Russell L. "Russ" Napier of Ashley, Ohio
Russell L. “Russ” Napier, of Ashley, Ohio, and formerly of South Point, Ohio, died August 26, 2011 at his residence. He was 88 years old. On November 15, 1922, Russell was born in Wayne, West Virginia, one of twenty one children of the late French S. and Elizabeth (Muncy) Napier. He attended Wayne High School. While attending high school, Russell met the woman he knew he was meant to share his life with, Lola Brooke Porter. They were married on August 16, 1941, and have cherished their 70 years together. It could be said that they would be “incomplete” without one another, and they have been inseparable for most of their life. Shortly after marrying Lola, Russell joined his fellow countrymen in the fight of World War II, first enlisting in the U.S. Army and quickly transferring to the U.S. Navy. He served as a radio operator for the duration of the war. He served most of his military career on the USS Alcore stationed at Norfolk Virginia. Upon his honorable discharge from the US Navy, Russell returned to his hometown where he accepted a sales position for Allied Chemical in South Point, Ohio. He worked for Allied Chemical until his retirement in the early 1970s. While working for Allied, he also earned his bachelors degree in education from Marshall University. A man of deep faith, Russell had served as a lay minister for the Church of God for many years at a number of churches throughout Southern Ohio, Northern Kentucky and West Virginia. He was also very active as a gospel singer with his wife, Lola, and the Napier Quartet, singing their praises to the Lord as often as they could and even recording several albums. Normally a very quiet and gentle man, when on stage and singing Russell became a “showman” and would “become forceful in his presentation of the music” as an expression of his faith and love for the Lord. Shortly after retiring from Allied Chemical, Russell and Lola moved to a farm in Ashley, Ohio, where he would operate a consulting firm, known as Napier Agri-Nutrients, a representative of T-Tech. Throughout most of his life, Russell was an avid gardener, and many had said the “biggest produce they have ever seen came from his garden.” He also loved reading, and more particularly reading westerns. Russell will be dearly missed by the love of his life, Lola “Nanny” Napier of Ashley; four sons and daughters-in-law: Ted (Nan) Napier of Mount Gilead, Russell (Ann) Napier of Erie, Colorado, Ernie (Judy) Napier of Ashland, Kentucky, and James (Dee) Napier of Atlantic Beach, Florida; six grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren. Russell is also survived by one brother, one sister and countless nieces and nephews. Including his parents, Russell was preceded in death by eighteen brothers and sisters. His family will greet friends from 1 – 3PM on Wednesday, August 31, 2011 at the Morris Funeral Home in Wayne, West Virginia. Graveside services will follow at the Walter Napier Family Cemetery located on Wilson Creek Road in Wayne County, West Virginia with military honors provided. Rather than flowers, Russell’s family requests memorial contributions be made to the Marion General Hospital Hospice, 278 Barks Rd. W., Marion, Ohio 43302.homes.com.