March 31, 2002
Dr. Jimmie Louise Russell, OBU professor of education, died early Sunday morning in Midwest City, after a lengthy battle with cancer. She was 52.
Funeral services will be at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 2, in Potter Auditorium of OBU's John Wesley Raley Chapel.
Russell joined the University's faculty as an instructor of education in 1981. She was promoted to assistant professor in 1985 and gained senior faculty status in 1988. She earned the rank of associate professor in 1991 and was named professor in 1997. She received OBU's Distinguished Teaching Award in May 2001.
After graduating from the University of Houston with a bachelor of science degree in education, Russell earned a master's degree from East Texas State University. She taught elementary school for six years before moving to OBU, teaching first grade for one year and third grade for five years. She completed a doctor of education degree from Oklahoma State University in 1988.
Russell was a recognized advocate for reading education. She presented numerous papers at professional meetings, and was active in in-service training programs for schools in central Oklahoma. She was a past president of the Pottawatomie County Reading Council. She was a member of the Oklahoma Reading Council, the International Reading Association, the Organization of Teacher Educators in Reading, the Oklahoma Teachers Applying Whole Language, and Whole Language Umbrella.
She served on a variety of OBU committees and councils during her career.
Russell is survived by her husband, Dr. Norris Russell, OBU director of athletics and professor of health, physical education and recreation; a son, Jeremy, of Klondike, Texas; and a daughter, Meredith Hines, of Shawnee.
Memorials may be made to the Dr. Jimmie L. Russell Scholarship Fund at OBU.