Col. Russell Jones Suther, U.S. Army retired passed away peacefully at his home in Homewood, AL Monday morning the 7th of July 2014. He was born January 12, 1921 in Greensboro, AL. He is preceded in death by his parents, Sue Washburn and Percy Alexander Suther and his sisters Floyce Kable and Elsie Copeland. He is survived by his loving wife of 67 years, Elizabeth Baum Suther, sister Nell Lucier, his son Russell J. Suther Jr. (Candy), his grandson Russell "Rhett" J. Suther III (Jessie), his great grandchildren Lani D. Suther, Christian A. Suther, Brandon D. Suther and Elizabeth M. Suther, his grandson Matthew J. Suther (Chelsea) his great grandchildren Gage M. Suther and Stella A. Suther, his grandson Christopher A. Suther (Ashley), his great grandchildren Brooks A. Suther and Lynley E. Suther. Son David C. Suther (Judy) and his granddaughters Elizabeth C. "Carley" Knight (Gene), and Mary Beth Suther. Numerous nieces, nephews and their families were also loved by him. Russell began his career in the Alabama National Guard and served in the Pacific during WWII where he attained the rank of First Sergeant. After WWII he attended Alabama Polytechnic Institute (Auburn) where he met and married Elizabeth Anne Baum in 1947. While at Auburn, he was a member of the Pi Kappa Phi (Alpha Iota) fraternity and was a Distinguished Honor graduate from the Army ROTC program in 1949. As a lieutenant he was deployed to Korea with the 7th Cavalry Division (Gary Owens). While he was an infantry platoon scout leader, he was awarded the Bronze Star for Valor. Of the 360 soldiers in his infantry unit, only 61 survived. Lt. Suther was the sole surviving officer. From 1969 to 1970, LTC Suther served the US Army in the Republic of Vietnam. Throughout his military service, he was stationed with his family in Bad Tolz, Germany, New Delhi, India and Tapei, Taiwan. Among his many decorations were the Legion of Merit, three Bronze Stars, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, two Army Commendation Medals, Combat Infantrymans Badge and Parachutist Badge. In 1973, Col. Suther retired to Homewood, AL after more than 30 years of military service. In 1975 he started the Wenonah H.S. JROTC Program and retired permanently ten years later. Russell was a devoted Auburn fan and avid golfer. He was a member of the Trinity United Methodist Church in Homewood, AL for 41 years. Services with military honors will be held at Trinity United Methodist Church at 11:00 a.m. Friday, with visitation at the church from 10:00-10:45 a.m. prior to the service. In Lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to Trinity United Methodist Church.
Arrangements under the direction of Ridout's Valley Chapel, Homewood, AL.