Wm. John Russell, 87, of Columbia City, Ind. passed away at 8:35 a.m. Monday, February 5, 2018 at Visiting Nurse and Hospice Home. Born on October 27, 1930 near Ironton, Mo., he was the son of Benjamin W. Russell and Lydia L. (Childers) Russell.
He graduated from Ironton High School in 1948. There, he started writing farm stories as an FFA reporter. He never stopped writing until four years after retiring in 1993 from Farm Journal Publishing, Philadelphia, Pa. John graduated from the University of Missouri in 1952 with a BS degree in agriculture. His classwork included writing for The Columbia Missourian, a daily newspaper published by University of Missouri Journalism School. On graduation day, he was hired as field editor for the Weekly Star Farmer, Kansas City, Mo., a Kansas City Star publication that covered four states.
Nine years later, John became associate editor of The National Future Farmer magazine, Alexandria, Va., former official publication of the National FAA. In 1962, he joined Farm Journal, the country's largest farm magazine, as a field-based editor at Fort Wayne, IN. His "beat" was Indiana, Ohio and Michigan, writing about everything from corn and hogs to sugar beets.
He loved his work, especially visiting farms. He became Farm Journal's hog editor in 1973, still officing in Fort Wayne. Later, he moved his office to Columbia City, where he helped his company launch Hogs Today magazine and became its first editor.
He was married again on October 24, 1976 to Cynthia "Cindy" (Wilson) Teghtmeyer, a native of nearby Pierceton. He was a member of Columbia City Rotary, American Agricultural Editors Assoc. and Indiana Farm Management Association. He sang in the choir at Columbia City United Methodist Church for more than 45 years. Professional honors included a Distinguished Service Award from the National Pork Producers Council in 1996. In 2014, he and his wife were honored as Big Couple of the year for Northeast Indiana by the Big Brothers, Big Sisters organization.
Survivors include his wife of 41 years, Cindy Russell; son, Thad J. Russell, of Valparaiso; step-daughters, Nickey Lynn (Corey Burley) Teghtmeyer of Charleston, S.C. and Alicia Beth (Doug) Johnson, of Columbia City; brother, Walter (Karen) Russell, of Hollister, Mo.; sister, Mary Knapp of Branson, Mo.; grandsons, Austin Lee Burnsworth, Andrew James Burnsworth and Kane Maxwell Johnson, all of Columbia City. He was preceded in death by his parents; step-daughter, Lorelei Pfeiffer; brother, Robert Russell; and sister, Gladys Wilkinson.
Visitation is 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. Friday, February 9, 2018 at DeMoney-Grimes, a Life Story Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City. Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home with Pastor Fred Stayton officiating. Memorial donations may be made in his memory to Columbia City United Methodist Church. Burial will follow at Hillcrest Cemetery. Visit www.demoneygrimes.com to send family condolences online.
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We will always remember John for his kindness and smile. He was a very loveable and respectable man. John was always on the spot with camera around his neck at all family gatherings capturing the moments that we now have as memories. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
With heartfelt sympathy and prayer, we lift your family up at this time. I can't help but smile as I read through the wonderful legacy John left both his family as well as the communities he lived in throughout his life. Blessings to you all-
Amy and Jerry Pettigrew and Family
Cindy, my family and I love you beyond measure and we are so sorry for the loss of someone so special to this world.
Thank you for inviting us in to know and love you and John.
Cynthia and Family, I send my sympathy to each of you during this difficult time. Cynthia, my heart will be with you each step of this journey. Cousin, Rachael
Prayers and hugs for all of you at this difficult time. May the memories you all have of John help get you through today and all the days to come. Love to all, Marsha Coon
Dear Cindy, Skip and I send our sincere sympathy. We are out of town and cannot be there. John was a good man. Love, Nancy Davis-Souers
My sympathy to the family. Judi Dunn
My condolences on your loss. Prayers for your comfort & strength.
You are in our thoughts and prayers. Hold fast to God and the many good memories of John.
Thinking of you... with love, Heather Reid
Dear Cynthia, Alicia and Nicky,
Please know that I care. 'm so sad because I cannot give you BIG Hugs.
May rhe love of friends give you comfort and the love of God and The Holy touch each of you gently.
Lovingly sent, Frances Brown
Love and sorrow for u all. John was blessed by a wonderful and caring family. So sorry for your loss
Keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers.
With love, Emily and Ben Romine
Cynthia - you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers! Please let us know what we can do to support you!! Our love, Mark and Tam Parker
May each of you find courage to face tomorrow as you rest in the knowledge that we truly care about each of your needs and that we will walk beside you in your journey of grief.
Randy Grimes, Brett Gerber and the Staff of DeMoney-Grimes Funeral Home
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