It is with heavy, yet grateful hearts, that we celebrate the life of Russell Eugene Duvall Jr. as he joins his beloved wife in the glory of the Lord’s rest. Russell passed peacefully on July 24, 2018 as the family that he held so dear watched over and embraced him. As we look back over a life lived with dignity and integrity, we reflect upon a man who accomplished much as a WWII Naval Veteran, Businessman, Sportsman, Pilot, Father, Grandfather, Great-Grandfather and Loving Husband.
Russell was born in Cherokee, Oklahoma, on March 5, 1923, and grew into a towering figure while working on the family’s farm. Manhood came quickly as the attack on Pearl Harbor inspired him, like so many American men, to join the service in defense of the country he held so dear. That service took him throughout the United States as he became an aircraft mechanic in support of the war effort. It was during this time that he met the love of his life, Willie Edna “Fritzie” Duvall, and formed a loving partnership that started in Dec 1944 and lasted for 63 years until her passing in January 2008.
After the war, Russell moved into the automobile industry and became an accomplished and sought after service manager for Buick Motor Division that took him throughout Texas and Oklahoma. In his spare time, he developed into an excellent golfer while also being a passionate fan of football and the sports that his children played. Bridge and traveling kept him in touch with his many friends with whom he remained close throughout his life
At a time when most are looking to slow the pace of life and plan retirement, Russell, in characteristic fashion, broke the mold by starting a small business. Time Rental in Edmond, OK, grew successful and remained so for years as many members of the family worked there and supported their families. In passing the business on to the next generation, Russell filled his time with research into the history of the Duvall family. His work resulted in finding relatives and their historical impact throughout the United States and Europe including participants in the Civil War, the Revolutionary War and service in various armies in Europe throughout history.
This tradition of service, dignity and accountability is the legacy of Russell as it shaped the life of his children: Dorothy Diane Belt, Donna Sue English, Russell Eugene Duvall III, and Deborah Kay Strobel; his “kids” included sons and daughters-in-law, 6 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren and the inestimable lives he touched with his grace. He was a father figure to many as his smile, quiet strength and steadfast dignity was always available to reassure those who needed it. It is the light of his loving smile that those he touched will miss the most.
Men like this are a rare breed and are to be recognized for the important role they play in the development of those they love. Russell and the other members of his generation fought a war to save the world, then they fought the domestic challenges to raise a family and shepherd this country as it refined the freedoms we, as a society, all too often take for granted. His legacy is the embodiment of that tradition as his progeny, following his example, accept the mantle of responsibility to become the persons of quality that he expected. In this way we will proudly carry forth his name as he embraces his friends, family and, most importantly, Fritzie, while joining them in the Lords’ care.
Your work is complete and was done well. Rest now and know that we will hold you in our hearts and continue your tradition until we see your smile again.
A memorial will be held at 12 Noon on Sunday, July 29, 2018, at Grace Community Church of Houston, 1021 Campbell Rd, Houston, TX 77055.
In lieu of flowers and gifts, please donate to The Fisher House for the Intrepid at firstname.lastname@example.org.