Cover photo for William Russell Morrow, Jr.'s Obituary
William Russell Morrow, Jr. Profile Photo
1939 William 2023

William Russell Morrow, Jr.

October 27, 1939 — July 21, 2023

William Russell Morrow, JR passed away on July 21, 2023, in Nashville, TN at the age of 83 after living with Alzheimer’s. He was born October 27, 1939, to William Russell Morrow, Sr and Elizabeth Maude Monroe Morrow.

He was preceded in death by both of his parents, his wife Mary Lola Walker Morrow, and brother Paul Monroe Morrow. He is survived by his daughter, Lydiabeth Morrow Haley (Troy), Nashville, TN, and son William Russell Morrow, III, AL; grandsons Townes Haley, William Russell Morrow, IV, and Pavel Antoniuk-Pablant-Morrow and granddaughter Astraea Antoniuk-Pablant-Morrow; niece Michelle Morrow Allen (Pete), Mobile, AL, great nieces Rachel Allen, Mollie Allen, Mary-Morrow Allen, niece Kelly Morrow, Selma, AL., great nephew Paul Underwood, Selma, AL and great niece Haley Neeley, Lebanon, TN; nephew Will Kent (Kristin), Overland Park, KS, great nephews Andrew, Aidan, Adam and great niece Anna; and sister in-law Juanita Cates, Lenexa, KS, niece Rebecca Cates, Lenexa, KS, nephew Ethan Cates, Raymore, MO, and great nephew Gabriel Carpenter-Cates, Olathe, KS.

Born in Selma, AL, Russell graduated from Parrish High School, now Selma High School, in 1958 where he was captain of the football team. He attended David Lipscomb University, University of the South at Sewanee Tennessee, and graduated in 1963 with a BA in Biblical Studies from Abilene Christian University, in Abilene, TX. While at Abilene he met Mary and they were married on September 2nd, 1965, in Kansas City, KS. Both of their children were born in Texas, where Russell and Mary taught school from 1967-1971. They moved to Selma, AL in 1971 at the urging of Russell’s parents. Russell taught Math and Mary taught English at Dallas County High School from 1971-1974. They both joined the Selma City School System in 1974 - where he taught Math at what was then Westside Jr High. He earned a master’s degree in math education from the University of Montevallo in 1975. In 1984 Russell decided to follow his faith and changed careers to be a minister at First Christian Church until 1999. He then taught where the need took him which included Selma City Schools, Wallace State Community College, and Marion Military Institute from 1999-2008.

Russell and Mary Morrow were both living examples of The Body of Christ: they consistently demonstrated Jesus Christ’s one commandment: “love God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as you love yourself” (Matthew 22:35-40, Mark 12:28-31, Luke 10:25-28). As a lifelong theology scholar and liberal, open-minded minister, Russell believed salvation from God was a gift and in thanksgiving for this great gift, one should find ways to serve others through using their spiritual talents graciously given by God. His “reward” was serving others through truth, honesty, and interactions with others without judgment. 
Russell served as a minister, and an elder member at Cornerstone Presbyterian Church in Selma, AL. He shared and led Biblical Studies and served his community both on an individual level and as a volunteer with many organizations including Christian Services for Children in Alabama, Adult and Teen Challenge Alabama, and participated multiple times in Walk to Emmaus. Russell performed numerous weddings. Russell also led hundreds of funerals, where he consistently encouraged everyone not only to celebrate their loved one’s return to God, but also the life of their loved one. 

A private family and close friend’s burial is planned at 9:30 am at Pineview Memory Gardens preceding a Celebration of Life Service to be held on Saturday, August 5, 2023, at 11:00 am at Cornerstone Presbyterian Church in Selma, Alabama. The family invites you to join them at the Celebration of Life Service at Cornerstone Presbyterian Church, immediately followed by a Reception. 
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested memorial donations in Russell’s name sent to Adult and Teen Challenge Alabama, PO Box 445, Selma, AL 36701, or the Selma Area Food Bank, 101 Craig Industrial Park, Ave C, Selma, AL 36701. 

Our family would also like to thank the caregivers at Cloverland Senior Living for walking with and caring for Russell during his last few years with Alzheimer’s. What a gift to walk alongside those in their tender years. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William Russell Morrow, Jr., please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, August 5, 2023

9:30 - 10:00 am (Central time)


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Celebration of Life

Saturday, August 5, 2023

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

Cornerstone Presbyterian Church

301 Broad St, Selma, AL 36701

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