September 28, 1949 - December 26, 2019

Erin McWhirter Russell died December 26, 2019, as a result of complications from acute asthma and hypertension. She was 70 years old. She was born in Lubbock, TX, on September 28, 1949, to Allene Stephens McWhirter and Glen McWhirter. She lived in Ft Worth until the age of 9, when her parents bought a 50-acre farm south of Alvarado. She graduated from Alvarado High School in 1967 and attended Texas Tech, then-North Texas State, then-West Texas State and UT-Arlington. She married Steve Russell, her high school and lifetime love, in December 1969. They welcomed a son, Joseph, in July 1970. Erin and Steve celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on December 6, 2019.

Erin worked while Steve attended Texas A&M and its Veterinary College. After his graduation, she worked while Steve completed a large animal internship at Oklahoma State in Stillwater, OK. They then moved to Houston as Steve joined a Vet School classmate in a specialized equine vet clinic there. They moved to Stephenville, TX, where Steve opened an equine veterinary practice, in 1983. Erin managed the practice until Steve's retirement in 2009. They then moved to Athens, Texas, to be near their son and their grandchildren.

Erin was a remarkable woman. She was smart, strong, loving, she was funny and had a sharp wit, lighting up a room with her fabulous personality and smile. She had more common sense than anyone else we knew, and was the family touchstone throughout her adulthood. She read avidly and was better educated in the humanities than most college graduates. She could always be counted upon to say what she really thought, and her advice was always very wise. She loved her family boundlessly, always remembered the birthdays of family members and friends by mailing birthday cards, championed the cause of the needy and cared about protecting anyone whose civil rights had been violated. The Russells' home was always a loving, welcoming one.

Erin was predeceased by her parents and parents-in-law, Roy and Anna Russell.

She is survived by her husband, Steve; son, Joseph Russell and daughter-in-law, Jennifer of Kaufman; grandchildren, Mackenzie Russell of Dallas and Haley Russell of Kaufman; her siblings, Kelly (and Axel) Geue of Soest, Germany, Kathleen McWhirter (and Mike Powers) of Austin, TX, and Sean McWhirter (and Jan Montgomery) of Austin; as well as her niece, Lindsay Powers (and son Donovan); nephews, Nathan Powers (and Jackie Whitis Powers and son Parker), Dylan McWhirter and Ryan McWhirter (and Lillian Kathleen Resnick and their children, Willow and Max McWhirter) of Austin. She is also survived by her loving Stephens and McWhirter cousins, and a large number of friends (many of whom she considered family), in Alvarado, College Station, Houston, Stephenville and then Athens, TX.

A memorial service is set for 11:00 a.m. January 18, 2020, at First Methodist Church in Alvarado, TX.

Memorial contributions may be made to Doctors without Borders, the American Civil Liberties Union, or the charity of one's choice.

Arrangements are entrusted to Huckabee Tomlinson Funeral Home in Malakoff, Texas, 903-489-1500.

To plant a tree in memory of Erin Russell as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.

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