West Plains, MO Location (417) 256-4141

Thayer, MO Location (417) 264-7242

Olen Edward Russell was born on September 6, 1921 in Oregon County, Missouri, the son of Clarence Edward Russell and Edith Risner Russell and departed this life on September 7, 2020 at Shady Oaks Healthcare Center in Thayer, Missouri, at the age of 99 years and one day. 

He is survived by one daughter, Jo Ann Head and her husband, Rodger of Springfield; two brothers, Bill Russell and his wife, Marie of Thayer, Missouri, and Phillip Russell of Kansas City, Missouri; two step-grandchildren, Derick Head and his wife, Sharon of Sullivan, Missouri and Eraka Kimker and her husband, Steve of Bourbon, Missouri; three great grandchildren; two great great grandchildren; many cousins; other relatives; and countless friends.

Olen was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence and Edith Russell; his wife, Euda Russell; one sister, Verneal Laster; and two brothers, Jim Russell and Bob Russell.  

He was a Christian and of the Baptist faith.

Olen was a World War II veteran, joining the U.S. Army in 1942.  He served in Australia, Japan, the Philippines, and New Guinea.  In the Army Olen was a heavy equipment operator, clearing and building air strips.  He was honorably discharged in 1945.

After his service, he worked in the lumber industry in Colorado and the wheat harvest in Kansas.  Olen also continued operating a dozer, working on Highway 63, and building many ponds around the area.

In 1949 Olen married Euda Wales Griffin.  Along with Euda he started milking cows and later started raising beef cattle.  Olen and Euda were awarded two Oregon County Farm honors and he received a certificate for twenty-five year of county service.

Olen enjoyed telling about his time in the service and playing tricks on friends.  He loved the outdoors, especially hunting and fishing, looking for arrow heads, and working on his farm.  He was always willing to help any one and a friend to all.

Most of all, he loved his family and friends. He will truly be missed by his family and all that knew him.

Funeral services for Olen Edward Russell will be held Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. at the Carter Funeral Home Chapel in Thayer, Missouri with Elmer Russell officiating.

The family will receive friends on Saturday, September 12, 2020 from 1:00 p.m. to service time at Carter Funeral Home in Thayer, Missouri.

Olen Edward Russell will lie in state on Friday, September 11, 2020 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Carter Funeral Home Chapel in Thayer, Missouri. 

Burial will be on Saturday, September 12, 2020 in Thayer, Missouri with services under the direction of Carter Funeral Home, Inc. in Thayer, Missouri.



  1. Roger and Eleanor Williams Dubois, Wy.
    September 9, 2020 @ 8:18 pm

    Sorry to hear about Olen passing. Will remember Bill and the rest of the Russell family in prayer. Good to know a family of believers in Christ but still hard to give up loved ones.


  2. Charlie & Charlotte Hurtt
    September 9, 2020 @ 8:53 pm

    Charlie & I loved visiting with Olen over the years. He was a good man and we will always remember him fondly.


  3. Mike and Donna Parrott
    September 10, 2020 @ 8:22 pm

    Jo Ann, We are so sorry for your loss. Praying for God’s comforting arms to engulf you during this time. May He give you precious memories to hold during the next few days and week. Our love to you and Rodger. Mike and Donna


  4. Mike & Linda Ward
    September 11, 2020 @ 8:39 am

    So sorry to hear of the passing of Olen, he and Euda were my customers when I worked at Wal Mart Pharmacy and he would stand and always visit and tell stories! They were very good folks! Thoughts and prayers to all of the family!


  5. Dean Williams
    September 11, 2020 @ 10:45 am

    I will always remember Olen as a friend, loved to hear his stories. Just a great guy, leaves many to mourn his passing. Sympathy to all.


  6. Audrey Emery
    September 12, 2020 @ 6:19 am

    Jo Ann, I am sorry for your loss. My sympathy to all your family.


  7. Donna Fink
    September 12, 2020 @ 4:23 pm

    JoAnn, I am sorry for your loss, i know you loved him and will miss him. Also my sympathy to the whole Russell family!


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