Nancy Patricia Russell
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Nancy Patricia Randolph Russell
June 2, 1930-August 24, 2021
Nancy Patricia Randolph Russell was born on June 2, 1930, to Dr. William Tandy Randolph and Martha Evelyn Patrick Randolph in Winder, Georgia. She departed this earth on August 24, 2021, at the age of 91 years. Pat was preceded in death by her parents and her brothers Dr. Rivington H. Randolph, Dr. W. Quentin Randolph, and Lt. Col. John R. Randolph.
Pat's childhood in rural Georgia involved riding in the car with her father and mother to deliver babies or visit sick patients, often down dirt roads in the country where she would entertain other children with games or candy while the patient(s) was being treated by her parents. She loved riding her bike to neighboring relatives' homes for visits and resorted to using her charms to avoid conflict with her older brothers. The Randolph family attended the First Baptist Church in Winder where her mother (Evelyn) played the piano and organ. Pat enjoyed public Winder schools and participated in the drama club, dances, cheerleading and by gathering with her closest girl friends in a secret club called S.A.P. (Sunday Afternoon Pals) Her class at Winder Barrow High School was the last group of students whose education was completed after finishing the 11th grade.
College plans sent her to Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri for two years, and afterwards, to The University of Georgia, completing her education with a degree in Home Economics. She proudly put her degree to work in homemaking, childrearing, and entertainment opportunities throughout her life. After graduation, Pat turned down a job opportunity with Kraft Foods as a food stylist for print media because it required moving to Chicago and distanced her from her goals of becoming a wife, mother, homemaker, and volunteering in the community in her hometown.
Pat met her future husband during childhood as his parents and her parents were best friends. She married the love of her life, Richard Brevard Russell, III at the age of 21, and was married to him for over 65 years before his death in 2016. She is survived by her sister-in-law, Mary Ina Russell Ingram.
Pat is survived by her four children- Vickie Russell Smith, Bethlehem Ga, Tandy Russell Green (Craig), Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, Nannette Russell Kallestad (Eric), Winder Ga, and Richard Brevard Russell Jr (Scott Lynn), Clayton and Winder Ga. Nine grandchildren survive Pat: Justin Hall, Caren Pulliam, Jennifer Curell (Craig), Robert Green (Becca), Emily Wells (Mark), Cedric Jernigan III (Amy), Baxter Russell (Christine), Mollie Russell Chafin (Casey), and Emory Russell (Sara) along with 13 great grandchildren, adding #14 in January. A host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and their families complete her much loved family. Pat was preceded in death by her son-in-law Mike Smith.
Wearing many hats to help in the local community, Pat volunteered at the Winder Public Library, even learning Braille, and providing some Braille books for the library. She volunteered at the health department, as well as transporting patients for cancer treatment. She cooked and delivered meals to families in poverty-stricken areas of Barrow County, often bringing clothing, toys, and candy with her. Pat was active in the Winder Barrow Athletic Booster Clubs, helping to raise money for needed equipment, or by working in the concession stand. She played in a tennis league, and she was an excellent bridge card player, often playing in 2-3 clubs a week. But for her children, having their Mom learn information about them from the "bridge club grapevine" was equivalent to someone calling the police on them and often instilled enough fear in them to make good choices.
Pat was the "hostess with the mostest", pulling out all her etiquette protocol knowhow, creating properly set tables, exquisite meals, and the gift of conversation with engaging topics. But she loved to also get her hands deep in the soil while in her garden, growing vegetables and fruit with Richard, as well as beautiful flowers. Both the vegetables and the flowers were quickly converted into beautiful meals with floral arrangements. An avid reader, she always had a book nearby, and read daily, until her eyesight began to fail.
Winder First Presbyterian Church had the benefit of Pat's assistance for covered dish dinners, Bible school teachers, floral arrangements, youth group, and women's club, where she and her family sat on the same pew for Sunday church for their entire adult lifetime. Her faith, scripture reading, and prayers were all offered with grace and optimism. Her smile, humor, and laughter made complete strangers comfortable and happy to be around her.
Pat and Richard would often retreat to their pond cabin enjoying the sunshine, flowers, and fishing which provided a local refuge for many families and friends. They also valued their empty nest times by spending winters in Islamorada, Florida where they had friends and outdoor activities.
Alzheimer's disease crept quietly in and began to slowly take Pat away from her family, friends, and her way of life when she was in her late 70's. Her love of hymnals and gospel music, good meals, and the attention from her loved ones, kept her going when she doubted herself. Pat died peacefully after a life of service to others, the social butterfly who bloomed where she was planted, leaving a legacy of friends and family who have great stories of their time with Pat.
A private family graveside service will be held later.
Contributions in her memory may be made to Eagle Ranch Children's Home, Winder Public Library, and First Presbyterian Church of Winder.