Thomas Franklin Russell

Mar 16 1945
Mar 4 2020
74 Years
Coatesville, Pennsylvania

Thomas Franklin Russell, 74, unexpectedly left family and friends for greener pastures on March 4, 2020.  Born in Unionville, Pa, Tom was the youngest child of the late Thomas F. and Edith Best Russell, and was preceded in death by his siblings Elmer, Margaret, Lydia, and Mary.  

After the death of his father at the age of 9, Tom spent his youth farming the picturesque Kings Ranch (Pa) contributing his fair share to his remaining family all the while learning the value of a strong work ethic and the importance of perseverance.   Two very important traits that served Tom well throughout his remaining life.  

Tom left the tranquility of his youthful surroundings at the age of 17 to chase his beloved, Nancy Rice Russell.  Deeply in love and against the wishes of both families, Tom and his sweetheart eloped.  The two of them spent the next 9 months below the Mason Dixon Line sowing the seeds of love before returning and settling in Coatesville, Pa as husband and wife.  Those seeds of love bore the fruit of 56 years of marriage of which only one night was spent not by the side of his cherished wife, Nancy.

Tom’s love for Nancy, is rivaled only by the love he had for his family.  Tom is survived by his wife, Nancy, and his children:  Denise Souders and husband, Ed, from East Fallowfield, Sherry Snyder and husband, Ed, from Parkesburg, Tom Russell and wife, Sherry, from Varnville, SC, and Jason Russell and wife, Amy, from Valley Township.  He was preceded in death by both his daughter, Wendy (Baby) Edwards and her husband, Dean.  In addition to his children are his grandchildren: Amanda (Odie), Jacob (Jakey),  Nicholas (Scooter), Edward (Bubba), Tiffany (Tiff), Taylor (Sissy), Casey, Caleb, Morgan, and his great grandchildren: Pheobe, Nicholas, Cheyenne, Elliot, Skye, Cole, and Willow.  Tom’s children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren were blessed to have a man to look up to, to follow, to admire, to learn from and to respect, to listen to and to talk to, to rebel against, and, someone, most of all, with whom to emulate. For Tom loved his family unconditionally!
Shortly after returning to the area to start a family, Tom began his lifetime career of 38 years working as a mechanic in the maintenance division of Lukens Steel.  Apart from his career, Tom enjoyed the simple pleasures of life.  Always yearning to be outside, Tom reveled in the bounties nature provided.  On any given day Tom could be found preparing a meal on a grill with a beer in one hand, a tool of the BBQ trade in the other, with his radio playing the songs of Pink Floyd, Ronnie Milsap, and Gloria Estefan to the bewilderment of those waiting for the privilege of enjoying his pit master skills.  He also treasured the seat of his waxed and polished John Deere proud of a well manicured lawn, the pleasure and comfort of sitting around a campfire sharing his stories with those fortunate to listen, keeping his vehicles immaculate inside and out, sitting under an oak waiting for a deer, casting a line with the hope of landing a lunker, rescuing those stuck in the mud holes of the Hollows, initiating his sons, son in laws, and grandson in the delight found in an Old Dog pounder, and helping anyone who needed the expertise of reincarnated lumberjack.  Tom’s simple approach to finding joy in life will be remembered by all who had the pleasure of knowing him.

Sadly, the patriarch of the Russell family is no longer physically present.  Our grief will ebb and flow much like the tides as we remember his full life and lasting legacy. As much as we would love to have him here with us today, we know that on the afternoon of March 4, 2020 Tom left us in the exact way he would have wanted it.  No doting, no pain, doing what he wanted how he wanted.  Thomas Franklin Russell will be missed, never forgotten, always loved, and forever present in spirit.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Wilde Funeral Home of Parkesburg, Pa.  Online condolences can be posted at


My name is Bonnie Whitehead maiden name Winward. My memories of Tom when I was kid he made the best chicken on the grill. He was a hard worker. He enjoyed working in their yard. He enjoyed watching football. He would call me BonBon. Tom & Nancy raised five strong, independent children. I have one memory that stands out most of all about Tom. Back in the early 80's when my father Chubb Rice had a major heart attack at our home my mom immediately called Tom & Nancy. Back then there wasn't any 911. Tom & Nancy lived not far from us. Chubb Rice was Nancy's father & Tom's father-in-law. I was 16 years old at this time. I remember when Tom & Nancy arrived they performed CPR on my dad until paramedics got there. I remember seeing Tom crying and trying his best to save his father-in-law. I had never seen Tom cry until that moment. I will forever be greatful to Tom & Nancy for what they tried to do that night. Unfortunately my father had passed away before he got to the hospital. I know that no matter how much of a tough guy Tom was he had a compassionate side to him also. Rest in peace Tommy Russell.

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I will always remember Tom as a wonderful neighbor and a good family man. He watched out for my daughter who he called Buffy and to her that was very important, especially when she would get a piece of barbecue chicken that he'd sneak over to our house for her. My other children Zoe and Clayton know awesome Tom was
and we only have good memories of him. It was a privilege living across the street from him.
Rest in peace Tom.

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Sorry to hear about the passing of Tom  he was such a great man 

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Nancy and family, I am so sorry to hear of Tommy's passing. Just remember that you have all the great memories. He is watching over you . Thoughts and Prayers for all.

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