Henry Clay Russell died on Dec. 10, 2013, at the age of 88. He was a lifelong Ashland resident, born on March 6, 1925, the younger son of Hallie Everett Russell and Hugh L. Russell. He was predeceased by his brother Hugh Everett Russell of Vero Beach, Fla.
Clay attended the University of Kentucky and Marshall University, and was a pilot in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. He and his brother moved to Vero Beach where they bought acreage, developed a grapefruit grove and began a 50-year Russell Brothers partnership that oversaw the Florida grove and rental properties in the tri-state area. In Vero Beach, Clay also met and married Georgia Ann Earman, and they returned to Ashland to raise their family.
Clay was an avid and accomplished golfer, and a regular volunteer spotter on the No. 8 fairway during the annual AJGA Bluegrass Junior Golf Tournament at Bellefonte Country Club. He was a member of the Ashland Rotary Club for 44 years, a member of the Sons of the American Revolution, and served the Order of the First Families of Virginia as treasurer for 40 years. “Daddy Clay” enjoyed driving all manner of wheeled vehicles, tractors, golfcarts, cars and taught each of his grandchildren how to drive them. He also treasured his close friends and their regular Sunday and Thursday night suppers.
Mr. Russell is survived by his wife of 59 years, Georgia Ann Earman Russell; his children, Anne Russell King (Tom), Gordon Russell Jacobs (George) and Henry Clay Russell Jr. (Betty); three grandchildren, Everett King Waldrep (Clark), Preston Watts King and John Talton Jacobs; and two great-grandchildren, Audrey Marie Russell and Thomas King Waldrep.
The family will receive friends from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, at Bellefonte Country Club. They would like to thank “the girls,” Anita Marcum and Joyce Blanton, for their good humor and steadfast help, the caring staff of Trinity Station Retirement Community and Ashland Community Hospice.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that contributions may be made to the Ashland Rotary Club’s PolioPlus Fund, Community Hospice or a favorite charity.