Betty J. Russell
June 21, 1925 - April 6, 2024

Betty June (Lewis) Russell passed into the arms of the Lord on Saturday morning, April 6, 2024, at 98 years young. She was surrounded by the love of her family at the time of her death. Betty was born in Cold Brook, NY to Margaret DeLaurier and Stewart Lewis joining brother Stewart “Bud” Lewis and sister Violet Lewis. Shortly after her birth the family moved to Clinton, NY, where she spent most of her youth and adult life. She was a Clinton Central School graduate. It was in Clinton that she met the love of her life Willard “Rusty” Russell. They married in 1943 and began their family. Unfortunately, Rusty died early in their marriage and Betty was left to raise the younger children on her own. For many years they lived on Kellogg Street, Clinton, but later built the house of their dreams on Utica Street where Betty opened Friendly Fabric Shop. A fabric store that remained open in that location for over 30 years. In addition to selling fabric, she was a seamstress extraordinaire that could make anything – including special occasion gowns and skating outfits for many of the young people residing in Clinton, as well as her own children’s clothing. Of that she was proud, especially of the western shirts she made her boys. Betty was a woman before her time
running a business by herself in a time when women could not even obtain credit without a male co-signor. In the 1990’s Betty decided to sell her home and business to move to a warmer climate in Zephyrhills, Florida, where she remained until her death.

Betty loved life and the many things life brought to her. She loved chocolate, she loved the color blue, she loved to travel, she loved shopping, but most of all she loved her children dearly, and her heart exploded with love for her grandchildren. Gram, or GG, as she was affectionately known, would spend hours playing cards with the grands – Uno, Skip-bo, Dominoes, and any other game they wanted to play. She will be greatly missed by all, especially her grandchildren who have fond memories of the kindness, patience and time afforded them by their Gram. She taught them much in this respect.

Betty leaves her sons James (Janice), Ronald (Laurie) and Douglas (Jennifer) along with daughter Debra (Robert) and daughter-in-law Mary Baker Russell. She also leaves 13 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great-grandchildren. She was pre-deceased by son, Robert, her parents, her siblings, and siblings-in-law. Betty was of the Catholic faith and was a former parishioner of St. Mary’s, Clinton, NY. She will
be laid to rest beside her husband in St. Mary’s Cemetery during a graveside ceremony to be held at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Betty’s favorite charity, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Memorial donations may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, which was her favorite charity, by clicking the “Donate Now” button at the bottom of this page.

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