Helen E. Russell

Jul 25th, 1934 - Sep 11th, 2018


Johnson-Hughes Funeral Home

Fri, Sep. 14th, 2018 5:00 PM ~ 8:00 PM


Johnson-Hughes Funeral Home

Sat, Sep. 15th, 2018 11:00 AM


Herrin City Cemetery

Sat, Sep. 15th, 2018

Helen E. Russell

Herrin- Helen E. Russell, 84, of Herrin, passed away at 3:10 PM, Tuesday, September 11, 2018 at Herrin Hospital.

Helen was born on July 25, 1934 in Herrin to Andrew and Ollie (Hunt) Ahls. She married Melvin Russell on July 12, 1952 in Herrin. He preceded her in death on Christmas Day 1991.

She was employed at Allen Industries in Herrin for 39 years and was the first woman elected to be Union President. She served two terms. She loved her Lord and attended Union Gospel Mission Church in Herrin. She was active in the Herrin Senior Citizens and rarely missed a City Council meeting. She was a loving and caring woman, who spent her free time caring for animals or her friends in need.

She was a loyal friend who enjoyed spending time travelling each year to the Lake of the Ozarks with her friends, Cecil, Verna Mae, Helen, Wilma and Naomi. She also liked to spend time in her yard, tending to her beautiful flowers or feeding the birds and squirrels. Her goal in life was to be the best friend she could be and she accomplished that with many friends. She will be dearly missed.

Survivors include-

Daughter- Jessie Campbell and husband Randy of Freeman Spur
Son- Les Russell and companion Ginger Miller of Marion
Grandson- Brad Conroy and wife Amanda of Kansas City, MO
Grandson- Brent Campbell and wife Laura of Herrin
Granddaughter- Amber Russell and companion Joe Tennent of Nashville, TN
Great Grandchildren- Ian and Wyatt Conroy
Great Grandchildren- Julianna, James and Josselyn Campbell
Sister- Margaret Whitfield of Granger, IN
Many nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews
Beloved pets- Katie and Maxie

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, sister- Doris Ahls and brother- Raymond Ahls.

The funeral service will be held at 11:00 AM, Saturday, September 15, 2018 at Johnson-Hughes Funeral Home in Herrin. Rev. Robert Jilek, Rev. David Dyer and Rev. Dan Smith will officiate. Burial will follow at Herrin City Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5:00 PM until 8:00 PM, Friday, September 14, 2018 at Johnson-Hughes Funeral Home in Herrin.

Memorial donations are suggested to the Herrin Animal Shelter and will be accepted at Johnson-Hughes Funeral Home/ 201 S. 13th St./ Herrin, IL 62948. For more information or to sign the memorial guest register, please visit www.hughesfuneralhomes.com.

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20 Guestbook Messages

  • Guest: Mike Maddox

    From: Palm Coast , Florida

    Date: September 12, 2018

    My Beloved Aunt Helen,

    Aunt Helen is one of my earliest memories I have as a child. We lived just a few doors down from her on Monroe St. I remember sitting at her bar at about age 4 and she would make me panAcakes with Jessie, LD, and Uncle John. Always making even breakfast a special event for us. Aunt Helen loved children and would play with us for hours. She was a lightforce of good and happiness and made everyone around her feel at home. Although we didn’t live there long and moved away, when I would visit it was as if time never passed. She was always full of love. Never having a negative view ever.

    Her love was not just limited to kids, she loved her animals as equals. Dogs, cats, birds, and all, she spread her love around.

    The world will be a little less fabulous with Aunt Helen not in it. Godspeed Aunt Helen, you will forever live in my heart. May that lightforce live on for eternity.


  • Guest: Linda and Jake Priddy

    From: Herrin, Illinois

    Date: September 13, 2018

    Helen was such a sweet person. Her door was always open and her refrigerator always raidable by her grandson and his friends. She will be missed. Prayers for Brent, Jessie, and the family.

  • Guest: Sharon Hardin

    From: Johnston City, Illinois

    Date: September 13, 2018

    Helen and my mother, Naomi Davis were very good friends and I had the pleasure of calling a friend as well. A wonderful woman.

  • Guest: Brad & Gail Adelsberger-Evans

    From: Clarksville,, Tennessee

    Date: September 13, 2018

    Jessie & Les,so sorry about your Momm. She always had a big smile. I remember. 2 things abou her how she loved country music and how she could let out the strongest whisle I ever heard. Think of her dancing and whisling with her favorite singers. Thinking of you both.

  • Guest: Jean and Ray Melhorn

    From: Herrin. Il, Illinois

    Date: September 13, 2018

    Les, Jessie and family. So sorry to see about your Mom. Such a special lady.

  • Guest: Summer Hanson and Shannon Harkless

    From: Logan, Ohio

    Date: September 13, 2018


    So sorry for your loss. Our condolences and prayers for you and your family.

  • Guest: Harold & Sara Smith

    From: Cincinnati, Ohio

    Date: September 13, 2018

    May God grant you peace in the knowledge of the resurrection. May He strengthen you and watch over you in the coming days.

  • Guest: April Campbell

    From: Marion , Illinois

    Date: September 13, 2018

    I’m so sorry to hear this. I loved Gma Helen SO MUCH!!! I know she’s in a better place. But she will be greatly missed. I love you and all our family! xoxoxo

  • Guest: Sue Douglas

    From: HERRIN, Illinois

    Date: September 13, 2018

    The entire neighborhood misses you Helen. You were such a good friend and neighbor. We already miss our visits on your porch. Thank you for being my friend.

  • Guest: Leanora Wagley

    From: Herrin, Illinois

    Date: September 13, 2018

    To Helen “s Family I”m so sorry to hear of the loss of Helen . She was one my best friends. We worke together at Allens . God Bless all .

  • Guest: Kathy Butterfield

    From: Oxford, Ohio

    Date: September 13, 2018

    So sorry for your loss. Sending prayers and hugs. Kathy Butterfield and the Best Western Staff.

  • Guest: Christina Cripps

    From: Johnston City, Illinois

    Date: September 14, 2018

    Jessie and Les so sorry for your loss. Sending thoughts and prayers.

  • Guest: Diana Eynon

    From: Fairfield, Ohio

    Date: September 14, 2018


    So sorry for your loss. Please accept my deepest condolences to you and your family.


  • Guest: Paula Severs

    From: Herrin, Illinois

    Date: September 15, 2018

    Wonderful friend and neighbor for many years

  • Guest: Darla

    From: Denver, Colorado

    Date: September 15, 2018

    Jessie,Les and family,
    I have been struggling to find the words that might bring you some comfort.
    So I go back to faith, your moms faith that God would be waiting with open arms. Faith that you will be strong enough to get through this. And my own faith knowing that my dad and your mom are somewhere up there sharing old memories, and telling dirty jokes.My heart aches for you all, with the loss of your mom. Every life she touched is richer for having known her. I will always love and cherish every minute that I had with her, and hold it very dear to my heart.

  • Guest: Donna (Griffin) Jeralds

    From: Marion, Illinois

    Date: September 15, 2018

    Jessie & Les,

    My sincere sympathy at the passing of your mother. I’m so sorry I wasn’t there for you both at the visitation and funeral but I hadn’t learned this news until just a few minutes ago. I’m praying for strength, comfort and peace for you both now and in the difficult days ahead.

  • Guest: Audra Gabbert

    From: Warrenton VA, Illinois

    Date: September 15, 2018

    LD and Jess,
    The years have passed but the memories never fade of the fun times spent with your family. Bruce absolutely loved your mom and had some of his best times at your house. Our hearts and thoughts are with you.

  • Guest: Cynthia Stucker

    From: Pennsburg, Pennsylvania

    Date: September 19, 2018

    Russ..we are so sorry for your loss. Ms Helen was a wonderful friend and neighbor. Our prayers are with you. Cyndi, Bob and Ashleigh Stucker

  • Guest: Cynthia Stucker

    From: Pennsburg, Pennsylvania

    Date: September 19, 2018

    Les…we are so sorry for your loss. Ms Helen was a wonderful friend and neighbor. Our prayers are with you. Cyndi, Bob and Ashleigh Stucker

  • Guest: Brad & Winona Doerner

    From: Percy, Illinois

    Date: September 20, 2018

    Our deepest sympathy to you all. Jessie, when I saw her photo I knew it was her. SIU basketball friend we sat together & cheered hard. Your Mom was a sweet lady & I enjoyed visiting with her. May GOD bless each of you. Brad & Winona Doerner