Russell F. Blowers

  • Born: June 26, 1924
  • Died: November 10, 2007
  • Location: Indianapolis, Indiana

Flanner and Buchanan Funeral Center Market Street

635 E. Market St.
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Tel. (317) 387-7000

Tribute & Message From The Family

Russell F. Blowers, 83. Born and raised in Ohio, Russ was the Senior Minister Emeritus of the East 91st Street Christian Church, where he was the beloved senior minister for 46 years.
A proud veteran of the Eighth Air Force, US Army Air Corps, in World War II, he returned from the service in 1945 and married the late Marian Eagon Blowers in 1946. Russ held degrees from Ohio University and Christian Theological Seminary, and honorary doctorates from Milligan College (Tennessee) and Christian Theological Seminary.
A "naturalized" Hoosier, he was honored as an Indiana Sagamore of the Wabash. Russ was active in the Billy Graham Evangelizing Association, and served in organizing three Graham Crusades in Indianapolis, in 1959, 1980, and 1999. He was a trustee of Emmanuel School of Religion and Milligan College, and served on the boards of Food for the Hungry International and Christian Missionary Fellowship.
Retiring from the ministry in 1996, he was for a decade a faithful caregiver for his wife and best friend Marian, who suffered from Alzheimer's Disease until her passing in 2004.
Russ is survived by two sons and their wives, Phil and Susie Blowers, Fishers, and their daughters Shannon, Redondo Beach, California, and Alison, Fishers; Paul and Sandy Blowers of Elizabethton, Tennessee, their children Leslie and Colin Blowers, Elizabethton, Tennessee, Stephen Trivette (Kathryn), Charlottesville, Virginia, David Trivette (Jessica), Christiansburg, Virginia; and three great-grandchildren, Halle, Luke, and Savannah Trivette.
In lieu of flowers, the family encourages memorial contributions to Emmanuel School of Religion, One Walker Drive, Johnson City TN 37601, or Milligan College, Milligan College TN 37682.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, November 15, 2007 at East 91st Street Christian Church, with calling there from 2 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, November 14, 2007 and one hour prior to service on Thursday. Burial will be in Oaklawn Memorial Gardens.


Condolence & Memory Journal

Remembering and missing a Great man today! Russ spoke deeply into my life and the life of so many others. He was faithful to his God, his Family, and to his Church. May God richly bless him today.

Posted by Ernest - IN   November 10, 2015

We are praying for the Blowers family during this time of mourning, and rejoicing for Russ as he is celebrating with his Savior. Russ leaves quite a legacy for us all. Tracy & Beth Wright and family

Posted by Tracy & Beth Wright - Cambridge City, IN   November 25, 2007

I was so sorry to hear of Rev. Blowers' passing. He was the reason I joined East 91st Street Church. I was invited to attend a Bring a Friend to Church day. As I listened to Rev. Blowers sermon, I felt like he was speaking directly to me. In fact, there were few sermons he gave that I didn't feel that way. Just listening to him speak gave me such an uplifting feeling. He was a remarkable person.

Posted by Sheryl Million - Indianapolis, IN   November 25, 2007

I grew up in the st As ayoung boy i sat with my father the nite Russ interviewed. Russ baptized both my sister and myself. later Russ married me, buried my mother,and my wife when she died. i also was very lucky to be the floor man for Russ when he did his Chapel Door program on WISH TV. He was a grat minisrer,father, husband and friend.

My prayers are with the family

Posted by dick Ganz - Fallon, NV   November 23, 2007

This man always made me feel better about myself and edified my spirit when he spoke. I loved his sermons

and I treasure my tapes of his sermons at East 91st

Street Christian Church. I saw him with friends at MCL

Cafeteria sometimes, and it was always a joy to speak

to him. I deeply respect that he was a World War II

veteran too. I am sad he is gone and that he suffered

in his last days, but I'm happy he is in Glory with his

Lord Jesus Christ and his beloved wife. I will never,

ever forget Russell F. Blowers, a Godly and dear man.

Posted by Sally Dee Perry - Indianapolis, IN   November 17, 2007

April 14, 1957--I was 9 years old when Russell Blowers baptized me. He was my childhood pastor and was a major influence in my Christian walk with Christ. My parents, Pliny and Olive Metsker, and my sister, Kathleen, loved him, too. We moved away in 1962, but I never forgot him. A few years ago my husband and I drove to a church in Wichita to hear him preach, and just this past June, my sister and I were in Indianapolis and had lunch with him. What a pleasure to see him, and what a blessing he has been to us and to so many. I can imagine that my parents were in Heaven's reception line welcoming Russ home. And all of us who know Christ as our Lord--we will see the smile and feel the hearty handshake of Russell Blowers once again.

Posted by Mary Ellen(Metsker)Lewis - Overland Park, KS   November 16, 2007

What an awesome celebration of life at E91 yesterday~a beautiful 2 hour tribute to someone who truly was a man of God. Everyone's comments and stories and the music were a fitting tribute to a wonderful man. He will be missed and cherished. We feel privileged to have been in his flock.

Posted by Bruce & Carmen Cumbee - Indianapolis, IN   November 16, 2007

You are in our thoughts and prayers. We extend our sympathy and love to all the family and friends of Russ. He was our friend and mentor during his lifetime. God Bless you all.

Gilbert & Betty Schreiber

Posted by Gilbert & Betty Schreiber - North Vernon, IN   November 15, 2007

When I first met Pastor Russ Blowers several years ago, I smiled. When I heard him speak at our church, I smiled. When I first heard of him going to see our Lord and Saviour, I was sad for a minute, but then I smiled. When I read the previous guestbook entries paying tribute to a life well lived, I smiled.

I am sure that God and Pastor Blowers are smiling, too!

Sympathy to Pastor Blowers family here on earth. Know that you can see his smile again someday.


Mark Jurgens

Posted by Mark Jurgens - Indianapolis, IN   November 15, 2007

Dear Phil and Paul and families,

My 83 year old father was also a WWII veteran and went to be with the Lord on November 1st-All Saints Day. He was a lifelong main line church goer but did not have the assurance of salvation until last month. Your father was a servant of Christ all of his adult years. I am at peace because I know the Lord does not grade on a curve and both of our earthly fathers are with our Heavenly Father in glory. When I think of my father I picture him in heaven at peace and total happiness and so I am at peace. I know it is hard for all of you. I am happy, though, that Russ did not have to suffer for a long time or linger for a long time. My father didn't either so that is a comfort. In Jesus'Name, Donna and Dean McDonald

Posted by Donna and Dean McDonald - Indianapolis, IN   November 15, 2007

How fitting it was that Russ "graduated into Glory" on Veteran's Day weekend. Another of God's grand old warriors has gone home.

What an honor it was for me to serve on Russ' staff from 1987 until he retired. Everyone who knew Russ realized what a great visionary, pastor, husband and father he was.

After God called me on from E. 91st, I was blessed to stay in contact with this great man of God over the years via email. My PC journal is spiced with memories and little quips and insights of Russ.

When I think of him I am reminded of a statement that Phil or Paul said of his father at one of Russ' many anniversary celebrations... "How do I describe my dad? Perhaps with this simple phrase 'What you see is what you get.' " Russ was truly a man of integrity.

I think the thing that impressed me the most about him was his inquenchable zest for life. He was always so "young for his age." And he had such a spontaneous, wonderful sense of humor.

He was always so quick to think on his feet... or off them, for that matter. There was the time when Russ was going down the steps to enter the new baptistry when the church first moved to E. 91st. His feet suddenly shot out from the slippery steps under him and he splashed down into the water. Russ came up out of the water and, without missing a beat, spit out some water and said to the startled congregation, "Well, folks, you've just witnessed our first baptism here in the new sanctuary!"

With Russ and my own father awaiting me in Glory, heaven continues to become even more of that destination for which I long.

After my father died in 2003, Russ sent me the following scripture...

"Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life." Rev. 2:10b

Now it's your turn, Russ. I know you're wearing it proudly.

Posted by Mark Wesner - Roanoke Rapids, NC   November 15, 2007

My christianity started more than 30 years ago when I attended Russ's bible school class at E-49th Street Church. Then on to E. 91st Street and then young life...My family the Butterworth's were strong in our faith as a family because of Russ and his teachings of love, family and christ. I continue to carry the same teachings with family and my daughter who is only 5 but loves the church. I always looked at Russ and thought that he was as holy as a pastor could ever be, christ lived in him and he now lives in the glory land that he taught us all so many years ago. I think we all smile when we think of Russ. God bless the Blower family and continue to flourish as he would want you to. Many prayers to you. Mel

Posted by Melissa Butterworth Roberts - Noblesville, IN   November 15, 2007

I send my sympathy to Phil, Paul and Susie upon the death of their father and father-in-law. I was one of Russ's first Timothys. I owe my own ministry to his influence and encouragement. I remember when he first came to East 49th Street Christian Church. He had a little office up next to the baptistry behind the pulpit. He told me I could use any of his books I wanted. I'll miss him greatly.

Sincerely, Dale Jacobs

Posted by Dale Jacobs - Selbyville, DE   November 14, 2007

Russ was a very important man throughout the globe, but in a smaller way, he was of global importance to me. He was one of my fathers in the faith, the man who baptized me as a freshman in high school, always helped me feel valued as a young man of God despite all my crazy hairstyles and wild clothes styles, he helped get me on as an intern at E91, helped guide me in (and receive scholarships for) my seminary training, brought me onto the E91 staff, mentored me in many ways, and supported me prayerfully and financially as E91 sent me as one of their church planters to bring the gospel and church family to Portland in the most unchurched state in the US, Oregon, and he had continued to encourage me every time we'd get together when I returned to Indy...

He will be sorely missed in the kingdom, we will be praying for all his family (many of whom were like family to me), friends and so many others who will miss his presence in their lives, but also praising God for the fruit of his life and global impact he made on so many for God's Kingdom. He was truly a model of faithfulness to the end and a great example of the power of longevity in ministry which continues to inspire and equip me (and surely countless others!) in the here and now!

I'm not sure that I can get back for the funeral, but I send our thoughts, love and prayers,

Steve and Renee Brooke

Zechariah, Noah and lil' Grace

And the Our Place church family

Posted by Steve Brooke - Portland, OR   November 14, 2007

I not only knew Russ Blowers to be a wonderful man of God, but as a very special Uncle. I am so saddened to hear of his passing, yet rejoice for him as I know he is where he always longed to be, with Jesus. I would spend some summers at his home and I always felt so loved while there. He and Marian were like second parents to me and Phillip and Paul like brothers. Our sympathy and love go out to Phil, Suzie, Allison and Shannon, Paul, Sandy, Colin and Leslie and their extended family. I love your dad so much and have so many wonderful memories of him and your family. I am so sorry we are unable to come to Indiana, but know that our thoughts and prayers are with you. All our love,

Posted by Kim, Kevin, Katie and Kourtney Baker - Marion, OH   November 14, 2007

Russ Blowers was the finest Pastor I have ever known. I first came to know him well when it was my privilege to serve with him on the Billy Graham Crusade in 1980. When the Crusade was over, I wrote him asking if he would be my Pastor in Heaven! After my retirement from Southport Presbyterian Church in 1993, I was invited to become Interim Senior Pastor of Tabernacle Presbyterian Church on 34th and Central. On the very first day of my job there, the first call I received was from Russ, welcoming me to that position, and inviting me out to lunch. That was typical of Russ as a Pastor and thoughtful friend. How we will miss him! My wife, Marilyn and I join Russ and Marion's countless friends in letting the Blowers' family know they are in our special love and prayers.

Henry Date

Posted by Henry S. Date - Greenwood, IN   November 14, 2007

Russ knew my name as a high-schooler in the youth group many years ago, and that meant the world to me. His life was a portrait of Jesus for all to see, and I'm so thankful for his life.

Kim Sole

Posted by Kimberly Sole - Avon, IN   November 14, 2007

Russ is one of God's Living Legends. I will always be indebted to him for leading me to find Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I believe that God would say of Russ as He once said of David "He is a man after my own heart". Perhaps this poem says it best.

If someone were simply to ask you,

What's the greatest thing you can do.

To leave your mark for eternity,

When all of your life is through.

What would be your answer?

What tribute could there be?

What thought would honor God the most?

When He, your name would see.

I believe the greatest thing,

God could yet impart.

Would be the words, "This child became

A man after my own heart".

This son of mine named Russ,

Found a touch of the divine.

Because within his life there beat.

A heart shaped just like mine.

A heart that did not need acclaim.

A heart that just believed.

A heart that would but rather die,

Than see my spirit grieved.

A heart that grew to stand in awe,

At what His God had done.

A heart that lived for just one thing.

To glorify my son.

Posted by chuck storm - Indianapolis, IN   November 14, 2007

I was deeply saddened to find out that Russ had passed; he meant so much to me. I was one of the few blessed individuals to work on staff with him at E91 from 1995-1997. He commissioned me when I became a missionary with CMF. One of my favorite memories of Russ was when we were all at his 45-Year Anniversary Party. There was a video clip of him wearing his bomber jacket and he was claiming that he won the war. Well, Russ, you may not have won World War II, but you certainly did finish the race. Well done, good and faithful servant! To Russs family, I cannot even begin to understand the grief and pain that you are experiencing, but we all know where he is, and you can rest in that.

Posted by Cindy Smith - Indianapolis, IN   November 14, 2007

Russ Blowers was truely a man of godly character. My late wife and I were in seach of a spiritual home in 1991 and our family doctor from the Greenwood area wrote us a prescription to attend E91. Several years later as I sat with Russ and shared stories about my late wife for him to prepare to officiate her burial I shared that and many other things with him. What I remember most about Russ is his true compassion for the lost and hurting. God Bless the Blower family as Russ begins the celebration!

Posted by Randy Lindsay - Indianapolis, IN   November 13, 2007

I was saddened to hear of the passing of Russ. I remember fondly my conversations with him when I was a student at Milligan and in recent years when we would see each other at Emmanuel or Milligan events.

Russ always made me feel special and valued as he took time to chat with me.

Paul please know that you and your entire family are in my prayers. I will remember your dad's kind and loving spirit forever. I know that I have been blessed by having the opportunity to know your dad. Thanks for sharing him with so many of us.

My prayers are with you.

Bob Hayden

Posted by Bob Hayden - Fullerton, CA   November 13, 2007

My heart broke when I heard the news of Russ passing on. He was an Awesome man and an extraordinary man of GOD. As I look at the few postings in the guestbook, I see a similar theme. That Russ led me to God or he was a Godly man etc.

Well my memories of Russ are the same. What an Amazing man of GOD he was and what an amazing Legacy he leaves behind. Russ has touched lives, I would say World wide. Yet it never changed who he was, he was just Russ. He never let how much of an influence he was in the world change his focus. Russ also remembered me by name and most everyone I talked to would say the same. Russ loved his family, but He loved his GOD most of all. He always trusted God to be in control and provide all that was needed to him, his family and the church. Russ will indeed be missed by his friends, his Family and his church. He was a great friend and mentor to lots of people and for that we can all be greatful for. As Russ passed on it is sad for our loss and his families loss, but we can be assured that Russ is at home with his Lord and that his GOD welcomed him with open arms and told him WELL DONE THOU GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT!

God Bless the Family and our Prayers will continue to be with them for the loss. But for Russ I say God Bless and enjoy being home with your Savior! See ya one day!

Posted by Dave - Indianapolis, IN   November 13, 2007

Mr. Blowers led me to christ when i was only eight years old. I am now 38 and it has meant everything. THANKYOU!

Posted by rebecca gilson - jacksonville, NC   November 13, 2007

To Russ' Family:

Though time has taken our individual paths in different directions, I will always have a special place in my heart for Uncle Russ. I remember time spent with your family when I was younger. We got our first cat from Russ and Marian. Russ contributed to my college education. He also used to call my dad "Mr. Bach". Sort of an inside joke which Dad loved, by the way.

Know that even though the spotlight has shone brightly upon your father (and deservedly so), that each of you has your own unique gifts to share with the world. I pray that our loving Parent holds Russ and Marian and each of you in His loving embrace that lasts forever........

The Light of God surrounds us

The Love of God enfolds us

The Power of God protects us

The Presence of God watches over us

Wherever we are, God IS, and all is well.

Posted by Jonathan S. Cooksey - Anderson, IN   November 13, 2007

Where do I begin with everything Russ has meant to me?

He knew me....

he remembered my name and he knew me.

It didn't matter how large the church became....if he met you, he remembered you....and

if he knew others in your family, he remembered all of

those in the family as well.

He never talked about himself...he talked about you.

Once when I was visiting his wife Marian in the

nursing home, he happened to come in while I was still

there. His wife instantly knew who he was...her

whole demeanor changed. And Russ went first to her,

and then greeted everyone in the area...the nurses,

the aides, the family members of other residents, and

the residents. Instead of him dwelling on his own

needs, he was out there ministering to all of those in

the nursing home. I was going to leave, not wanting to

intrude on his time with Marian, but he insisted that

I stay and eat with him and Marian...they were having

a special dinner for the families. That meant so much

to me....he always made me feel extra special....he made

everyone whose life he touched feel that way.

I was reading his obituary and reading everything he has

done and accomplished. I thought of ICor 13 where it

says that none of that means anything without love....

without love he would have been a noisy gong.

But Russ was love....he had his Father's

Amy Grant's song states. That song always makes me

think of Russ...along with the beautiful "Lord's Prayer"

that only Russ can sing.

We all know where Russ is and we know that He is

celebrating with his wife Marian and all those other

saints that have gone before him. He has met Jesus

and God face to face. Can you imagine the ecstasy

he felt when He first saw Jesus? We can only

imagine it....he has now completely experienced it!

To Russ's immediate family members....

I know God will be surrounding you with His love and

His peace. May you rejoice in all the lives he has

touched and will continue to touch in Heaven.

Love, Jeanie

Posted by jeanieflack - Fishers, IN   November 13, 2007