Louis Hezekiah Russell, 96, who taught physics and chemistry at Dunbar High School from 1919 until he retired in 1959 and was active in community and service organizations, died Jan. 18 at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Washington. He had a stroke.

Mr. Russell was born in Baltimore and came to Washington as a student at Howard University. After his graduation in 1912, he went to Cornell University, where he earned a master's degree in physics.

During World War I, he was a lieutenant in the Army and served in France. He began his career in the D.C. public school system at Dunbar after he left the service.

In addition to teaching, Mr. Russell was a vice president of what is now the D.C. Teachers Union and he was an organizer of the D.C. Teachers Credit Union.

He also was a past commander of the James E. Walker Post No. 29 of the American Legion, a manager of the old Sterling Relief Association, which helped needy children, and a member of the Pleasant Plains Civic Association and the Metropolitan A.M.E. Church.

Mr. Russell lived in Washington until moving to Chicago in 1984. He was here visiting family when he was stricken.

His wife, the former Lillian Lovejoy Childs, whom he married in 1921, died in 1951. Survivors include one daughter, Louise Hall of Chicago; one brother, George Russell of Baltimore, and four grandchildren.