Obituary for John Jacob Russell, Jr.

John Jacob “JJ” Russell, Jr., passed away at the age of 72 on September 28, 2023 surrounded by the love of his family.

JJ lived his entire life in the Mt. Gilead area and loved the peace it brought him. After graduating West Montgomery High School in 1969, JJ went to UNC-Chapel Hill.  He traveled a good bit and had many wonderful experiences.  He went on to work at the Russell-Harvelle Hosiery Mills, Inc.  After the plant closed, he spent many years working for Michelin. In his later years, he enjoyed volunteering with the Civitan Club and Meals on Wheels in the community and copious amounts of golf, his life-long passion.

A kind soul, JJ always tried to be fair to everyone he encountered. His scientific mind amazed, and sometimes amused, friends and family and associates. JJ’s sponge-like mind also trapped unbelievable quantities of trivia, from pop culture to history to science and beyond. He could seemingly remember every detail of his life, from childhood encounters with friends and family to conversations with everyone.

JJ is survived by his son, Thomas “Tim” Fraley, II (Stacey) of Holly Springs, NC and his grandson, Charlie, as well as his sister, Debbie Russell (David) of Mt. Gilead, NC, his brother, Mike Russell (Judy) of Mt. Gilead, NC, and nephew, John Michael Russell of Clayton, NC. He was predeceased by his wife, Sandy Russell, and his parents, John J. Russell, Sr. and Connie (Harvelle) Russell of Mt. Gilead. 

A funeral service will be held Saturday, October 7th at McDonalds Chapel Presbyterian Church in Aberdeen at 1:30 PM.  In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Mount Gilead Civitans #373 at ( or mail to Mt. Gilead Civitans, C/O Jack Dove, P.O. Box 684, Mt. Gilead, NC 27306.

Online condolences may be made at

Service arrangements have been entrusted to Boles Funeral Home.

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