John P. Russell, 84, of Summerfield, Fla., passed away in hospice care Sunday, June 23, 2013.
John was born April 22, 1929, to Otto and Ruth Russell in Mill Creek.
He served in the Air Force 29 years and retired with the rank of brigadier general. During his Air Force career, his code name was "Deacon." He flew many fighter-bomber missions in Korean and Vietnam War.
As commander of a fighter wing, in 1974, he supervised air operations in the Vietnam War's last battle during the recovery of the USS Mayagez, according to the Air Force biography. His military decorations included the Legion of Merit with oak-leaf cluster, the Distinguished Flying Cross and many others.
He is survived by his wife, Elaine Russell; children, Anne Bailey of Niceville, Fla., Susan Gornto of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., and John Russell of Johnson City, Tenn.; and four grandchildren. His three children said the best gift their father gave them was Christianity.
A memorial service will be conducted later this summer in West Virginia at the Mill Creek Presbyterian Church.