1st Lt. Jonam Russell, 25, formerly of Cornville, AZ., was killed in action Tuesday, July 23, 2013 while serving his country in Afghanistan. Jonam was born, January 5, 1988, in Quebec, Canada, the first child of Gilbert and Sophia Russell. He was the brother of five siblings raised by loving parents that provided them with a home schooled education and a Godly foundation by which to live his life.
With great care, he was given the name of Jonam, which means God has been gracious. The family spent many hours in the outdoors playing and working hard to keep warm from the Canadian winters. Not having a television in the household, Jonam's favorite past time was reading. He would read anything he could find, even the World Book Encyclopedia. After living fifteen years in Quebec, Canada, the family decided to relocate to the United States where the mother was from originally. At the age of 15, he started taking classes at Yavapai Community College where he graduated in the class of 2008. Jonam always had a great desire to be in the military, and one of the first things he did in the United States was join the Civil Air Patrol.
He enlisted in the AZ Army National Guard in the 855th Military Police Company in 2007. He earned his commission in May 2011 through ROTC at ASU where he graduated with a degree in Business Communication from the WP Carey School of Business Cum Laude. His military schools include Infantry Basic Officer Leader Course, Air Assault School, Army Ranger School, and Airborne School. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart in Georgia. He deployed to Wardak province in Afghanistan, where he was killed while leading a dismounted patrol.
He will be best remembered for his loyalty. Jonam was an inspiration to people as he helped them to live to the upmost. Jonam did not only die for his country, but he died doing what he had done his entire life which is putting the people he loved first before himself.
Jonam was bound for greatness, and he had big plans. Some of his best qualities were his selflessness, his ability to make good decisions and his strong mind and good heart . He had an unparalleled work ethic.
He is survived by his parents, Gilbert and Sophia Russell; his brothers, Nathanael and Benjamin; his sisters, Abigail, Sarah and Noemi. He is greatly loved and will be sorely missed. It is the only comfort knowing that our son is in Heaven.
A visitation will be held at the Westcott Funeral Home Saturday August 3 from 5-8 PM, Sunday, August 4 from 2-4 PM and 6-8 PM.
A funeral service will be held on Monday August 5 at 10 am at the Verde Baptist Church.
Interment will follow at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona, Monday at 2 PM.
An online guestbook is available at www.westcottfuneralhome.com
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