Mrs. Pamela Hawkins Russell of Anniston, AL, passed away on Friday, October 7, 2022 at the Palliative Care Center of UAB Hospital in Birmingham.
Visitation will be held from 8:45-9:45 a.m. on Monday, October 10, 2022, at St. Mark United Methodist Church (1320 Golden Springs Rd., Anniston, AL) with the funeral service to follow at 10:00 a.m. Mrs. Russell will be interred at 5:00 p.m. (EST) at Crestlawn Cemetery (2597-2491 Mobile Rd., Copperhill, TN 37317).
Mrs. Russell was the first-born daughter of the late Margaret Davis Hawkins and James Edward Hawkins, Jr. She was born on March 19, 1948 in Columbia, SC.
Pam was gifted with many talents. She spent 37 years as an English teacher and Media Specialist in elementary, middle, and high schools in Georgia and Florida. She loved serving the Lord and the Body of Christ wherever she lived, and was a Sunday school teacher, a very active United Methodist woman, and a Lay Pastor after her retirement from Education.
Pam's greatest joy was her family. Her son, Christopher shares: "I was asked to write or say a few words about my mom. I thought, what can I say more poetically than so many others have written before me about mothers? Then I realized, this is not just about any mother, it's about my mother. Pamela Hawkins Russell was an amazing lady. No one could ever dream of a better mother. She guided me and encouraged me, at times frustrated with her little boy, but always with love. She told my wife a story of when I was very young. Apparently, I had a lot of energy and imagination. I guess that came from her teaching me how to read and believe in myself. The story she told to Dana was, when Chris was a young boy I would take him out of the bathtub and say okay son let's dry off and get dressed. But oh no! He would run around the house making me try to catch him! He would say, 'run run run fast as you can you can't catch me I'm the gingerbread man!' No matter how much I ran, my mom was always there. She didn't have to catch me but when I tired of running or God forbid, I fell, she was always there. She taught me so many things. She taught me how to dream and grow how to love and how to be a good man. I love you Momma, and I thank you so much."
As a volunteer missionary to the people in Haiti, her dear friend, Bobbi writes: "Pam always had a heart for the vulnerable, the marginalized, and for those in deep need and her heart was always open, ready, and searching for someone to bless. From serving among women in Rome who had been in prison and were trying to build a new life, to ministering among the people of rural Haiti, Pam was the hands and feet of Jesus. She traveled to rural Haiti on a number of mission trips where she lovingly cared for widows, creatively taught women the truths of Scripture, and generously shared God's love with whomever she met. Her generous heart embraced the Haitians physically, spiritually, and emotionally, and they loved her deeply in return. She made a profound and lasting impact on lives by simply being the gracious, loving, and beautiful person that she was."
Perhaps among Pam's greatest legacies were the three children's books and three adult study guides that she co-wrote, which were translated into Haitian Creole and distributed in Haiti. She loved books and wanted to help Haiti, where there are so few books, have quality books available in Haitian homes. Now there are some 30, 000 copies of those books throughout the north-central region of Haiti. The final book she co-authored, a family book about living in shalom, is nearly finished and will hopefully be published posthumously in Haitian Creole.
Pamela Russell's life was beautifully lived for her Lord Jesus Christ whom she loved with every ounce of her being. The sudden loss of his loving, beautiful, devoted, and supportive wife of some 45 years has left her husband lonely, hurt, and without words. He looks to God's Word to describe her:
Proverbs 31:10-31 "Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar. She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands, she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates."
Pam is survived by her husband of 45+ years, Rev. Larry Russell; son, Christopher (Dana) Russell of Gainesville, GA; daughter, LeAnne Lang and grandsons, Bryce and Brandon Lang, of Florida; sisters, Judith (Mickey) Foster of Carrollton, GA, and Laura (Dr. Vance) Moore of Anniston, AL; nephew, Matthew Moore; and niece, Dr. Marie (Cliff) Channell of Savoy, IL.
The Russell family requests contributions in her memory be given to Rainbow Omega, P.O. Box 740, Eastaboga, AL 36260-0740; Grace Oaks Ministries-Haiti, Lets Read, 33 Mountain Chase SW, Rome, GA 30165; or Word Alive International Outreach, Attn: Project 58, 122 Allendale Road, Oxford, AL 36203.