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Horseman Gerald Russell dies

January 02, 2017

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Longtime horseman Gerald Oneal Russell died Thursday, Dec. 29, 2016, after a long battle with COPD. He was 74.
Mr. Russell was born on March 12, 1042, to the late Norval and Mary Evelyn Russell Morris in Metropolis, Ill.

He was a veteran of the Vietnam War and spent most of his adult life with the harness horses that he loved. He was well known around most of the tracks in Kentucky, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New York, Florida and Canada.

In his early years, before the army, he worked for his stepfather, George (Red) Morris, and then went on to work for Dee Stover and Day Manges, where he drove his first race in 1962. He also worked for Bob Burns and James Shafer.

After serving in Vietnam he struck out on his own, and kept a public stable until his death. He often said if he couldn't be around the horses it was time to die. He loved to talk, loved American history, enjoyed the racetrack life, and being with his family. He always had a story to tell. Everybody around the racetrack knew Gerald. He would often help others in need, and never met a stranger.

He is survived by his wife, Linda Russell of Mason, Ohio; twin daughters, Julie Gray and Kathie (Chris) Farmer, of Paducah, Ky; four grandchildren, Brandon and Emily Gray, and Zachary and Abbie Farmer, all of Paducah; a brother, Wade (Janie) Morris of Monticello, Geo.; and a nephew, Nick (Leanne) Morris of Ray City, Geo.

Graveside services will be on Wednesday, Jan. 7, at 11 a.m. at the Temple Hill Baptist Church on Temple Hill Rd in Golconda, Ill. In lieu of flowers please send donations in memory of Gerald Russell to: Southland Ranch, P.O. Box 73, Lovelaceville, Ky. 42060

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