Funeral service set for radio host Cliff Russell

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Funeral arrangements for veteran journalist and radio host Cliff Russell have been set for Sunday and Monday in Detroit. 

Russell, host of "The Cliff Russell Show" on 910 AM radio, died Sunday of a heart attack. He was 61.

Michael D. Russell posted on Facebook the visitation and funeral information for his brother on Wednesday. Visitation is scheduled from will 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday at James H. Cole Funeral Home, 16100 Shaefer Highway. 

On Monday, a family hour starts at 10 a.m. followed by the funeral service at 11 a.m.  at St. Stephen AME Church, 6000 Stanford in Detroit. 

Radio personality Cliff Russell.

Russell was Wayne State University graduate who started his college career at the University of Texas-El Paso basketball team. He finished it at Wayne State, and in 2007 Russell was inducted to the school's hall of fame.

Since 2016, Russell has been known as the voice of the UD-Mercy Titans men's basketball team.

In addition to calling games, he hosted a coach's show during the basketball season at Dino's in Ferndale.

A September 2016 post on Deadline Detroit detailed some of Russell's heart troubles. Russell had just turned 60 the month before and needed to have stents put into his heart at University Hospital in Ann Arbor to relieve blocked arteries. He used the occasion as a teachable moment. 

"I decided to post this news on Facebook (along with this very unflattering photo)," Russell wrote at the time, "because I am hoping to persuade people, black men in particular, to take much better care of ourselves.

"This latest health challenge is the direct result of my less-than-healthy eating habits. Even though I have had heart attacks before, I still was eating way too much junk food. I should know better, and I have no excuse," he wrote. "If the good Lord allows me to come through this ordeal, I am committing myself to practicing and promoting a healthy lifestyle."

In past decades, Russell was a spokesman for Mayor Dennis Archer and head of the communications office of the Detroit Tigers.