|Birth: ||Aug. 19, 1952|
|Death: ||Aug. 8, 2010|
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake County
Longtime Logan Municipal Court Judge Cheryl Russell died Sunday, August 8, 2010, at the University of Utah Medical Center in Salt Lake City. She was 57. Russell was diagnosed with aplastic anemia before her death, according to municipal court administrator Ryan Casperson. Russell reportedly had a successful bone marrow transplant in June but later experienced complications.
She was appointed in 1992 to help establish Logan's first municipal court and has served since as the city's only judge. Russell "served exceptionally well," said former Mayor Doug Thompson. "She was dedicated and earnest in everything she did. She wanted to make sure that everything she said and did as a judge was appropriate to uphold the law." Russell was known for being resolute in her position.
"It's so much better to have someone who lets you know exactly where you stand than someone who is wishy-washy in their decisions," Thompson said. "She also held very high standards for conduct and demeanor in the courtroom, and I think that's absolutely appropriate."
Casperson said clerks and staff enjoyed working with Russell and that workplace morale was always upbeat. "We're all deeply saddened by her passing, and we're struggling to keep up the happy attitudes that we've always had," he said. "We just love Judge Russell. We thought she was kind. She really did care about what happened to the defendants she saw. She always tried to have their best interests at heart."
During recent court absences that Russell took for medical reasons, interim judges from within the 1st District Court system stepped in to help keep the case load moving. "Judge Russell always wanted the work to go on and for everyone to get the best service possible," Casperson added. "We're trying to maintain that level of service and continue to help the public as best we can." Casperson said several former defendants have even returned to Russell's courtroom to ask her to perform a marriage ceremony, or to just to drop by and say thank you.
"We've had a lot of positive comments from judges and courts around the state today," he added. "She was well-liked and well-respected."
Russell was born in Tooele, Utah, August 19, 1952, and grew up in Logan, where she attended and graduated from Logan High School in 1970. She earned a degree from Utah State University in 1973 and a law degree from the J. Reuben Clark School at Brigham Young University in 1976.
Logan Mayor Randy Watts praised Russell's willingness to give latitude, as well as her no-nonsense style in dealing with defendants who didn't come through with their end of a deal.
"She was direct," he said, noting her even voice and the way she looked defendants in the eye. "When they left her court, they knew she meant business."
Other judges, including Kevin Christensen from Box Elder County, David Marx from the North Logan/Hyde Park Justice Court, Jack L. Stevens from the Nibley and Hyrum justice courts, Allan Vail, and Kevin L. Nelson from the Mantua Justice Court, sat in for Russell in Logan.
She is survived by her companion and best friend of 13 years, Michael Van Horn; one daughter, Jen Lin; two sons, Tai Ming and Sann Chey; parents, Melvin and Barbara Russell; three sisters, Carol Lee Russell, Linda (Olin) Zollinger and Marilyn (Rod) Anderton; and one brother, Craig (Pat) Russell.
A viewing was held at Allen Hall Mortuary on August 11. Interment was in the Mendon City Cemetery on August 12, 2012.
Melvin Reed Russell (1930 - 2012)
Cheryl Ann Russell (1952 - 2010)
Linda Kay Russell Zollinger (1959 - 2012)*
Mendon City Cemetery
Created by: AliceAnn
Record added: Aug 10, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 95130781