Manchester, Tennessee - Carl Ray Russell, Sr., age 87, passed away peacefully on May 18, 2021, after an extended illness. He was born on January 12, 1934, in Newport, Arkansas, as the oldest son of the late Glen and Gwendolyn Russell. He was the first in his family to graduate from high school and college. He grew up in Marked Tree, Arkansas, and by age 15, was one of the brightest and most promising athletes ever to attend Marked Tree Schools. On September 22, 1949, during a high school football game, he suffered a broken leg during a football game which never fully healed. His resilience and toughness became his defining characteristics from that day for the remainder of his life. He endured many surgeries over the next many years. Carl met Carol Stubblefield, who became his wife of 65 years, while attending Harding College. She offered to carry his lunch tray in the cafeteria because he was on crutches, and the rest is history. Carl lived a life of commitment to his Lord, his family, his church family, his community, and the students he served. He preached the Word of God for over 65 years. He was honorable and dignified, curious and intelligent, a lover of books and words, loyal and steadfast, dependable and resilient. He loved classical music and passed his talent and love of music on to his children. Carl hunted and fished and enjoyed his woodworking shop. He was a voracious reader and exchanged books, words, and ideas with almost anyone who would listen. Carl graduated from Harding College in 1957, and later earned M.Ed. and Ed.S. degrees from M.T.S.U. He taught and coached at East Jr. High in Tullahoma and Coffee County Jr. High. In 1966, he began teaching at Coffee County High School and ultimately became the Vocational Director and Assistant Principal. He was named Outstanding Tennessee Vocational Administrator in 1991. Carl retired in 1998 after 41 years of service to the school systems. Life after retirement was filled with community service and church ministry. Among other pursuits, he served as a Coffee County Commissioner, board chairman of the Coffee County Christian Housing, board member of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, and many other boards associated with Manchester City Government. During his long career in the pulpit, Carl served the Berry, AL, Church of Christ, Hillsboro Church of Christ, Hickerson Station Church of Christ, and Trousdale Church of Christ. He held many gospel meetings in Tennessee and Alabama. His preaching was clear and very well received. He was a good man and a fine preacher. In addition to his wife, Carol, he is survived by his three children, Ray Russell (Rhonda), Jeanne Newton (Mike), and Julie Edwards (Tim), seven grandchildren, Leah Berry (Denny), Laura Kennedy (Jeff), Ashley Newton Lacy (Ahren), Andrew Newton, Jessica Duke, Justin Duke (Kristen), and Roman Edwards, and five great-grandchildren, Amelia Berry, Russell Berry, Sloane Kennedy, Josephine Kennedy and Blair Lacy, one brother, Gerald Russell, and nephew, Chris Russell. A celebration of Carl’s life will be held at Central Funeral Home in Manchester on Saturday, May 22. Visitation will begin at 9:00 a.m. and will continue until the service begins at 11:00 a.m. Interment will be at Rose Hill Memorial Gardens. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Churches of Christ Disaster Relief Effort, Inc. at P.O. Box 111180, Nashville, TN 37222, or at disasterrelieffort.org.