Margaret Russell, 91, of Prairie Village, KS, passed away on May 27, 2020. A Celebration of Life for family and friends will take place 10:00AM, November 21, 2022 at Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church (6630 Nall Ave, Mission, KS 66202) A short reception at the church hall will follow the service. Margaret’s service was delayed due to the Covid 19 pandemic, and we are grateful we can now gather to celebrate.
A private, family burial will take place immediately following the reception at Mt Olivet Catholic Cemetery (7601 Blue Ridge Blvd, Raytown, MO 64138)
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to Rainy Day Books, 2706 W 53rd St, Fairway, KS 66205, or a charity of your choice.
Margaret was born May 3, 1929, in Kansas City, MO, to Francis J. Russell and Catherine (Cashin) G. Russell. Margie attended Visitation grade school, Bishop Hogan High School, and University of Kansas City (now known at Univ of MO at KC). After college Margie started her career as an English teacher and was a dedicated educator retiring at 90 years old after a 60+ year long career.
She started her teaching career at Bishop Hogan High School, then went on to Shawnee Mission West (SMW).
After “retiring” from teaching at SMW at 60, Margie applied to join the Peace Corps to be one of the first groups of teachers to go to the former communist Czechoslovakia to teach English to Czech teachers. She loved adding the Czech Republic to her list of places traveled – USSR, Europe and many parts of the US and Canada. Travelling at this age was a challenge to Margie physically, but ignited a new fire in teaching a whole new kind of student.
Marg’s final formal teaching position (20 years) was at Johnson County Community College where she helped students in the writing lab. For many of her students, English was their second language.
Margie was a lover of books, plays, classical music, PBS, card games and food.
She read the New York Times and COMPLETED the daily and weekly NYT crossword puzzle. She loved the NYT book review and used it to choose her next book selection from Rainy Day books or the library.
Books were a constant in Marg’s life. She loved sharing her favorite authors, especially Ian Rankin. The book shelf next to her door had a small collection of the latest reads, classic Russian literature, and progressive magazines like The Nation and The Atlantic.
Margie loved games although some bored her. She was ALWAYS up for a game of Scrabble, cribbage, or Botticelli.
It was an adventure to go to Margie’s apartment with her interesting art, books, and food. She was a gracious host, sometimes sending you home with a gift of a book or bauble off her shelf. There was ice cream in the freezer, a pot of coffee ready to be made, a glass of wine to share and a maybe a half-eaten (or half rotten) apple on the counter.
And Marg and her sisters…. All gone now, Marg was the oldest sister and mentor to Mare, Kit and Carol. A mutually adoring bunch-supportive, loving, and caring for each other over their years together. Speaking frequently of their time as girls and their “Mother and Daddy.” Marg stayed home to help her mother care for her father when he became sick. All the other sisters going out to make their way outside of Kansas City, Margie maintained her beloved Kansas City as her home base throughout her life.
Former students (and family members) gained their love of reading and writing poetry and sci-fi from Miss Russell.
Bold and not afraid to speak up, Marg was an early supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment, encouraged education and individual independence. She lived an independent and rich life due to her imagination and love of spending time with friends/family.
Marg adored her brothers-in law, Jim Marcel and Ed Boyle, nieces, nephews (and large brood of greats and grands). Supportive and loving, she wanted to know the latest of what was going on in their lives, what books they were reading, had they seen the latest Doc Martin episode, what good restaurants were about and if they had any trips planned.
Another constant in Marg’s rich life were her circle of close friends and work colleagues. Her friends of all ages from different backgrounds shared good times at cocktail and dinner parties, book clubs and trips all over. “Margaret,” as she was known to her many friends and colleagues, maintained friendships well over 60 years with fellow teachers, Sisters of Charity (her other sisters), students, and neighbors.
She was preceded in death by her parents as well as her sister, Carolyn Russell Marcel, dear brothers-in- law, Ed Boyle and Jim Marcel and niece Eileen Boyle Smith. Since her death in 2020 her sisters Mary Jane Russell Boyle and Sr. Frances Russell have also passed.
Margaret leaves 8 adoring nieces and nephews, 16 great nieces and nephews and 11 great grand nieces and nephews and too many cousins and friends to count.
We miss you more than you know, dear Margie, and think of your happy face and loving smile all the time.