Kenneth Ray Russell passed away peacefully on June 18, 2022, at his home in Rockwood.

Ray, a lifelong resident of Rockwood, was born Dec. 10, 1932, to Thomas L. and Fannie Mae Marshall Russell. Ray was number 8 of 9 siblings and was the last survivor. Ray graduated in 1951 from Rockwood High School and began working at Stucky’s Texaco. There he was quick to learn all that he could regarding inventory management. In 1953, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was placed in the Quartermaster Corps where he would use his inventory and supply knowledge to serve in post-war Germany until his return home in 1955.

Soon after his return to Rockwood, Ray was setup on a date with Ms. Johnnie Lou Hill and in 1957 they were married at Rossville, GA. With his return from overseas and his new bride, Johnnie, Ray took a position at the Roane Electric Furnace as a payroll clerk where he worked diligently until retirement in 1985.

Throughout his professional career Ray was also an active football coach with the Rockwood Rams for over 20 years. Ray was a 50 year member and served several years as President of the Rockwood American Legion Post 50. He also served his community as a member of the Rockwood City School Board.

When Ray was not working and coaching, he was busy gardening with his brothers, fishing on Watts Bar Lake, raising his 2 sons and caring for his family elders. Ray and Jonnie were blessed with two church families, First Baptist Church and Clymersville Baptist Church in Rockwood. After his initial retirement, Ray continued to work at First Baptist Church, Rockwood for several years.

Ray was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas and Fannie Russell; his brothers, W. Morgan, Fred, Clifford (Dude), Bill, James, Raymond Russell; his sisters Cynthia Haun and Marie Henderson.

Ray is survived by his wife of 64 years, Jonnie Lou Hill Russell; his sons, Kenneth Ray Russell Jr. (Mary) of Blacksburg, VA, Jeffrey Allen Russell (Brenda) of Rockwood; his grandchildren, John Morgan Russell (Madison) of Blacksburg, VA, Elizabeth Russell of Roanoke, VA, Jeffrey Ray “J.R.” Russell of Nashville; his great-grandchildren, Adelaide Pauline and Eden Rosalie Russell of Blacksburg, VA; sister-in-laws Nellie and Mildred Russell; and a host of extended family members and friends.

The family will receive friends on Friday, June 24, 2022, from 5-7 p.m. ET at the First Baptist Church in Rockwood. Funeral service will follow at 7 p.m. Graveside and interment service will be held on Saturday, June 25, 2022, at 11 a.m. ET in the Oak Grove Cemetery in Rockwood with military honors presented by the Roane County Military Memorial Honor Guard and the U.S. Army Honor Guard. A complete obituary will be posted once it is finalized.

Evans Mortuary is serving the family of Mr. Kenneth Ray Russell.