Hywanah McFarland Russell, 91, passed away at 8:55 pm, on Thursday, November 9, 2017, at the Plains Regional Medical Center in Clovis, NM. She had suffered a heart attack earlier in the day. Hwyanah was living with her husband Ben Russell, in the Memory Care Unit at Wheatfields Senior Living Community, for the past 16 months.
Hywanah was born to Fred and Marie McFarland on January 12, 1926, in Clovis. She was president of the Clovis High School Debate Team her senior year, graduating in 1943. Hywanah graduated from Hardin-Simmons University at Abiline, TX in 1947, with a degree in education. She was a Cowgirl with the Hardin-Simmons University Marching Band. On July 3, 1948, Hywanah married Ben Louis Russell at the First Presbyterian Church in Portales, NM. During this time, she was also able to earn a Master’s in Education at Eastern New Mexico University in 1955. She went on to teach at Eugene Field Elementary School for one year, then for 29 years, she taught the fifth grade at James Bickley Elementary School, until she retired.
She was an avid reader of novels and Christian romance novels. Hywanah enjoyed traveling with Ben to all the European nations, with the exception of Finland and Poland. In the Western Hemisphere, Hywanah traveled to Nova Scotia, Ontario, Panama, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Ecuador. Her Asian travels took her and Ben to Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Australia, and New Zealand. Lastly, she spent eight days in Morocco.
Hywanah also found the time to teach a Woman’s Senior Sunday School class, for 60 years, at Central Baptist Church. She read about Jesus Christ, six days a week at 8:30 am, in devotional books.
Hywanah Russell is survived by her husband B.L. Russell of Clovis; one son, Michael Rand Russell of Clovis; three first cousins, Lee Ann Leslie, Don Leslie, and Jack Leslie of Clovis; and a sister-in-law, Elayne Logan of Pomona, CA.
Services for Hywanah are to be held on Wednesday, November 15, at 2:00 pm, in the Steed Todd Funeral Home Chapel, with Damon Pearce, officiating. Burial will follow immediately after at Lawn Haven Cemetery.
Miss McFarland was my fourth grade teacher at Eugene Field Elementary School the year before she married Dr. Russell. She was loved by her students for many reasons. She had a unique system for discipline. Every student started with 100 points. For infractions of her class rules she deducted points. Everyone tried to stay at 100. She wrote a personal note to each student at the end of the year. I kept mine for many years. I was very pleased to find her at one of our 1956 class reunions. She remembered me. I will always remember her.
Texalee Adair SmithPaola, KS
My condolences to Rand and Dr. Russell. I have such wonderful memories of Mrs. Russell though the years I knew her and the family.
Beverley A. SmithClovis, NM
Mrs. Russell was one of my most influential teachers in my life- she encouraged me to be myself and to have confidence in my abilities and I ran with that affirmation for my school years. I graduated from college and became a librarian . She was a wonderful teacher who read to us each day after lunch without fail and she understood children and how they think and what motivates a child. I wrote her a letter thanking her about 4 years ago to thank her , I left Clovis in the 1960’s and never looked back until my 50th High School Reunion.
Ann Etzel OrindHolland, MI