Bobby Joe Russell


Bobby, 88, of Sun City, AZ, passed peacefully into the presence of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on September 18, 2019. Bob was born on March 14, 1931 in Lamar, AR. He was the fourteenth of fifteen children of John and Nellie (Dunn) Russell.

Bob graduated from Matthews High School in Matthews, MO and worked at various jobs in Sikeston, MO before joining the Air Force. He was primarily stationed at Bergstrom Air Force Base in Austin, TX, but also spent time in Osawa, Japan. After serving four years in the Air Force, Bob completed a five-year apprenticeship for Newspaper Pressman at the Austin Statesman in Austin, TX.

On December 1, 1963, he married Janet Eacret in El Paso, TX. He worked for newspapers in Austin, Denver, and El Paso before he and Jan moved their family to Phoenix in 1969. He retired from the Arizona Republic after working there for almost 24 years in the pressroom. After his retirement, Bob enjoyed working part-time at Marinette Recreation Center and getting to know the residents of Sun City.

Bob is survived by his wife of 56 years, Janet (Jan) Russell; his children, Don Russell of Glendale, AZ and Debbi (Gary) Meyer of Colorado Springs, CO; as well as his sister, Pauline Compton, of Arthur, IL; and numerous nieces and nephews. Bob is predeceased by his parents, his former wife, Lucy Porter, and thirteen of his siblings.

Bob was a beloved husband, father, brother, brother-in-law, and friend who faithfully loved and provided for his family. Bob’s biggest concern was the welfare of his family. He enjoyed exploring Arizona by driving, hiking, picnicking and camping. His daily routine included a healthy dose of exercise.

Special thanks to everyone at Wings of Hope Hospice, especially Kim, Lori, and Paul, who were regulars at the Russell residence. Their care, concern and support were invaluable. Memorial contributions may be made to Grace Bible Church, Sun City, AZ, Wings of Hope Hospice or your favorite charity.

Services will be held at Sunland Memorial Park, 15826 N. Del Webb Blvd., Sun City on November 26, 2019 at 10:00 A.M. Interment at the National Memorial Cemetery, 32029 N. Cave Creek Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85024. To send condolences to the family please visit