Saturday, April 28, 2018

Happy Birthday Marjorie Russell

Marjorie Russell was born 100 years ago tomorrow, on April 29, 1918, at the home of her recently widowed grandmother, Elizabeth Richardson Irvine, on Coulter Brook Road (this later became the Elms Farm, run by Cliff and Gert Hall). Later that year, Mrs. Richardson sold the farm and bought a house at the end of Maple Avenue in Bovina Center. Cecil, Isabell and infant Marjorie moved with her. When Marjorie was barely eight months old, her father opened Russell’s Store. The store would stay in the family until Marjorie’s passing in 2000.

Marjorie grew up in Bovina, attending the District 4 schoolhouse on Maple Avenue. She attended high school in Delhi at Delaware Academy, graduating in 1936. 

Marjorie in her high school graduation robes, 1936
Marjorie in her college graduation robes, 1941
After completing a one-year program at what is now SUNY Delhi in homemaking, in the fall of 1937, she started attending school at Muskingum College in New Concord, Ohio. She was there for four years, graduating in June 1941. For the occasion, Cecil and Isabell made one of the few trips they ever took out of New York to attend the graduation ceremony. A month later, Marjorie signed a one-year contract to teach home economics at a school in Madison, OH. Her parents helped her move to Madison in September. The following June, Cecil and Isabell again traveled to Ohio to move their daughter back to Bovina.

Marjorie spent the rest of her life in Bovina and most of that time working along side her parents in the store, taking over as they aged. She had an extensive circle of friends in and around Bovina. She and her parents kept their travels much more local but they enjoyed taking Sunday afternoon drives and eating at local restaurants. Marjorie also was active in community organizations. She was involved with the creation of the Bovina Historical Society’s cookbook in 1975.
Marjorie in 1955

Marjorie with her parents at their 50th wedding anniversary, September 1966
Cecil passed away in early 1982 at the age of 90. Isabell was 88 at her somewhat unexpected death in November 1985.

Marjorie with a Russell cousin at her 70th birthday, April 1988

Marjorie at Christmas 1998 with Megan Marie, the daughter of Lynne Barnhart Board, who was one of Marjorie's caregivers.

Marjorie continued working in the store until November 1997 when her health prevented her from working. Marjorie died New Year’s Day 2000 at the age of 81.

Undated photo or Marjorie, probably in the 1980s

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