Mary Catherine Russell

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Mary Catherine Russell, 98, of Fairview Heights, IL, born June 6, 1922, in East St. Louis, IL, died Sunday, June 7, 2020, at Four Fountains, Belleville, IL.

Miss Russell held a master’s degree in education and spent most of her career as a math teacher at Clark Junior High School in East St. Louis, IL. She later taught math at Collinsville Junior High, Collinsville, IL, until her retirement. Mary was a member of Holy Trinity Catholic Church and formerly of St. Albert the Great Catholic Church, Fairview Heights, IL. She volunteered at the church and the St. Vincent de Paul Society. She was an avid bridge player and belonged to several bridge clubs over the years.

Mary was preceded in death by her parents, Thomas B. and Helen “Nellie”, nee Beers, Russell; and a brother, John “Jack” (Evelyn) Russell.

She is survived by two nieces, Mary Ellen Russell of Belleville, IL, and Janet (Nick) Yung of St. Louis, MO;
a nephew, John Brian (Sandy) Russell of Crestwood, MO;
a great-nephew, Brian C. (Andi) Russell of Kansas City, MO;
and his children, Sean and Alex.

Memorials may be made to the Belleville Area Humane Society. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at

Funeral: Due to Covid-19 restrictions, private services will be held Thursday, June 11, 2020.

Burial will be at Mount Carmel Catholic Cemetery, Belleville, IL.


7 Comments on Mary Catherine Russell

Patti and Bruce Simpson said : Guest Report Jun 22, 2020 at 3:02 PM

Mary Catherine was a very special person. Her dedication to teaching, helping others, and the love for her family is something to be admired! God Bless her.

  • Tampa
  • Fl
Marilyn Duncan said : Guest Report Jun 10, 2020 at 7:12 PM

Mary Ellen, Janet and Brian, I have such fond memories of Mary Catherine, both as my home room in the late '40s and as my (and some of my home room classmates) friend. I walked into her room in the hospital (where I was employed) at least 40 years later and she looked at me and said "May I help you?" I told her I was looking for Mary Catherine Russell and she replied "I am she and you are Marikyn Wright and you married Pauk Duncan". I can still hear her as she said it I will miss her so. Our world is a lonelier place without her. I'll be thinking about you all tomorrow. Love you all God bless you all.

  • Belleville
  • Il
Marcia Dillard said : Guest Report Jun 10, 2020 at 4:13 PM

Miss Russell was my 8th & 9th grade math teacher at Clark Jr. High, E. St. Louis, in the late 1960s. I loved her so much. She was very witty. There are certain teachers who leave an impression on your life and she was definitely one of them.

  • Waterloo
  • IL
Craig Griffing said : Guest Report Jun 10, 2020 at 12:31 PM

Miss Russell was my 8th grade math teacher at North. She had unparalleled wit, was a great educator and a pleasure to know. I ran into Ms. R at Edna Moore's (my 6th grade teacher) funeral some 10 or so years ago and had a good chat about her career. I think she was in her late 80's (still quite active) and her comment was it the younger teachers from NJH that kept her active. She praised Dr. Hopper for the foresight to pair young fresh out of school teachers with the more "seasoned" teachers.

  • Collinsville
  • IL
Jo Ann Nadler said : Guest Report Jun 10, 2020 at 5:36 AM

I knew Mary Catherine through my mother, Connie Kinsella. She was a very nice person. She visited mom faithfully when she was ill. I will always remember her kindness.

  • Swansea
  • Illinois
Janice Scanlan said : Guest Report Jun 09, 2020 at 7:43 PM

I met Mary C. at North Junior High when , as a roving math teacher, she had a class in my room; one day I returned to find her rearranging the pencils in my desk drawer which she said was too organized; super story teller of junior high tales which made everyone laugh; always encouraging others to enjoy life; willing to go on adventures; great cook always willing to share her meals with friends; she was a super person and friend! Rest in Peace!

  • Collinsville
  • Illinois
Bonnie Fischer said : Guest Report Jun 09, 2020 at 11:28 AM

I wanted your family to know that Mary C meant a lot to me. I was an eighth grade math teacher along with her at North Jr. High in Collinsville. I was a new teacher so she was a great mentor and friend to me. We also had fun as a group of teachers became the Artsy Crafts group and gathered together at our homes. She was a great lady!

  • Trenton
  • Il

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