Willard Russell


Willard Edgar “Buddy” Russell, Jr., 74, of Bryson City,passed away Jan. 10, 2020.

A native of Haywood County, Buddy was the son of the late Willard and Evelyn Patton Russell from the Allens Creek community. Born Oct. 24, 1945, Buddy was a lifelong resident of Western North Carolina and divided his time between Haywood, Jackson and Swain counties. He enjoyed the friendship of all he encountered and never seemed to have met a stranger. His love of Bluegrass and Gospel music at full volume was notorious, as was his habit of making mischief and then spinning a good tale about it. His nickname of “Ratchet Jaw” was well-earned, and he loved nothing better than being surrounded by family and friends. His laughter was infectious. His enjoyment of racing and a need for speed kept the roads and his beloved scooter hot. He could never be replaced, and will be missed but not forgotten.

Buddy is survived by four daughters, Pamela Estes (Bill, deceased) Patricia Russell Dunford, Angela Russell Bristol Dean and Lisa Dixon (Doug), as well as eight grandchildren: David Estes, Chelsea Estes Baldwin, Logan Bristol, Erik Bristol, Megan Dixon, Harmon Dixon, and Jacob Dunford; and one great-grandson, Dreyden Estes. Buddy is survived by various other family members.

A memorial service is planned for June 13 at Palmer Chapel in Cataloochee at noon with dinner on the grounds to follow. All friends, neighbors and family are invited to attend and bring a covered dish.