Philip William Russell
August 24, 1945 ~ November 3, 2020
Our beloved husband, father, grandpa, papa, brother, son, and last, but not least, Coach Philip William Russell, 75, passed away on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, from complications related to COVID-19. He was born on August 24, 1945, in Tooele, Utah, the son of Reed and Joyce Fidler Russell. Their home was located on Russell Avenue, which was something Phil always took pride in.
Phil graduated from Tooele High School in 1963 where he excelled in both football and baseball but was cut from the basketball team and told to wrestle. It was during his high school years where he would meet his future wife, Carolyn Shields. They were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple on September 8, 1967; they recently celebrated 53 years of marriage.
Phil and Carolyn began their life together in Ogden, Utah, where Phil would attend Weber State College. Phil played both basketball and football for the Wildcats and received his bachelor’s degree in education.
Phil worked as an educator in the Ogden School District for 42 years; 40 of which were spent at Ogden High School where he taught U.S. History, sociology, and driver’s education. He poured his heart and soul into Ogden High School up until the day he entered the hospital. For 38 years he could be found coaching football, baseball, softball, and volleyball; however, his true love and passion was coaching girl’s basketball where he would prove to be one of the most successful basketball coaches in the state of Utah. His teams won 10 region championships, 5 state championships, and he amassed 502 career wins. Phil was the recipient of many awards throughout his teaching and coaching career and was a proud member of the Utah Sports Hall of Fame, the Ogden High School Hall of Fame, as well as the Tooele High School Hall of Fame.
Over the years, Phil worked several part-time jobs during the summer months. The job he performed the longest and loved the most was managing Lorin Farr Swimming Pool, where he worked alongside some of his closest coaching friends.
Phil was proud member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As a young man he served a full-time mission to Australia and held many callings over the years where he would serve faithfully.
Phil was a sports enthusiast and loved attending Ogden High athletic events and Snow College women’s basketball games. He looked forward to playing golf with his friends and was always looking for a reason to go out to dinner. Phil was a “movie buff” and he found great joy in watching BYU games with his two boys and his grandsons. Above all, Phil loved people. He was compassionate and extremely genuine; he would do anything for anyone.
Phil is survived by his loving wife, Carolyn, of South Ogden; his greatest accomplishments, sons Matt (Jamie) Russell of Ogden and Mike (Melise) Russell of Ephraim; his seven grandchildren that he adored, Ethan, Meg, Izzy, Nelle, Tayson, Leo and Hazel; beloved younger brother Bill (Valerie) Russell; and his beautiful sisters Joan Parkinson and Ann Russell Shosted. He was preceded in death by his parents, Reed and Joyce Russell, and his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Leo and Mary Shields.
Words will never be enough to express our love and appreciation we feel for the doctors and nurses at Ogden Regional Medical Center in their efforts for and on behalf of our dad. We cannot thank people enough for their prayers, support, and generosity that have been bestowed upon our family. We would like to thank Cedar Village Floral for donating all flowers for the funeral.
In lieu of flowers, please donate in Phil’s memory to the Ogden High School Athletic Department at ogdenschoolfoundation.org and specify the Phil Russell Memorial. As a family we would love to hear your stories about Coach Russell. Please send them to email@example.com.
Due to the pandemic and recent spike in coronavirus cases, we will be holding a small, private funeral on Friday, November 6, at 11 a.m. We would love for you to join us via broadcast using the link: mywebcast.churchofjesuschrist.org. Event code - 86306
We would like to celebrate with you all at a later time when we can hold a Celebration of Life. Services entrusted to Lindquist’s Ogden Mortuary.
In the words of Phil Russell, “Shoot the damn ball!”