Rex D. Russell

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Rex Daniel Russell (January 14, 1941—January 29, 2009)[1] was a physician from Fort Smith, Arkansas, who authored the 1996 book, What the Bible Says About Healthy Living.[2] Russell was also the first Arkansas doctor to perform angioplasties and stent placements for cardiovascular patients.[3]

An Oklahoma native, Russell was diagnosed with diabetes in his teens but nevertheless managed to compete in athletics. In 1962, he was one of eight individuals chosen as annual "National Football Hall of Fame Scholars". He graduated from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater[3] and the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, interned at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine in Lexington, and then served his residency at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Russell retired from Sparks Regional Medical Center in Fort Smith after twenty-nine years of practice as a radiologist.[4] In addition to the angioplasties, he was the first Arkansas doctor to perform tumor ablations, vertebroplasties, and thrombolysis for stroke recovery. He was affiliated with the Society of Cardiovascular & Interventional Radiology.[3]

Russell was a member of the First Baptist Church of Fort Smith, where he taught a weekly Bible and health class. His obituary describes him as "fearless in his faith, and he was a living testimony to God’s grace." He was a lecturer on topics entitled "Evidences on Scientific Creation" and "If a Perfect God Created Us, Why Do We Get Sick", topics comparable to his What the Bible Says About Healthy Living. He was a longtime supporter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.[3] He was a donor to Republican candidates, a golfer, tennis player, and a cattle rancher. Russell died in Houston. Survivors included his wife, Judith Russell; two sons, Randall S. Russell of Nashville, Tennessee, and Rodney Rex Russell and his wife, Raeanne Russell, of Fayetteville, Arkansas; one brother, Dr. Scott Russell and his wife, Maggie Russell, of Stillwater, Oklahoma; three grandchildren, and two nieces. Services were held on February 3, 2009, at the First Baptist Church of Fort Smith. Interment was at Oak Cemetery in Fort Smith.