Cover photo for Oren "Russ" Russell Chappell, Sr.'s Obituary
Oren "Russ" Russell Chappell, Sr. Profile Photo

Oren "Russ" Russell Chappell, Sr.

August 25, 1936 — July 1, 2024


Oren "Russ" Russell Chappell, Sr.

Oren Russell Chappell, Sr., age 87, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, passed away July 1, 2024 at DCH Regional Medical Center. Services will be 11:00 a.m. Monday, July 8, 2024, at St. Mark Church, Northport, AL. Burial will follow in Tuscaloosa Memorial Park with Magnolia Chapel North directing. Visitation will be 10:00 a.m. Monday at the church. 

He was preceded in death by his wife of 56 years, Marianne (Barnett) Chappell; father Alfonso Chappell; mother, Lucille (Moore) Chappell; brother, Alfonso “Bubber” Chappell; sister, Wynona Mize.

Survivors include his daughter, Karen Gates (Rick); sons, Russ Chappell, Jr. (Chrissy) and Richard Chappell (Sandra); grandchildren, Chelsie Gates, Ryan Chappell (Hunter), Tyler Gates, Carlie Besant (Chad), Sara Sartain (Web) and Dr. Briana Hamner (Austin); and great-grandchild, Rhettin Chappell. 

Russ was born in Pine Apple, Alabama and raised in Greenville, Alabama. He graduated from The University of Alabama with a broadcasting degree in 1958. He began his career as a local broadcasting personality at WTBC and WJRD before becoming an advertising executive with Dan Kilgo & Associates. He went on to become the first president of the Tuscaloosa Ad Club and was elected Governor of the American Advertising Federation’s Seventh Deep South District. In 1977, he received the American Advertising Federation Silver Medal Award for outstanding contributions to advertising and community leadership. He later formed Group One Advertising and eventually founded the Promotional Group, Inc. with several partners.

He is best known for being the “Voice of the Wildcats,” broadcasting Tuscaloosa County High School football and basketball games for over twenty years.

He was a long-time member of Saint Mark Church in Northport, and was an active member of the McCollum Sunday School class.

He married the love of his life, Marianne Barnett, in 1957, and they welcomed their first son, Russell Jr., in 1958, followed by son, Richard in 1964 and daughter, Karen in 1965.

Pallbearers will be Ryan Chappell, Tyler Gates, Chad Besant, Web Sartain, Austin Hamner, and Dalton Beck.

Honorary pallbearers are Jimmy Shaw, Randall Gibson, Johnny Price, the staff and nurses at Morning Pointe Assisted Living, members of the McCollum Sunday School class, and members of Saint Mark Church.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Oren "Russ" Russell Chappell, Sr., please visit our flower store.


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