In Memory of

Ruth Angeline Russell

December 21, 1921 - March 24, 2020
From: Spencer, IA
Ruth Angeline  Russell

Ruth Angeline Russell

Born: December 21, 1921
Died: March 24, 2020
Age: 98

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   Ruth Angeline Russell, the daughter of Frank and Etta Hoffman Henry Janes was born on December 21st, 1921 in Mapleton, Iowa. After her father's death when Ruth was 6, her mom ran a restaurant in Mapleton. Ruth had to sit at the end of the counter and be quiet, so she read, and she passed her love of reading down her children years later.         Around Ruth's 13th birthday, her mother was diagnosed with cancer and died a couple months later. For the remainder of her school years, Ruth lived with her Aunt Lora and her family in Mapleton during the school year, and near Galva with Lily and Earl Compton, a second cousin, on school breaks and in the summer. She went to 4H and at a meeting she first saw Ed Russell, the brother of a fellow 4-H member. She would marry him years later. 

   After graduation, Ruth went to Business School in Sioux City and got a job at Ida Grove working for IPS. In April of 1948, Ed gave her a ride home and asked her out and they married September 8th that same year. They went to see Ed's brother Don Russell in Wichita, Texas for their honeymoon. 60 some years later, Don admired and thought the world of his sister-in-law. "She was so plucky," he said. "She always made the best of everything. She had spunk."

   In 1950, they had Raymond, followed by Marilyn (Mindy), and then Tom. By the time Andy came along Ruth had her hands full. They were living in a house with a hand pump in the kitchen and an outhouse out back. She had a Maytag wringer washer, a copper boiler to heat water, a huge garden, three older kids & a newborn. Whew! Years later, all the kids came down, one by one, with the mumps. She didn't get to town for a month. Life went on. The kids grew up and Ed's health deteriorated, so she got a job to support her family at Superior (Witco) and they moved into Spencer.  In 1979 they bought a humble little house when her first grandchild was 6 weeks old. Finally, she was able to retire in 1985. Ruth continued to live with her son Raymond after Ed died in 2003. After falling a couple times, she moved to Northshire in 2015. She died peacefully in her sleep March 24th, 2020 at age 98. 

    Ruth always stayed busy doing handwork. She made her kids clothes, made crocheted rag rugs, afghans, doilies, numerous rosaries & so many quilts she lost track. All her children and grandchildren have at least one quilt and afghan from Grandma. Ruth was active in a number of organizations, including Rosary Makers, Catholic Daughters, Tops, and the Knit for Kids program, churning out scads of sweaters for children around the world. 

    Ruth was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Edward in 2003, her son Raymond in October of 2019, her half-brother Herbert Henry and her brother-in-law Don Russell and his wife Esther.

    Left to cherish her memory are her daughter, Mindy "Marilyn" Means (Kent) of Royal, Iowa; her sons: Tom (Colleen) Russell of Ida Grove, Iowa and Andrew (Kristi) Russell at Spencer, Iowa; her grandchildren: Luke (Amanda) Russell, Will (Heather) Russell, Shawn (Jessie) Russell, Ryan Russell, Sarah Russell, Josh Izer, Jamie Shanks, Hans (Beth) Greenwald,  8 great-grandkids,  Barbara Pettit Smith (Ruth's "other" daughter,) her former daughter-in-law Monica Izer, sisters-in-law June Hultgren and Rita Russell, other relatives and many, many friends. 

Private Family Services will be held.

In lieu of flowers, the memorials will be given to the Epilepsy foundation.
Father TIm Hogan
Honorary Bearers
All of her grandchildren and great grandchildren
Riverside Cemetery
Spencer, Iowa


Friday, April 3, 2020 at 8:11 AM
“So sorry on the loss of your Mother. She was a very special lady.”
- Rebecca Wittrock
Wednesday, April 1, 2020 at 4:26 PM
“My sincere sympathy to Ruth's family. I knew Ruth through Catholic Daughters and always enjoyed our visits.”
- Anne Ramler
Tuesday, March 31, 2020 at 7:37 PM
“So sorry for your loss she will be grateful missed ”
- Heidi sky
Tuesday, March 31, 2020 at 1:43 PM
“So sorry for your loss. Ruth was a very sweet lady. I enjoyed our time visiting making roseries and at Catholic Daughters. May God give you peace and comfort.”
- Dee Kilpatrick
Monday, March 30, 2020 at 8:54 AM
“Ruth's family,
I am so sorry for your loss she was such a sweet lady. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.”
- Rhonda Essick
Saturday, March 28, 2020 at 1:34 PM
“Ruth's family: What a beautiful soul! Thank her for inviting me to Catholic Daughters, so many good memories. Her love for the Blessed Mother and Jesus, may she continue to pray the Rosary in Heaven! Life is not ended it is changed! Eternal Rest Ruth!”
- Helen Loerts
Saturday, March 28, 2020 at 1:33 PM
“So sorry to hear about Ruth. She was my first prayer chain companion. Sweet lady.”
- Jim @ Pat Hynes
Saturday, March 28, 2020 at 9:17 AM
“Mindy, my condolences for the loss of your mother. I enjoyed my time with her at Northshire and bringing her the bulletin from church every week. ”
- Bonnie Pullen-Lehman
Saturday, March 28, 2020 at 5:50 AM
“We are sadfen to hear this news but know that Ruth is with her Lord and Savior. I owned the cab service in Spencer and Ruth was by far one of my favorite customers. We shared so many stories. We pray for you all at this time. God Bless
- Mona and Mark Boyd
Saturday, March 28, 2020 at 5:50 AM
“ Mindy, Kent, and Family ~ A wonderful mother is truly one of God's great gifts; you have surely been blessed, as Ruth's love and life lessons will be with you always. My deepest sympathy to you at this tender time, and in the days to come.”
- Marcia Steffen
Friday, March 27, 2020 at 7:22 PM
“Monica, Mindy and family, may you know that our dear Ruth is resting at the heavenly banquet with our Lord. She was such a busy lady. You never encountered Ruth that she didn't give you a big smile when she saw you. I will miss visiting with her.”
- Marilyn Bock
Friday, March 27, 2020 at 2:29 PM
“Such a dear sweet lady. She loved her friends and was such a good friend to all! So thankful to have known her through Rosary Makers and Catholic Daughters. RIP Ruth!”
- Monica Johannsen
Friday, March 27, 2020 at 2:29 PM
“Andy, I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your mother. I know how much you will miss her. Nothing can replace the love of a mother! My thoughts & prayers to you and your family. Julie”
- Julie Kloewer
Friday, March 27, 2020 at 2:29 PM
“Please except our condolences to the Russell family for the loss of your mother, grandmother and great grandmother. from your, Fisher Ct neighbors, Gerald & Donna Koester and Mary Marco. ”
- Gerald & Donna Koester
Friday, March 27, 2020 at 6:37 AM
“We want to extend our condolences to all the Russell family and dear friends. We will miss her.”
- mike and nancy knight
Friday, March 27, 2020 at 6:37 AM
“To Ruth's family: She was the sweetest little lady. I always enjoyed our visits. She will be missed by many. Keeping you all in my prayers at this sad time.
Ann Spooner”
- Ann Spooner
Friday, March 27, 2020 at 6:37 AM
“Im so sorry to hear about your mother!!!! Now she is with her son, Raymond and they can be together again. May God hold you in his hands and guide you through this. ”
- Bryan & Gayle Bailey
Friday, March 27, 2020 at 6:37 AM
“Ruth was such a dear, sweet lady. I always enjoyed visiting with here at CDA meetings and later at Northshire. She will be missed.”
- Trudy Elbert
Thursday, March 26, 2020 at 2:54 PM
“What a dear soul. It’s wonderful that she was called to her eternal reward. Well done good and faithful servant. ”
- Fran and Joe LeClair
Thursday, March 26, 2020 at 2:54 PM
“Was so sorry to hear of Ruth's death. Always enjoyed visiting with her at Northshire.. We were both from Ida Grove and knew a lot of the same people. She was such
a sweet person. Will miss her. Sandy ”
- Sandy Olberding
Thursday, March 26, 2020 at 11:37 AM
“Andy and family, We are so sad to hear about your mother. She was such a dear lady. Cherish the memories. God Bless”
- Bob and Lavon Montgomery
Thursday, March 26, 2020 at 9:35 AM
“My sympathies to Ruth's family. She always had a smile on her face when she saw you. What a dear lady.”
- Betty Kaschmitter
Thursday, March 26, 2020 at 7:20 AM
“Andy and family, I am so sorry to hear about your Mom. My sympathy to your family.

- Dayle Broocks
Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at 7:32 PM
“Mindy, my deepest condolences on the loss of your mother, she was a dear sweet little lady with a big kind heart! God Bless your family Barb Woodall”
- Barb Woodall
Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at 7:32 PM
“Ruth was such a sweet lady and a little energizer bunny. May she rest in peace with the angels.”
- Shirley Selzer
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