Rev. Dr. William E. Russell transitioned to join the love of his life, Angela C. Russell, and three infants who preceded him in death on Monday, March 4, 2019. Left to cherish his memory are his daughters Tonye Russell Epps, J. D., K. Nicole Powell (Whitney), Kiondra Russell, son, Johnny Vo (JoAnne), six grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. He also leaves to cherish his memory a brother, Lloyd Russell, sisters-in-law, nephews, nieces, and a host of family and dear friends.
As a true man of God, he pastored in Delaware and Virginia for more than 54 years until he retired in February 2018 as pastor of New Hope Baptist Church in Suffolk, Virginia. Not only was he a servant leader in the ministry, but also in the community as an educator and activist. In 2013, he retired as the Deputy Superintendent from Chesapeake Public Schools after 49 years in education.
He was active in several organizations including his church, Union Baptist Missionary Church, the Chesapeake Branch of the NAACP, and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Rev. Dr. Russell was also the co-founder of the L.D. Britt, M.D. Scholarship Committee. In addition, he was appointed to the Board of Visitors of Old Dominion University in 1997 for a four- year term and was reappointed in 2001, serving a total of eight years.