William Anderson Russell III

william  russell

June 5, 1954 ~ December 2, 2023

Born in: Atlanta, Georgia
Resided in: Marietta, Georgia

William A. (Bill) Russell III, 69, passed away December 2, 2023, after a short, sudden illness. Bill was preceded in death by his parents, William “Bill” and Gene Russell. He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Joni, his son Andy, his sister Shell Spatch (Al), and niece Shanna Walker (Nick). He is also survived by sisters-in-law Janet Celko (Dick Turnipseed), Dianne Greene (Bob Brown), and Cindy Greene, brother-in-law Jim Greene (Elizabeth), nephews Matt Celko and James Greene, niece Katie Greene, and great nephew Cameron Walker.

Bill was born in Atlanta on June 5, 1954, and lived most of his life in the north Atlanta area. He attended Chamblee High School where he competed as a varsity gymnast, especially on pommel horse, and graduated in 1972. He attended UGA where he continued as a gymnast. While in Athens, he found a love for working with his hands and later became a master electrician and general contractor. His craftsmanship is on display in many Atlanta homes.

He was a devoted volunteer for the Boy Scouts of America for many years, serving as Scoutmaster for Troop 797 in East Cobb and Commissioner of the Foothills District. Bill punched his Wood Badge ticket as part of course 92-55 and staffed NYLT several times, once helping a council in Louisiana get its program started. For his work with the Scouts, Bill earned the Silver Beaver and Distinguished Commissioner Awards. He was always proud of the effect he had on the Scouting program.

For much of his life, he had strong ties to Lake Burton in North Georgia, serving two terms on the Board of Directors for the Lake Burton Civic Association and chairing the Water Quality Task Force for almost a decade. He worked with Georgia Power to save Fireworks Point on Billy Goat Island by adding riprap and was awarded the lake’s Community Spirit Award in 2015. His hobby of working on muscle cars–everything from his beloved 1971 442 W-30 to his newer 2012 supercharged Camaro SS–held a special place in his heart.

From his dirt-bike riding, 4×4 mudding youth to his cat-in-lap retirement, he lived an incredibly full life. He was a rock to his family and many others and will be dearly missed. A celebration of life will be held at the First United Methodist Church of Marietta (56 Whitlock Ave NW, Marietta, GA) at 1pm on Tuesday, December 12, 2023 and all are welcome. A reception with the family will follow.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Boy Scouts of America in Bill’s honor at https://www.atlantabsa.org/FOS.

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  1. Kathi Brumley says:

    One of the finest men I believe I have ever met. I was a single mom of 3 kids when I moved to Marietta (one being a son). I had no family there and no male influence in my son’s life. I met Bill when my son was in first grade and was encouraged to sign him up for scouts. He took my son under his wing and help mold and train him. He went on to become an Eagle Scout and hiked the Appalachian Trail. I am very thankful for his influence in my son’s life. He will be dearly dearly missed.

  2. Jeff Chandler says:

    Joni and Andy you are in our thoughts and prayers. Bill was a kind, smart and generous man that will be missed by many. May God comfort you during this difficult time.
    God bless
    Jeff and Pedro

  3. Wanda Stitt-Gohdes says:

    Joni and Andy, we are so sorry for your loss. What a remarkable life Bill led, much to be celebrated.

  4. Dawn Daniel Thompson says:

    Joni and Andy, thinking of you both at this very sad time. May your wonderful memories keep Bill’s spirit alive. Love to both of you, Dawn Daniel Thompson & Tim Thompson

  5. Cheryl D. Deas, GACTE Treasurer says:

    So sorry to hear about the loss in your family Cindy. Praying for peace for you and loved ones.

  6. Sandy Streetmon says:

    So very sorry Joni. Sending you lots of love and prayers.

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