FLORENCE — Porter Lawrence Russ, of Florence, passed away on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021, at his home in Florence, Alabama. Mr. Russ was born on August 15,1929, to George Washington Russ and Mary Ida Russ. He graduated from Collinwood High School then was later drafted by the U.S. Army where he served as a Medic in the Korean War. It was here where he met the love of his life Lt. Virginia Marie Greenlee. They were married for 64 years and had three children, Michael Lawrence Russ, Steven Wesley Russ, Timothy Allen Russ, six grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.
After his service Porter attended the University of Tennessee where he received his Masters in Agriculture, and onto NC State to earn his PhD in Adult Education. He started his career at TVA where he worked for over 30 years until retiring in 1992. After retirement, Porter loved serving at his church, ministering to others, working and replenishing his farm in Tennessee, spending time with his sweetheart, Virginia, and being involved with his grandkids.
Porter had once written that his purpose in life was to seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness. A second purpose he had for this life was to improve the productivity and enhance the lives of farm people in the Tennessee Valley. In the mid 80’s he was presented with the “Superior Service Award,” from a seven state association of farm families. Then upon his retirement in ’92 they created the “Distinguished Service Award,” especially for him. He was the only person to have ever received this particular award. A tertiary purpose in his life has been to own and bring back to life an abused piece of land in Tennessee. And he was able to more than accomplish that at his beautiful, thriving farm located in St. Joe.
After the loss of his son Mike, he and Virginia were inspired by the support they found in the local community. With help, they and some close friends co-founded the “Day by Day” organization that has since ministered to the lives of thousands of parents, helping them cope with the loss of a child.
Porter was a member of Parkway Community Church, and was well known for his love for God, his family, his church, his compassion for others, his kindness, and his constant acts of service.
He is survived by his son, Steve (Tammy), of Killen, Alabama, son Tim (Teresa), of Florence, Alabama; six grandchildren, Kirby (Daniel), Ann Marie (Taylor), Chandler, Christian (Grace), Matthew (Julie), and Katie and five great-grandchildren, Alivia, Dawson, Delilah, Greyson and Isaiah.
Porter was preceded in death by his wife, Virginia; mother, Mary Ida; father, George Washington; son, Mike; great-grandson, Roper; brothers GT and Connie.
The family would like to show special gratitude for the wonderful ladies who have helped care for Porter. Thank you to Patrice, LeeAnn, Tracy, Emma, Mary, Ally, Vera, and Aubrie for the love and care that you have all shown to him and us.
Graveside service will be Monday, February 8th, at 11AM at Greenview Memorial Park, for family only. There will be a celebration of life held at his church at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Parkway Community Church, 663 Cox Creek Parkway, Florence, AL 35630.
Ann Marie Carney Kirby R. Fisher
Florence, AL Florence, AL
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