OBITUARY

Ruth Mae Russell

December 20, 1934January 17, 2021
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Dr. Ruth Mae Springer Russell, age 86 passed away peacefully on Sunday January 17, 2021. Ruth was born December 20, 1934 in La Boca, Panama to the late Bertley and Edna Springer. Ruth was a lifelong learner and educator spending her professional career in Education. She spent her formative years growing up in the Canal Zone in Panama. She earned multiple degrees in Elementary/Early Childhood Education including her Doctorate in Education from the University of Illinois in 1979. She held numerous teaching and leadership positions in Education from elementary to college level, finally retiring as Superintendent of Schools, Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS) – Panama/Cuba District in 1999. Ruth was a member of several professional educational organizations and the Soroptimist International of Panama. She received many awards and distinctions as a leader in education and the community. Ruth married the late Frank Russell in October 1957 and they had three children. As a military spouse she was afforded the opportunity for many travels in Asia and South America. As DoDDS Superintendent, she also traveled throughout Europe. Ruth remained active in the church and her faith throughout her life. She enjoyed singing in the choir, loved gardening and spending time with family. Ruth is survived by her son Frank (Joy) Russell II; daughter Michele Redding; daughter Harriet Temple; and five grandchildren Katrina, Alexis, Nia, Jason, and Natalie. She is also survived by her last surviving sibling Bertley (Elaine) Springer and many nieces and nephews. Ruth is preceded in death by her husband of 61 years Frank Russell Sr. Ruth was a genuine listener and touched many lives positively. She lived a life of faith and integrity and will be missed dearly. Visitation will occur on Monday, February 15, 2021 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM at Collierville Funeral Home, 534 West Poplar, Collierville, TN 38017. A celebration of life will occur Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 10:30 AM at West Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery, 4000 Forest Hill Irene Rd, Memphis, TN, 38125. Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.diginitymemorial.com for the Russell family.

  • FAMILY

  • Bertley and Edna Springer, Parents (deceased)
  • Frank (Joy) Russell II, Son
  • Michele Redding, Daughter
  • Harriet Temple, Daughter
  • Katrina, Alexis, Nia, Jason, and Natalie, Grandchildren
  • Bertley (Elaine) Springer, Sibling
  • Frank Russell, Sr., Husband of 61 Years (deceased)
  • She also leaves behind many nieces and nephews.

Services

24 February

Committal Service

3:00 pm - 3:20 pm

West Tennessee Veterans Cemetery

4000 Forest Hill Irene Road
Memphis, TN 38125

PREVIOUS SERVICES:

  • Visitation

    Monday, February 15, 2021

  • A Celebration of Life

    Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Memories

Ruth Mae Russell

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Marcia Giles

January 24, 2021

Our condolences to the family of Ruth and Frank. They were both incredible people and neighbors to us for many years. We will truly miss their presence on this earth but heaven has truly gained an angel. We pray your comfort and love as you say goodbye to your mother and if we can help in any way, just let us know.

The Giles Family

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

Dr. Ruth Mae Springer Russell, age 86 passed away peacefully on Sunday January 17, 2021. Ruth was born December 20, 1934 in La Boca, Panama to the late Bertley and Edna Springer. Ruth was a lifelong learner and educator spending her professional career in Education. She spent her formative years growing up in the Canal Zone in Panama. She earned multiple degrees in Elementary/Early Childhood Education including her Doctorate in Education from the University of Illinois in 1979. She held numerous teaching and leadership positions in Education from elementary to college level, finally retiring as Superintendent of Schools, Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS) – Panama/Cuba District in 1999. Ruth was a member of several professional educational organizations and the Soroptimist International of Panama. She received many awards and distinctions as a leader in education and the community. Ruth married the late Frank Russell in October 1957 and they had three children. As a military spouse she was afforded the opportunity for many travels in Asia and South America. As DoDDS Superintendent, she also traveled throughout Europe. Ruth remained active in the church and her faith throughout her life. She enjoyed singing in the choir, loved gardening and spending time with family. Ruth is survived by her son Frank (Joy) Russell II; daughter Michele Redding; daughter Harriet Temple; and five grandchildren Katrina, Alexis, Nia, Jason, and Natalie. She is also survived by her last surviving sibling Bertley (Elaine) Springer and many nieces and nephews. Ruth is preceded in death by her husband of 61 years Frank Russell Sr.
Ruth was a genuine listener and touched many lives positively. She lived a life of faith and integrity and will be missed dearly. Visitation will occur on Monday, February 15, 2021 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM at Collierville Funeral Home, 534 West Poplar, Collierville, TN 38017. A celebration of life will occur Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 3:00 PM at West Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery, 4000 Forest Hill Irene Rd, Memphis, TN, 38125. Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.diginitymemorial.com for the Russell family.