Tahlequah Daily Press


April 16, 2014

Russell G. Talley

SUN CITY, Ariz. — Russell G. Talley, previously of Oak Harbor, Wash., passed away Thursday, March 27, in Sun City, Ariz.

Russell was born in Tahlequah, April 19, 1937, to Ross Talley and Elizabeth Ross. Russ was a proud member of the Cherokee Tribe and a direct descendant of John Ross, principal chief of the Cherokee Nation.

He is survived by his brother Reuben (Phyllis) Talley of Amarillo, Texas; and sisters, Ellen (Jack) Roberson and Betty (Gene) Gillard, both of Henderson, Nev.

He was predeceased by sisters, Faye Catron of Blythe, Calif. and Mary Francis Johnson of Tahlequah; also many nieces, nephews, and cousins who he loved very much.

Russell met his first wife Barbara (Sisson) Williston in Clovis, N.M., after a short enlistment in the Navy. Russ is survived by his daughters, Linda (Troy Wilder) Zimmerman Wilder of Bonney Lake, Wash., and Dr. Debra Talley of Rushville, Ill.; grandchildren, Christopher (Samantha) Zimmerman, Carrie (Jared) Zimmerman, Adam (Sarah) Wilder, and Ben (Marie) Wilder; great-grandchildren, Timothy and Dustyn (Carrie), Allayna (Chris), Gene and Aubrey (Ben).

Russ re-enlisted in the Navy after the birth of his first daughter. Ultimately achieving the rank of Command Master Chief, his naval career lasted close to 30 years. It took him to many places around the world and several duty stations in the states, one of which was Whidbey Island. During this time Russ was divorced and eventually met and married Marvene Sullivan of Coupeville, Wash., who predeceased him in March 2007.

Russ and Marvene were active members of the Elks, where they had many friends. He is also survived by step-sons, Edward Sullivan and David Sullivan of Coupeville and their children Sarah and Michelle Sullivan (Ed), and David Sullivan Jr.

In 2008, Russ met his companion Joy Barrett. Russ and Joy enjoyed cruising around the world and traveling extensively. They relocated from Washington to Arizona in 2012, where he really enjoyed the sunshine and many activities such as square dancing, lapidary, metal smiting, tennis, and playing bridge. He also loved to fish, especially with friends and family.

Russ loved and cared deeply for his family and friends and was truly loved in return. He will be greatly missed.

Please, join us for a memorial and luncheon celebrating Russ’ life at the Oak Harbor Elks Saturday, April 26, at 1 p.m. The family will then lay Russell to rest at Sunnyside Cemetery in Coupeville, Wash.

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