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Elizabeth "Bette" Russell
  • Wing Hospice
    40 Wright Street
    Palmer, MA 01069

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Jones Funeral Home Inc

1503 Union Street
Schenectady, NY 12309
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Memories & Candles

“Mrs. Russell was an inspiration to us all in our high school years.. She opened up windows of the world that we didn't know existed.. May she rest...Read More »
1 of 9 | Posted by: Tom Harvey - bennington, VT

“Mrs Russell taught English and advised our class in1957 at BenHi. A dedicated teacher who expected the best from us! ”
2 of 9 | Posted by: Janet Litster Rideout - NC

“Bette adopted our family when we moved here 32 years ago. She was always there to help and went out of her way to communicate with our children. I...Read More »
3 of 9 | Posted by: Jovina OBrien - Niskayuna, NY

“My deepest sympathy to Bette's family: I have such fond memories of my time together with Bette when I would make my annual pilgrimage to...Read More »
4 of 9 | Posted by: Aino K. Lautsio-Riccitello - FL

“Bette was a joy to know and a wonderful friend to my mother Polly. She always made it her job to make sure that my Mom had transportation and was...Read More »
5 of 9 | Posted by: Suanne Pasquarella - Buffalo, NY

“Bette, having lived "around the corner" on the farm from you, Bill and your Great Danes out in the country, and being a former student of yours at...Read More »
6 of 9 | Posted by: Chris IKit) Vail - Marietta, GA

“Rest in Peace Aunt Bette The Walsh Family & The Zautner Family ”
7 of 9 | Posted by: Diane Walsh - Troy, NY

“God Bless Bette. What wonderful memories we have of so many good times shared. Our sympathy to you and your family. Anne. Bill and Mary Jane ”
8 of 9 | Posted by: Bill and Mary Jane Beaulieu

“Rest in Peace Aunt Bette ”
9 of 9 | Posted by: The Bearup Family


Elizabeth H. "Bette" Russell, 87 of Niskayuna died peacefully in the loving and merciful arms of her Lord, On Friday, November 30 surrounded by her loving and devoted daughter at Wingate of Wilbraham.

Born in Troy, NY on May 8, 1925, she was the daughter of the late William and Alma (Smodell). She attended the Mechanicville School District, and participated in the theatre arts. As a child she performed with the Black Friars. Later on she won many elocution contests. She also took classes in all forms of dance during her High School career.

She graduated from Russell Sage College and Union College also attending Columbia University, Boston University and Saint Rose College.

She began her English teaching career at Wellington C. Mepham High School on Long Island where she created a Broadway Trip Club to New York City.

Bette was predeceased by her beloved husband William A Russell. They settled in Bennington, Vermont where she began teaching at Bennington High. While at the High School she was selected as the class advisor for three different classes. She also wrote and directed a musical called "As Time Goes Bye". The musical was a faculty student production which was so successful it was performed for the Veterans Hospital.

When William changed careers, they moved to Niskayuna where Bette taught at Mont Pleasant High School where they chaperoned sports trips. In 1962 Bette moved to teach at Niskayuna High School. There she developed a new program for the Student Council. She went on to become the American Field Service advisor. She retired in 1987.

She was a devout Catholic and was most active at St. Helen's Church. She was the first coordinator of Eucharistic ministers at St Helen's. She also took a course for leading communion services. She recently was honored by the Women's Commission Diocesan as a woman who has said Yes to God.

Bette and her husband were very involved with the breeding of Great Danes. They were members of the Great Dane Club of America and received many ribbons in national shows.

Bette was also outgoing and such fun to be with. She enjoyed the company of her friends and relatives. She touched so many lives with her compassion and generosity.

She particularly kept the friendship of her students being invited to their 50 year reunions. She loved sports and enjoyed attending New York Yankees baseball games. She was a member of the Northeast New York Notre Dame club where she also enjoyed the games. She also was fond of Wrestling at Niskayuna High School.

Bette was the beloved mother of Anne (Russell) and her husband James Nunnelly, of Northampton, MA and the cherished grandmother of Megan Anne Nunnelly , of Greenwich, CT ,and Alexander James Nunnelly. She is also survived by many dear friends both in New York and her transplanted home of Ludlow, MA.

The family wants to thank the kindness and support of all the staff at Wingate of Wilbraham, and especially Dave and Mary from Wing Hospice.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial on Dec 7th at 9 AM at Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Church, Union St, Niskayuna. Calling hours will be Thursday Dec. 6th from 2 to 4 PM and 6 to 8 PM at the Jones Funeral Home, 1503 Union St, (at McClellan St.), Schenectady for those who wish to call. Burial will be at Most Holy Redeemer Cemetery, Niskayuna. Memorial contributions to Wing Hospice, 40 Wright St., Palmer, MA 01069.