Tommy L. Russell Profile Photo

Tommy L. Russell

November 8, 1948 — May 8, 2024

Tommy L. Russell

Heflin, LA- Tommy Lance Russell passed away at his home, after a lengthy, courageous battle with Alzheimer’s, in the early morning hours of May 8, 2024.  He was surrounded by family and special friend, Chasity Austin.  He was 75 when he went to be with his Lord and Savior.  

Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m. Friday, May 10, 2024, at Rose Neath Funeral Home in Minden.  Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, May 11, 2024, at Heflin Baptist Church in Heflin.  Officiating will be his sons, Johnny Ray Rowland, Jr., and Jason Bryan Rowland.  

Mr. Russell was born on November 8, 1948, in Ringgold to Billy Lance and Martha Brunson Russell.  

He was preceded in death by his parents, loving wife of 33 years, Mary Nell Noles Russell, close friend Don Austin, and brothers-in-law Richard Noles and John Davis Noles. 

Mr. Russell was a lifelong resident of Heflin.  He grew up in a Christian family where he and his sister, Sharon, regularly attended Bistineau Baptist Church, where his Dad served as Deacon.  From a young age, Mr. Russell worked in the family dairy and beef operations.  He often commented on how mean Jersey bulls could be and compared the differences between Holstein and Jersey cattle.  Mr. Russell would sometimes say with tongue in cheek how much he enjoyed getting up at 4 a.m. “to go milk.”  

Mr. Russell was a product of the Webster Parish School System as he attended Heflin High School from grades 1-12.  He was a proud member of the graduating class of 1966 as evidenced by the memories he shared from his school age years.  After graduation, Mr. Russell attended Northwestern State University with several of his friends.  He enjoyed his years at NSU and became a regular attendee at the annual “State Fair Game” played between Louisiana Tech and NSU.  Even though “Tech” won most of those contests, Mr. Russell treasured the friendly rivalry between he and his friends from “Tech”, notably Don Austin and Stewart Beatty.  Later on he took great pride in the fact that his only daughter, Carrie, and his youngest son, Cory, graduated from NSU.  In addition, he swelled with pride again as two of his granddaughters, Madison and Rheagan Rowland graduated from NSU.  

In 1971, Mr. Russell began a distinguished 34-year career as a Quality Control Inspector at General Electric Corporation in Shreveport.   He would work there until his retirement in 2005.  It was during his early years at “GE” that he began a courtship with Mary Nell Noles, whom he had known most of his life.  Mr. Russell also began a relationship with Ms. Noles’ two young sons, Johnny and Jason, who at the time were 4 and 3 respectively.  Little did he know the incredible impact, as their Dad, he would have on them that would last the rest of their lives.  Mr. Russell and Ms. Noles were married on September 14, 1973, and remained married until her death on June 17th, 2006.   Soon after they were married a daughter, Carrie April, was born and a few years later a son, Cory Lance, came along.   Together, they formed a family that was rooted in Christian values, love, and discipline.  Mr. Russell provided and cared for his family until his death.  He unconditionally loved his 4 children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren showing it not just with words, but with his frequent selfless, giving actions.  

On June 1, 2008, Mr. Russell entered into marriage with Melinda Sanders whom he shared common interests with by having family members that lived in the same vicinity.  Together, they enjoyed their large extended family that was formed.   Mr. Russell and “Mella”, as she is affectionately known, enjoyed traveling together, going out to eat, shopping, and watching “westerns” together.  

Mr. Russell was a long-time member of Heflin Baptist Church where he served as Deacon for 32 years.  He was an inaugural member of the Heflin Lions Club, served in the Minden Jaycees, and enjoyed playing golf and fishing with his friends.  

Mr. Russell is survived by his wife of 16 years, Melinda Sanders Russell, of Heflin, sister, Sharon Russell Morrow and husband Billy of Heflin, sister-in-law, Judy Noles of Heflin, children: Johnny Ray Rowland, Jr., and wife Sherri of Dubberly, Jason Bryan Rowland and wife Marla of Benton, Carrie April Russell Woodard and husband Jody of Heflin, and Cory Lance Russell and Mallorie Williams of Benton; grandchildren: Madison Rowland of Haughton, Morgan Rowland Hall and husband Gray of Minden, Cade Woodard and wife Jaci of Shreveport, Cody Woodard and wife Maddie of Baton Rouge,  Rheagan Rowland McMinn and husband Brooks of Benton, Pearce Russell of Benton, and Ava Russell of Benton; greatgrandchildren: Remi McMinn, Stone Woodard, Garrison Hall, and Allyn McMinn; aunt and uncle Faye Brunson Harrison and Jack Harrison of Hall Summit, step children: Bryce and Brody Lafitte, Brianne Lafitte Ivy and husband Blake, and numerous step grandchildren who loved Papaw dearly, numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews, and loving companion and dog, Dixie.  

Pallbearers will be Cade Woodard, Cody Woodard, Pearce Russell, Reed Waldron, Bryce Lafitte, Gray Hall, Brooks McMinn, and Anthony McMaster

Honorary Pallbearers will be the Deacons of Heflin Baptist Church, Walter Brunson, Harold Holley, and Scott Mizell

The family wishes to extend a huge debt of gratitude to Passages Hospice and special friend/caregiver Chasity Austin.  

In lieu of flowers please make donations to the Children’s Ministry Fund at Heflin Baptist Church.  


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Past Services


Friday, May 10, 2024

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Rose Neath Funeral Homes - Minden

211 Murrell St., Minden, LA 71055

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Saturday, May 11, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Saturday, May 11, 2024

12:30 - 1:00 pm (Central time)

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