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Schnell, Russell F. (1907-1998) | Mennonite Archival Commons

Name: Schnell, Russell F. (1907-1998)

Historical Note:

Mennonite Weekly Review obituary:

Russell F. Schnell, 91, of Glendale, Ariz., retired missionary and pastor, died July 30, 1998.

He was born June 8, 1907, in Chicago. He was baptized as a Lutheran, attended a Mennonite mission church and felt a call to be a missionary at the age of 14. He applied to the Congo Inland Mission board in 1932.

He married Helen Yoder on Sept. 25, 1932, in Goshen, Ind., and they left for Africa in November. They returned for a furlough in 1937, and Russell graduated from Goshen College in 1938.

The Schnells returned to the Congo in 1938 and served until 1964, with furloughs in 1947-48, 1953-54 and 1960-61. They started the Banga station in 1950. During their 1953-54 furlough, Russell studied in Belgium for six months.

After returning to the United States for the final time, he pastored Trenton (Ohio) Mennonite Church from 1964 to 1970, worked at an Indian mission church in Hammond, Okla., from 1970 to 1971 and moved to Florida in 1971, where he pastored a church in Largo.

In 1981 he moved to Glencroft retirement community in Glendale, Ariz., where he was the first chaplain of the Care Center, started the Community Church and was the first pastor. He retired in 1987 at the age of 80 after 55 years in the ministry.

He passed on to his family a love of music, books, games, a sense of adventure, and best of all, a love for the Lord he served so faithfully for so many years.

He is survived by four daughters, Carolyn Yost of Phoenix, Ariz., Marilyn Memmer of Franklin, Ind., Evelyn Moler of Springfield, Mo., and Tamar Myers of Rock Hill, S. C.; 11 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and a sister, Virginia Griffin of San Marcos, Calif.

A memorial service was held at Glencroft retirement community.

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