Samuel Russell Tedder
MAY 6, 1935 ~ JANUARY 29, 2019 (AGE 83)
He is survived by his loving wife, Carolyn Ann Jackson Tedder, his one and only child, his loving daughter Jennifer Tedder Booth and very special husband, Steven Booth, two wonderful grandchildren, Harrison Tedder Booth and Elizabeth (Beth) Hale Booth, and eleven very special nephews and nieces and their spouses along with their offspring.
Russell graduated from high school at 16. He laid aside college plans to accept a job offer as a station clerk at the joint freight and passenger station of the Live Oak, Perry & Gulf Railroad and the South Georgia Railway at Perry, Florida. This job led to a lifelong career in shortline railroading. At 19, Russell was promoted to station agent. One year later train dispatching was added to his duties.
In 1957, he joined the U.S. Army for three years. He first served with the 714th Railroad Operating Battalion at Fort Eustis, Virginia. In 1958 he was reassigned as Chief of the Army’s Rail Transportation Office in Bremen, Germany. After 25 months in Germany he was discharged and returned to his former job at Perry.
With night classes and a leave of absence, Russell earned a Bachelor of Science degree at Florida State University in 1968. This led to a job offer as vice president and general manager of the Sabine River & Northern Railroad at Orange, Texas. It was there that he met the love of his life, Carolyn Ann Jackson. They were married on April 18, 1970.
In 1976 he became president of Georgia-Pacific’s Ashley, Drew & Northern and Fordyce & Princeton railroads at Crossett, Arkansas. By 1991 the number of operating G-P shortlines had increased to nine. That year, besides being president of the shortlines, G-P appointed Russell as Director of Corporate Rail Service with oversight over all company owned railroad operations.
Russell served on the board of directors, as regional vice president, and five years as chairman of the board and executive committee of the American Shortline Railroad Association.
Following retirement from the Georgia-Pacific railroads in 1997, Russell operated a rail consulting company with major Fortune 500 forest products companies as clients until 2005.
In 2016 Russell wrote ForestRails; Georgia-Pacific’s Railroads, a 500-page tome illustrated with over 600 photographs depicting the history of the G-P railroads.
Russell was a member of Park Hill Baptist Church in North Little Rock, AR where he served as a deacon. His faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is what informed all of his decisions. He will long be remembered as a faithful, godly man.
A Visitation will be held at 10:00 AM, Monday, February 4, 2019 with the Funeral Service following at 11:00 AM at Park Hill Baptist Church in North Little Rock. Burial will be at Rest Hills.
In lieu of flowers the family requests memorials be sent to Park Hill Baptist Church, 201 East C Avenue, North Little Rock, AR 72116 for the World Hunger Fund.