Larry "Willard" Fussell died on Friday, May 10th, 2019 at his home in Walhalla, SC, and will be dearly missed. The Life Celebration for Larry will be held on Thursday, May 16th, 2019 at 3 pm at Crystal Lake in Mountain Rest, SC. The address for the event is 421 Paradise Cove Drive, Mountain Rest, SC 29664. Larry would not want anyone dressed up, so please come wearing casual attire or dress comfortably for the (outdoor) event at the lake.
Larry was born in Americus, GA to George Fussell and Maude Ölkers on December 2nd, 1947. He was a good student and enjoyed playing basketball for his school. He moved with his mother to Walhalla, a city founded by his German ancestors, for high school where he was a star player on the high school basketball team. He knew from a young age that his calling wasn't to be a farmer as many others in his small town planned to be, but rather he wanted to be a pilot. He decided to go to the University of South Carolina for their Air Force ROTC program. In 1970, he graduated with a B.S. in Psychology from the University of South Carolina where he met his wife, Francoise Mary Hipp of Beaufort, SC. After much cajoling, he convinced Francoise to marry him, a decision that would keep them together and happy for the next 49 years.
Lacking time and money for a honeymoon, they moved to Louisiana for Francoise to complete work on a Master’s Degree at LSU and soon afterward, Larry traveled to Columbus, MS to attend Air Force flight school. Larry flew KC-135 refueling planes for the Air Force. He was deployed several times as part of Operation Young Tiger in Thailand during the Vietnam War. After the births of his first two sons, he found a position at a small airline which, through a series of mergers, is now called Delta Airlines. He flew millions of passengers safely around North America for almost 30 years. While not flying above the clouds, he enjoyed spending time with his family, vacationing at Edisto Island, drinking coffee, watching Andy Griffith, and supporting his wife and sons in any way he was able. Buying gifts for Larry was nearly impossible. He wasn't big on possessions and was happiest when he was the one doing the giving, whether it was a favor, a steak, or a surprisingly stiff cocktail.
Larry is survived by his wife, Françoise, his four sons, Christopher, wife Robin, Michael, wife Melissa, Patrick, wife Joselyn, Thomas, partner Mandolin, and his nine grandchildren, Emily, Daniel, Ethan, Alexa, Lily, Presley, William, Astrid, and (one-month-old) Bear. He is also survived by dogs and grand-dogs Zuzu, Beau, Groot, Rosie, Walter, Darwin and Willie Nelson. He cared deeply for children and dogs alike so the family requests that any memorial charity donations be sent to St. Jude's Hospital or the ASPCA.
Dedicated to Friends, Past and Present
Larry Willard Russell
December 2, 1947 - May 10, 2019