Rowland Russell

Rowland Russell, 97, of Millville, died Friday, Jan. 15, 2016, at Shirkey Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Richmond.

Rowland was born Sept. 30, 1918, on the family farm near Millville.  Rowland was united in marriage to Sarah Frances Windsor, of Knoxville, Nov. 24, 1938. To this union four children were born.

Survivors include: two sons, Robert Russell, of Liberty, and Ronnie Russell and his wife, Robin, of Richmond; two daughters, Carolyn Sue Coats, of Millville, and Rosalyn Ditty and her husband, Jim, of Lee’s Summit; 10 grandchildren, Dr. Sherry Olsen (Roger), Adele Zilliox, Shawn Coats (Nichole), Travis Coats (Erica), Noel Johnson, Lauren Jones (Seth), Leslie Russell, Lydia Russell, Katie Spiers and Kristie Spiers; and 13 great-grandchildren, Codi Beth Butler (Matt), Ty Coats (Kaylea), Ashley Still, Caitlin Ann Koontz (Dusty), Abigal Zilliox, Hadley Coats, Wren Coats, Elijah Coats, Isaac Coats, Wesley Coats, Ericka Johnson, Anna Rose Schultz and Carter Jones.

In addition to his parents and wife, Sarah, who passed on May 7, 2011, he was preceded in death by three brothers, Wray G. Russell, Alney R. Russell and Tom B. Russell.

Rowland was raised and educated in the area of his birth and graduated from Millville High School in 1936.  Rowland was a farmer and also owned and operated a fertilizer business with his wife since 1951.  He farmed his entire life in the area of his birth, and was known for his innovation and early adoption of new farming technology.  Always on the cutting edge, from beginning farming with his mules Tom and Pete, to the modern tractors and combines of today.  He received many awards for his forethought and innovation in farming over the years.  His memberships include being lifelong member of Millville United Methodist Church, Ray County Health Board for many years, the Farm Bureau and Millville School Board.

The family suggest memorial contributions be made to Millville United Methodist Church.

Visitation is 7 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 21, at Thurman Funeral Home, Richmond. Funeral services are 10:30 a.m., Friday, Jan. 22, at Millville United Methodist Church. Interment is in New Hope Cemetery, north of Hardin.  Thurman Funeral Home in Richmond is in charge of  arrangements. Online condolences may be left to the family at

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