Margaret Russell


MENDOTA - Margaret “Rosalie” Russell, 101, of Mendota, passed away Aug. 7, 2020 at Heritage Health, Mendota.

Graveside services will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 11 at Restland Cemetery, Mendota with Rev. Mary Bohall officiating. Merritt Funeral Home, Mendota is handling the arrangements.

Margaret was born Jan. 25, 1919 in Grafton to George and Mattie Carey. She married Gordon J. Russell on Aug. 19, 1945 in a double ceremony with Gordon’s identical twin brother, Seldon and his wife Lee Fern (Peroka) at First Methodist Church in Alton.

Survivors include one daughter, Cheryl (William) Johnson of Lawton, Mich. and Bonita Springs, Fla.; one son, Alan (Mary) Russell of Mendota; two grandsons, Matthew J. (Laura) Russell of Mendota and Patrick J. (Kendra) ­­­­Johnson of Chicago; three great-granddaughters, Brianna and Brooklyn Russell of Mendota and Josephine Johnson of Chicago; and nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Gordon; one sister, Anna “Adtline” Millering and a half-brother, David “Lynn” Schlansker.

Rosalie’s early childhood was spent in Alton and by sixth grade the family moved to Gunnison, Miss. She graduated from Dranghon’s Business College in Tupelo, Miss. in 1937 and after graduation, she returned to Illinois and worked as a bookkeeper for S&L Credit in St. Louis, Mo. A few years later, she moved back to Alton and worked as a secretary for Owens Illinois Glass Company where she met Gordon. After their marriage, they moved to Peoria Heights and then Galesburg, where she worked for the Sealtest ice cream distributor, before moving to Mendota in 1958, where she continued as a homemaker for her family. She was a 50-plus-year member of the Order of the Eastern Star, an active member of First United Methodist Church of Mendota and was active in Mendota Area Senior Services. Through her work with MASS, she received a Northern Illinois Chapter Volunteer of the Year award.

In lieu of flowers, please direct memorials to First United Methodist Church, Mendota or Mendota Area Senior Services.

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