The Saratoga Sun -

Gertrude (Trudy) Clare Russell

 

September 22, 2021

On September 10, 2021, Gertrude (Trudy) Clare Russell passed away peacefully in her sleep with her daughter Heather by her side. She was 86 years old. A lifelong Iowa native, Trudy was well-loved by all who knew her.

Trudy was beloved by her husband of 44 years, Ross J. Russell (1937-2009) and four daughters, Debra Ann Kadlec (James) (1955-2020), Michelle Jo Sullivan (E. Michael), Alycyn Claire Russell Carter (Michael), and Heather Marie Russell-Schroeder (Randall Schroeder). She was a proud and loving grandmother to her 16 grandchildren, 6 great grandchildren, and a loving, caring aunt to her many nieces and nephews.

Born in November of 1934 to Thomas Monroe and Anna Barbara (Wellman) Adams, Trudy was the 5th of their 7 children, and the last of their babies born at home on the family farm outside of Neola, IA. She had many fond memories of her childhood and shared wonderful stories of farm life, including countless adventures with her rambunctious, yet loving, brothers and sisters, Philip J. Adams (1928-1973), Barbara A. Corrin, Mary Jo Dressel, Joseph E. Adams (1933-2018), Thomas I. Adams, and Margaret M. Rief (1940-2004); and riding their horses LadyBird, Ginger, and Chinquapin to their one room schoolhouse, the Frog Pond Country School. Trudy went on to attend St. Joseph's Catholic School in Neola, becoming the first person in her family to graduate from high school in 1953.

Trudy had a way with numbers, so after graduation she worked as a teller at First Federal Savings and Loan in Council Bluffs, IA, later at Council Bluffs Savings Bank, as well as in the accounting department at JCPenney's Department Store. It was there that she met her future husband, Ross. It took some convincing on his part, but she eventually agreed to a first date, and the rest, as they say, is history. Ross and Trudy were married on January 3, 1964. After their wedding, Trudy began to work alongside her husband running their family business, the Credit Bureau of Council Bluffs, Inc. They worked together until Ross' passing in 2009. When their youngest daughter Heather took over for Ross, Trudy continued to balance the books and act as an advisor. She carried with her a lifelong delight in balancing difficult accounts and ledgers, and a particular way of organizing and arranging her currency.

In addition to her professional endeavors, Trudy was an active volunteer throughout her life. She was a Girl Scout Leader, a Room Mother, an active member of the Service League in Council Bluffs, IA, and a longtime member of St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Neola, IA. It was there that she shared her deep faith with others by serving with the RCIA group to assist new members of Catholicism as they joined the Church, participating in many bible studies, traveling internationally with church members, and acting as a Eucharistic Minister for members of the Parish who were no longer able to attend Mass in person.

Trudy (Mama Trudy to so many) lived a very full life as a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother (MeMee/MeMaw), sister, professional, volunteer, and woman of faith. She was a very fashionable lady and was hard pressed to pass up a beautiful jacket when she came upon one while shopping, even though that section of her closet was more than full. She was a talented cook and baker, following in the footsteps of her mother, and frequently exchanged recipes with her equally talented sisters and many friends. She loved reading; among her favorites were The Little House on the Prairie series, the Harry Potter series, and anything by the author Debbie Macomber. She was a consummate hostess who loved to entertain, an avid gardener with a true green thumb, and an equestrienne who especially treasured her horseback rides on the farm with her young grandchildren, as well as with her younger brother Tom in the mountains of Wyoming. In the early 90's Ross and Trudy bought a home nestled between two mountain ranges in Saratoga, Wyoming. For many years, they divided their time between the farm in Iowa and their home in Saratoga, building many friendships and spending time with family.

Services:

Viewing: Sunday, September 19, 2021, at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Neola, IA from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m.

Funeral Mass: Monday, September 20, 2021, at St. Patrick's Cemetery in Neola, IA, at 10:30 a.m. In the event of inclement weather, Mass will be located inside St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Neola, IA.

The family requests that masks be worn at indoor services. We know that Trudy would want everyone to take every precaution to avoid the deadly COVID-19 virus she battled in her final days.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Neola, IA, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, or Holt International Children's Services. These were charities that Trudy and Ross supported throughout the years.

For those of us who will be sending flowers, we kindly remind you that her favorite flower colors were blush pink and peach.

 

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