Russell was born July 26, 1927, in Meriden, Connecticut, the son of Russell Eugene Sweet and Florence Olivia (Forster) Sweet. He married Clara Goodin on February 16, 1973, in Jacksonville, Florida and she survives him in Centralia.
In addition to his wife Clara of forty-seven years, he is survived by four children: Barbara Martin of Forest Park, GA, Russell Sweet Jr. of Jacksonville, FL, Bobbie Dee Today and husband David of Joliet, IL, and Robert Edward Anderson of San Juan, Puerto Rico; nine grandchildren: Ellery Zurcher and wife Amanda of Stockbridge, GA, Emily Dingle and husband James of Jonesboro, GA, Cody Zurcher of Forest Park, GA, Amanda Christie Blewett and husband Travis of Vidalia, GA, Adam Chester Poole and wife Ana of Blackshear, GA, Jessica Rae Today Pila and husband Jim of Lisle, IL, Johnathan Edward “Jack” Anderson of Barrington, RI, Sarah Grace Anderson of Barrington, RI and Raleigh Dean Forster Anderson of Barrington, RI; seven great-grandchildren; Niece Brenda McDade and husband Steve, Nephew Michael McDade and Niece Tina Warfel and husband Mark, and many more special friends and family.
Russell was preceded in death by his parents Russell Eugene and Florence Olivia Sweet, and a sister Barbara May Gretzky.
Russell attended the First Presbyterian Church in Centralia with his wife Clara and was a member of Lake Forest Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida.
Russell served his country in the United States Coast Guard Maritime Service as a Merchant Marine during the period of armed conflict in World War II. He retired from Hollywood Brands/Leaf Candy Factory in 1992, where he worked as a Maintenance Supervisor.
Russell was a Life Member of the Grand Lodge Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New York, a 67-year member, raised in 1952, Masonic Advanced Island City Mizpah Lodge #635, in Long Island, NY, Both York and Scottish Rite Valley in NY and IL, 2017 Past Master of Centralia Masonic Lodge #201, Current Chaplain at Centralia #201 and Sandoval Masonic Lodges, Mecca Shriners Lodge #1 of NYC, NY, Centralia Lodge #493 Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Loyal Order of Moose, Jacksonville, FL, V.F.W. Post 2055 Centralia, American Legion Post 446 in Centralia, and was a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary along with his wife in 1977-1983.
Per Russell’s wishes, cremation rites will be accorded and a Celebration of Life Service will be held at a later date. In honor of Russell, Memorial Donations may be made to the Shriners Children’s Research Hospital and will be accepted by the Sutherland-Garnier Funeral Home at 235 North Sycamore Street in Centralia, IL 62801 618-532-3523, who is honored to be of service to the Sweet family.
Online condolences may be made to the family by visiting sutherlandfuneralhome.com or the Funeral Homeâ’s Facebook page.