Some folks believe that the security at Riverview Health went up a notch when retired Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department Detective Lt. Mitch Russell came to take over as director of security in 2012.
Russell, who spent 29 years with the Sheriff’s Department, after retiring in 2006, became Arcadia Marshall in the northern Hamilton County town where he graduated Hamilton Heights High School and started out in law enforcement as a deputy marshal. He loved law enforcement and ran as a candidate for Hamilton County Sheriff in the May 2018 primary.
On Tuesday, I learned of the passing of Mitch Russell after reading a social media post by his nephew, Jonn Russell (son of the late Dick Russell and brother of Rick Russell).
Jonn Russell wrote, “If we’re lucky enough to know this guy...you knew that he was going to make you smile, laugh, challenge you and make you feel like you were the only one around. He tried his best every day to be the dad, husband, uncle and friends that everyone wanted. May you and dad (Dick Russell) be the crazy, trouble making and laughing brother you were when you two were together. We will all miss you so much.”
Mitch Russell died on Tuesday after a battle with cancer, at age 67. He was a good man who loved his family and community. Services are at 10 a.m. today in Noblesville.
It’s only been four years since the community was mourning the death of another good man, his older brother, former Noblesville Police Chief Richard J. “Dick” Russell III, who died Jan. 18, 2017, at the age of 68. (He was a patrolman for Cicero Police Department from 1972-74, then with Carmel Police Department 1974-75, and then was with the sheriff’s department 1975-1996, including chief deputy for Sheriff Dan Stevens. He was Noblesville Police Chief 1996-2009, and after NPD retirement worked for the Sheriff’s Department in the basement of the Government & Judicial Center, working camera security.)
The Russell brothers, sons of Jack and Virginia (Pass) Russell, were born five years apart, Dick Russell on Dec. 6, 1948, in Pennington Gap, Va., and Mitch Russell on Nov. 25, 1953, in Noblesville. Both were Sagitarius on the Zodiac horoscope, known for being generous, optimistic and having a great sense of humor.
Jonn Russell’s announcement of his uncle’s passing on social media quickly received 225 reactions and 150 comments from friends, family, former co-workers and other folks sharing their condolences, prayers and memories.
“He had the most contagious laugh and uplifting spirit. Until that is....he was upset with an ump at baseball,” said Angela Groet.
“He would always stop and talk when he would see me working in the yard. Just to chat. Heck of a man and gonna miss those chats,” Daniel Rodriguez said.
“Mitch was a great man, a friend to many and always ready to listen and help,” Mark F. Hall said.
“I so loved this mentor of mine at Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department and 33 years of friendship. Amazing man,” said Melissa Butterworth Roberts.
“Good friend, dedicated public servant, special person,” former Hamilton County Sheriff Dan Stevens said.
“Melanie Flinchum Cole said, “I never saw Mitch without a smile on his face.”
Mitch Russell, who was married to Melanie Anne (Logan) Russell of 38 years, was a man of integrity who helped anyone and everyone who needed help. He loved coaching his kids and grandkids in sports, serving his community on the Arcadia Town Council, being involved in Kiwanis Club and driving his grandkids all over town in his golf cart.
May we all strive to be more like Mitch Russell.
Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. today at Randall & Roberts Funeral Center, 1685 Westfield Road, Noblesville, with the Rev. Stanley R. Sutton officiating. Burial will be in Arcadia Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Arcadia Splash Pad, ? Jennifer Pickett, P.O. Box 578, Arcadia, IN 46030.

-Contact Betsy Reason at betsy@thetimes24-7.com.