January 22, 1935 - June 19, 2020
Russell (Babe) Newell, Jr., age 85, of Huntington, Indiana passed peacefully from this life to the next at 1:15 a.m. on Friday, June 19, 2020, at Community North Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana, from complications due to COVID-19. Burial will be at Pilgrims Rest Cemetery in Huntington County. The men of Russell’s family, David Newell, Scott Janicki, Joshua Janicki, Daniel Neufelder, Russ Hertaus, Eric Garretson, and Jarred Rose, will have the honor of carrying him home, where he will be laid to rest next to his beloved wife, Angie. Honorary pallbearers are Clifton Newell, Zach Janicki, Nick Benton, David MacNiel, Joseph Temple, and Scott Wilson. In celebration of his life, the family will follow a processional route through the streets of Huntington, the town Russ and Angie called home for more than sixty years. The procession will begin at Bailey-Love Mortuary, past his former home on Byron Street, and will conclude at a private graveside service for family members only. For everyone’s safety and wellbeing, a public celebration of Russell’s life will be planned in Huntington at a later date. Russ was born on January 22, 1935, the son of Russell and Margaret (Parry) Newell. He is preceded in death by his parents, and his brother, Richard (Mary) Newell. Russ is survived by his sister, Barbara Claybaugh, of Dayton, Florida, and his sister-in-law Mary Newell, of Ninevah, Indiana. Russ married Angelus (Angie) Godbold on January 23, 1954 in Indianapolis, Indiana where she remained the love of his life until his last earthly day. Even as he struggled with his memory over the last few years of his life, often forgetting how many times he’d eaten that day, or even his date of birth, he never forgot Angie, or who she was, and what they meant to each other. The greatest gift he gave us all was the way he loved his wife. They were inseparable. They kissed and danced daily and throughout their passionate marriage and deep abiding friendship, together they taught all who crossed their path what a strong marriage looked like. In short, they taught everyone they knew how to love and be loved. He could often be heard saying, “Give me a lip-locker, Angie.” Russ was a family man through and through, and was a great source of joy to his four children: Jane (Daniel) Neufelder of Indianapolis, Indiana, Carol Cline, of Lakeland, Florida, David (Linda) Newell, of Scotland, Pennsylvania, and Debra (Scott) Janicki, of Wakarusa, Indiana. Russ enjoyed every magical moment he spent with his ten grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Russ was also a dearly loved surrogate father to his nieces and nephews and extended family and loved each of them as his own. Russ volunteered for the local hospital delivering meals to the elderly who were homebound, often commenting on the struggle he faced between visiting with the people he served, and getting everyone else’s meal to them while they were still warm. He was a man of conviction, faith, love, duty, honor, and loyalty, remaining friends with his childhood buddies throughout their lives. He was the preeminent man’s man, a gentleman unmatched, and once you were in his heart, there was no way out. There was nothing you could do to change his love of you. As the 1954 runner up for Mr. Indiana, Russ took great pride in his fitness regimen, teaching his kids, grandkids (and just about anyone else who would listen) how to lift weights. The gym in his garage was a playground for his grandkids and it was not uncommon for Russ to challenge his grandkids to pushup contests well into his 80s. As a retired Conductor of 22 years for Erie Lakkawanna railroad, Russ could also be found teaching his grandchildren and great-grandchildren everything there was to know about the railroad. Russ was a faithful follower of Christ, and proud member of East State Street Church of God, now Faith Community Church of God. He was also a man of hard-work. Russ loved a good project and wasn’t happy unless his hands were dirty. He never saw a house he couldn’t remodel and could often be heard saying, “If you’re going to do it, you may as well go ahead and do it right.” Russ and Angie took that work ethic into their retirement years, as they just couldn’t sit still. Russ spent his most recent years back in his childhood home of Indianapolis, enjoying valuable time his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren while living with dementia. He served in the United States Army during the Korean war as a cook. It’s rumored his cooking was so bad, sometimes he barely escaped the kitchen while under friendly fire. In fact, his cooking was bad enough his superiors considered smuggling him across enemy lines, as they felt he could single-handedly win the war by feeding the Koreans. He never won, nor was he awarded any medals for the meals he served, but the point remains: Russ did in the war what he did all the days of his life: He fed those around him, friends and strangers alike, although admittedly everyone was more than a little relieved he did it with the love in his heart instead of the food in the pot. Since he was stationed overseas in France and Germany, he and Angie were able to see the world together. Russ lived a full, rich, loving life up until the day he died. He touched everyone who crossed his path. He laughed easily and often. He danced daily. During his children’s growing-up years, Russ was known for being the strong silent type. After the passing of his wife, it turned out he had something to say, and moments of silence during a conversation with him were few and far between. As Russ crosses over to the higher side of life, there is no doubt in our hearts, that those who have journeyed before him await his arrival with open arms, their own hearts filled with an eternal joy as they finally welcome him back home and say, “Well done, thy good and faithful servant.” In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you do as Russ would: Call on your father, hug your mother, play with your children and grandchildren, check in on your neighbor, help a stranger in need, plant a garden, feed your people…and dance with your loved ones. Never forget to dance. Monetary donations may be made in honor of Russ to the Alzheimers Association, 50 E. 91st Street, Suite 100, Indianapolis, IN 46240.
Russell (Babe) Newell, Jr., age 85, of Huntington, Indiana passed peacefully from this life to the next at 1:15 a.m. on Friday, June 19, 2020, at Community North Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana, from complications due to COVID-19. Burial... View Obituary & Service Information
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