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Rev. Russell Henry Birdsall

Rev. Russell Henry Birdsall, 93, of Huntington, IN died Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021, at 4:30 p.m., at his residence.

Rev. Birdsall was a 1947 graduate of Mount Carroll High School. He was in the U.S. Navy, serving on the USS Bunker Hill Aircraft Carrier CV17 during WWII. He graduated from Huntington College in 1953 with a bachelor’s in education. He completed a master’s of theology from Huntington College Seminary in 1957. He also received a master’s of arts degree in school administration from Ball State University. In 1957, he and his wife became United Bretheren missionaries in Sierra Leone, West Africa. He became the Dean of Students at Huntington College in 1968 and later served as the Director of Church Services and Alumni. He pastored New Hope Church of the United Brethren in Christ, in Huntington, and served as the Central Conference Superintendent.

He was born on March 14, 1927, in Wadena, IA, to Stanley and Minnie Shields Birdsall. He married Nellie S. Elser on Sept. 3, 1951, in Chambersburg, PA. She survives in Huntington.

Additional survivors include a daughter, Sharon K. (Kevin) Cherry, of Huntington; a sister, Mildred Gleason, of Ossian; two granddaughters, Amy Marie (Andy) Wiebe, of Bornheim, Germany, and Allison Cherry, of Huntington; three grandsons, Ryan (Katie) Cherry, of Chicago, IL, Jason (Michelle) Cherry, of Lakeside, MT, and Andrew (Kayla Herrmann) Cherry, of Huntington; and eight great-grandchildren.

Calling will take place on Friday, Feb. 12, 2021, from 3 to 7 p.m., at Bailey-Love Mortuary, Huntington.

A funeral service will be take place on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021, at 11 a.m., at College Park United Brethren Church, 1945 College Ave., Huntington, with Dr. Ray Seilhamer officiating. There will be one hour of visitation prior to the service.

Burial will be in Marion National Cemetery, Marion.

Memorials may be made in memory of Rev. Birdsall to Huntington University, or United Brethren Global Ministries, in care of Bailey-Love Mortuary, 35 W. Park Drive, Huntington, IN, 46750.

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