Bethaleen Russell of Akron, age 83, passed away on Sunday, January 10, 2016 at the Tuscola County Medical Care Community in Caro. Beth was born January 10, 1933 to Mr. and Mrs. John and Stella (Stooks) Irish in Fairgrove Township. She grew up in Fairgrove Township, the daughter of farmers with her sister, Shirley. She attended the Graham Country School through eighth grade and graduated from Fairgrove High School in 1951. Beth and her close neighbor, Leonard Russell, were married on August 2, 1952 at the Akron Methodist Church by Reverend Gunther Branster. Leonard preceded her in death on July 22, 2015. Beth and Leonard both lived on Sheridan and Darbee Roads since they were very young children and farmed together during their sixty-two years of marriage. She was an active member of Bethel United Methodist Church where she served as a board member. In addition to farming, she also worked at Michigan Bell as an operator and as a dental assistant. Beth enjoyed camping and traveling, being a farm wife, and spending time with her family.
Beth is survived by her four children and their spouses, Nancy and Richard Sylvester of Fairgrove, Ricky and AnnaRae Russell of Akron, Randy Russell and friend, Nancy Beck of Gaylord, David and Annette Russell of Caro; Nancy and Richard’s family, Rachel Sylvester, Madison Gwizdala of Reese, Mark and Mandi Sylvester, Lincoln and Ivan Sylvester of Reese; Ricky and AnnaRae’s family, Eric and Toni Russell, Kennedy, Conner and Carter Russell, Christian (CJ) Monville of Fairgrove, Mitchell and Sara Russell, Landon, Easton and Aria Russell of Akron, Matthew and Colleen Russell, Myra and Fern Russell of Vassar, Kelly and Anthony Burrell, stationed in Germany, Bradley and Beth McNeil, Jack, Sydney and Alex McNeil of Mason, Tara and Alan Schlegel, Warren and Wade Schlegel of Richville; Randy Russell and friend, Nancy Beck’s family, Brandi Russell and fiancé, John Hynes, of Mesa, Arizona, Andru Russell and fiancée, Alysha Randall, of Mt. Pleasant, Erik Myers, Scott and Jodi Myers. Also surviving Beth are her sister and brother-in-law, Shirley and Albert Arnold of Caro; brother-in-law, Paul Findlay and his wife, Pauline, of Caro; and many nieces, nephews and friends. In addition to her parents and husband, Beth was preceded in death by sister- and brother-in-law, Ruth and Norman McConnell, and sister-in-law, Phyllis Findlay.
Funeral services will take place at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, January 18, 2016 at the Akron United Methodist Church with Rev. Dorothy Thon officiating. Burial will follow at Brookside Cemetery in Fairgrove with Beth’s eight grandchildren serving as pallbearers. The family will receive friends at the Ransford Collon Funeral Home in Caro on Sunday from 1:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. and at the church on Monday from 11:00 a.m. until the time of the service at 1:00 p.m. Those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider memorial contributions to the Tuscola County Medical Care Community Forget-Me-Not Association or the donor’s favorite charity. The family was assisted with these arrangements by the Ransford Collon Funeral Home of Caro. Friends may share memories, thoughts and prayers online at www.RansfordCollon.com.