Nellie Birdsall passed away Monday, January 16, 2023. She and her late husband, Russ, who passed away in 2021, were United Brethren missionaries in Sierra Leone and Macau, and served ten years in pastoral ministry.
Visitation: 3-7 pm Friday, January 20.
Visitation location: Bailey Love Funeral Home, 35 West Park Drive, Huntington, IN 46750
Funeral: 12pm Saturday, January 21, 2023. Visitation one hour beforehand.
Funeral location: College Park UB church, Huntington, Ind.
Nellie was born in Chambersburg, Pa., in 1931 and grew up there. She and Russ met at Huntington University and were married in 1951. On September 4, 1957, they and their young daughter, Sharon, boarded a ship for Sierra Leone, where they served as UB missionaries for the next 11 years.
In July 1968, the family returned to Huntington at the request of Dr. DeWitt Baker, another former Sierra Leone missionary, so Russ could become dean of students at Huntington University. Nellie was a public schoolteacher in Huntington for 22 years. She held masters degrees in Education and in Counseling from Indiana University-Fort Wayne.
In 1979, Russ and Nellie began ten years serving the New Hope UB church in Huntington, Ind. Between 1994 and 2006, they served seven times in Macau as short-term missionaries, always going at their own expense. They taught in the English Language Program, conducted Bible studies, and provided pastoral care for the other missionaries.
Russ passed away in February 2021. Nellie is survived by their only child, Sharon Cherry, who lives in Huntington with her husband, Kevin.
At the time of her death, Nellie was a member of College Park UB church in Huntington. Preferred memorials are to Huntington University or UB Global, in care of Bailey-Love Mortuary, 35 West Park Drive, Huntington, IN, 46750.