Patricia Russ

Obituary for Patricia Russ

January 22, 1924 - March 26, 2018
Aurora, Illinois | Age 94


Patricia Russ, 94, of Aurora, passed away on Monday, March 26, 2018. She was born on January 22, 1924 in Subiaco, Australia, the daughter of the late Frederick Herman and Esther (Levy) Folwell.

Patricia's father was a saddler for the British military and was posted in Australia at the time of her birth. She was raised in England during it's most difficult time prior to and during the second world war. Her steadfast and strong disposition was a result of a childhood fraught with peril during the heaviest bombing England ever experienced. She was raised for a time in a Catholic School for Girls when her father was made a widower due to her mother's death while giving birth to her youngest sister. Patricia lost that sister while in the same bedroom with her when a ceiling beam fell and killed her during a bombing attack. That night, her sisters had fought over sleeping arrangements in the beds. Patricia would have been in the position where the beam fell. Understandably, Patricia's memory of this tragedy never faded from her daily walk and had an extreme aversion to discussing death. At the time of this tragedy, British law stated a father could not keep a household where only daughters resided so he was forced to send her and her sister, Hetty, to a boarding school for girls. This time also shaped her independence and appreciation for the necessities in life and an ability to stand up for herself. She met and married an American soldier, Robert H. O'Connell near the end of the second World War and gave birth to her son, Terry. Robert made arrangements for them both to come to the United States shortly after his return back as he made a home for them in Aurora where they lived on New Haven Street. A good Englishwoman, she loved her tea, her toffee and vinegar on food. She had an affinity for dressing and grooming.

Patricia was a member of St. Mark's Lutheran Church. Often times she fondly refered to God in conversation reminding herself and family to "thank the 'One above'".

Survivors include her son, Terry O'Connell; her grandchildren, Jerry (Marianne) O'Connell, Michelle (Steve) Halbesma and Jim (Nicole) O'Connell; great grandchildren, Ryan, Kennedy and Brady O'Connell, Jacob and Hannah Halbesma and her best friend of 50 years, Carol Pierson as well as a special niece, Marlene Menzel and her family.

Patricia was preceded in death by her first husband, Robert H. O'Connell; her second husband, Earl Russ; her brother, Samuel Folwell; her sister, Hetty Menzel; her daughter-in-law, Pamela O'Connell and her grandson, Robert O'Connell.

Visitation will be held on Tuesday, April 3, 2018 from 10 A.M. until the service hour at 11 A.M. at The Healy Chapel, 332 W. Downer Pl., Aurora. Interment will be at Riverside Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to St. Mark's Lutheran Church, Guiding Light Hospice or to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

The family would like to thank Jennings Terrace staff and Guiding Light Hospice for their tenderness and attentiveness toward Patricia.

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Healy Chapel

332 W Downer Pl
Aurora, IL 60506
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