Emma Russell

Obituary of Emma Russell

Emma Russell entered peacefully into rest at the Brockville General Hospital on May 16, 2021 at the age of 93 with family holding vigil by her side. She faced many health challenges this past year but confronted each with great courage. Born and raised in Memramcook, New Brunswick, Emma is the daughter of Josh and Josephine Breau (nee LeBlanc) and was predeceased by her twelve siblings and by her deeply cherished husband of 54 years, Ronald Cecil Russell. Emma is the beloved mother of Donald (Cathy), Dianne (Gary), Richard (Helen), Brenda and Tom (Kim); the caring grandmother of Erin (Dave), Pamela, Emma, Caley, Heather and Michael (Penny); and the proud great grandmother of Kaiden, Emerson, Maesynne, Brady, Samantha, Luke, Arianna and Cooper. She also held a special place in her heart for Lola James. Emma is the treasured sister-in-law of Stan and Les Russell and she felt such love for and from the entire extended Russell and Breau families, including many nieces and nephews. She held dearly her countless friends from the Brockville, Mallorytown and Rockport communities and had greatly missed seeing them during Covid. She also leaves behind several extraordinary friends and memories from her earlier years in New Brunswick. She ultimately became a very proud Brockvillian, having moved to the area over sixty years ago to raise her family with husband Ron, a pillar in the community who founded, owned and operated Russell’s Service Station. Emma maintained great relationships throughout her life and often reflected upon the many wonderful experiences she had living in the neighbourhoods of Oxford Avenue, Anchorage Bay and Old River Road. Emma devoted countless hours volunteering her time as a dedicated Kinette, as a distinguished Royal Canadian Legion member, as a staunch community advocate, as a loyal church supporter and as an unparalleled fundraiser for organizations such as Palliative Care, Terry Fox Foundation and the Legion’s annual poppy campaign. She could always be counted on to assist at charity breakfasts, bingos, bake sales, community clean-ups and at events like the Tall Ships Festival, Brockville Railway Tunnel Rededication, Mallorytown Coach House Grand Opening and Mallorytown Remembrance Road. One of her proudest moments occurred when the Honourable MPP Steve Clark awarded her with a special volunteerism medal to celebrate the impressive track record and impact she had over her many decades engaged in the community. As a respected member of Royal Canadian Legion Branch #96 (Brockville) and Branch #484 (Mallorytown), she felt extremely privileged to wear her Legion uniform to annual Remembrance Day and Remembrance Road ceremonies where she honoured the fallen and fondly reflected on her time with the Legion, including her four years as First Lady of the Brockville Branch. Emma was a member of the Mallorytown United Church of Canada congregation and spoke often of the inspirational services and meaningful fellowship she experienced there. Reverend Patsy Henry provided Emma with spiritual comfort, prayers and guidance during her final hours. Emma felt so very fortunate to find laughter, friendship, love and companionship for a second time with Daniel Geoffrey Baxter, her partner for the past fifteen years. She also had great love and affection for Dan’s family, Melanie and Ryan Hunter and Kate Tabobondune, who graciously welcomed her as one of their own. She spent her last year with Dan surrounded by kindness at the Royal Brock Retirement Residence which provided her yet another opportunity to make many special friends amongst the wonderful residents and staff. Having worked for years as a Red Cross homemaker, Emma knew first-hand the important and meaningful nature of a career in healthcare. Ironically, the last place she would call home was in the very same building she spent the bulk of her working life in as Banquet Supervisor for the Skyline Hotel (currently the Royal Brock Retirement Residence). Appropriately, she was now the one being pampered. In recent years, Emma at times required special medical support and she received exceptional attention from many dedicated healthcare professionals. She was particularly fond of and thankful for her physician, Dr. Andrew Jordan as well as her long-time personal caregiver, Ms. Sherri Sands. Emma always remained active, fully embracing life. Her hobbies and pastimes included dancing, cooking, supporting the performing arts, bowling, golfing, needlepoint, farming, gardening and tending to her many animal companions. She travelled extensively, including vacations with husband Ron, partner Dan, her family or friends to such locations as Australia, New Zealand, Cuba, Martha’s Vineyard, Myrtle Beach, St. Kitt’s, Florida, Alberta and countless return trips to her native soil in New Brunswick. By far, her greatest joy was in spending time with family and friends while living life to the fullest and touching the hearts of everyone she met. She was a second mother to many and was always ready with a bright smile, a huge hug, an explosive laugh and a wonderful story (or two). If you were really lucky, she might even have cooked a great breakfast for you. The loving effect Emma has had on the world will live on through the lasting impact she has made on the many people who experienced the tremendous fortune of knowing her and being hugged by her. This was particularly evident when hundreds upon hundreds of well-wishers, some from as far away as New Brunswick, filled her heart with joy by attending celebrations for her 90th birthday. Emma gave and received love with the greatest of ease and she will be dearly missed. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to one of the charities that Emma appreciated so very much, such as Palliative Care, Terry Fox Foundation, Royal Canadian Legion, Mallorytown United Church of Canada, and our local humane societies … or perhaps consider spending some time volunteering as she so frequently did. A private visitation was held on May 18th with burial to take place in the coming weeks. Once some Covid restrictions are lifted, the family plans to hold a proper celebration of Emma’s life. We sincerely thank those who have reached out to express condolences and we hope you will join us to share memories in the near future. Arrangements entrusted to Barclay Funeral Home, 137 Pearl Street East Brockville. Messages of condolences may be made online at www.barclayfuneralhome.com. Goodnight, sweet Emma; “and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”
A Memorial Tree was planted for Emma
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Barclay Funeral Home - Brockville
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