the Combat Infantryman's Badge. In the first month of 1946 he came home and was discharged at Camp Fannin in Tyler. That same year he enrolled at Texas Tech University and three years later received his bachelor of business administration with a major in commercial teaching. And teach he did - for almost four decades he served and guided the young people of Fort Davis as elementary principal for 14 years, junior high coach for five years and among his many duties was the yearbook sponsor for five years. On May 20, 1950, he married Margaret Jarratt - the same year he began his teaching career here. In 1952, he received his Masters in education from Sul Ross State University. Even after his retirement in 1986, he continued to be a substitute teacher for another 14 years. He also worked summers for 10 years at Fort Davis National Historic Site. He was preceded in death by his wife of over 50 years. Survivors include a daughter and son-in-law, Myra and Johnny Harvey, Fort Davis natives who live in New Braunfels; two granddaughters, Kristina Herrera and Lindsey Buchanan; and three great granddaughters. Memorials may be given to the American Cancer Society and the First Baptist Church of Fort Davis, where he was a member for many years before moving to New Braunfels this year.
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