Mike was a native of McCook. He had resided in Haywood County since 1991 and was the son of the late Jack and Mildred Loux Russell. He graduated from McCook High School in 1962 and McCook Junior College before completing his Bachelor's Degree in physical therapy at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri in 1966.
He was employed by Care Partners with 15 years service before retiring. Mike shared his unique therapy skills in many parts of the country before settling in North Carolina. He loved going that extra mile with each of his patients often using his carpenter skills to make their lives a little easier. His great sadness was having to give up his patients when his health failed him.
In his retirement he was an avid fisherman, gardener and woodworker. He was member of St Andrews Episcopal Church in Canton, N.C.
He is survived by his wife of nearly 47 years, Vicki Gasch Russell. Mike was very proud of his two children, Scott Russell and his wife, Suzanne, of Cincinnati, Ohio and Laura Darbo and her husband, Ron of Boone, N.C.; two sisters, Jacque Olbeding and her husband, Jack of Erie, Colo., and Jeanne Lewarchick and her husband, Rob of Lafayette, Colo.; two brothers, Gilbert Russell and his wife, Leta of Potrland, Ore., and Jerry Russell, and his wife, Karen of Cedar City, Utah; his "babes," five wonderful grandchildren, Hannah, Katherine, Mason, Caleb and Lauren. His greatest joy was watching them grow and mature. Mike was also survived by nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.
A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. on Thursday, June 11, 2009 at St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Canton with Father Tim McRree officiating. Honorary pallbearers will be his grandchildren. The family will receive friends from 1 p.m. until 2 p.m. prior to the service at the church.
Memorials may be made to St Andrew's Episcopal Church Building Fund, 99 Academy Street, Canton, NC 28716 or Habitat for Humanity of Haywood County, P.O. Box 283, Waynesville, NC 28786.
For those who desire, an on-line memorial register is available at "Obituaries" at "www.wellsfuneralhome.com"
Wells Funeral Homes & Cremation Services of Waynesville is in charge of arrangements.