Martha was born and raised in Miami, Florida. In the course of her life, she lived in Tennessee, California, Washington DC and Northern Indiana. Martha loved downtown South Bend where she spent her last years. She could be seen frequenting Fridays by the Fountain, Vegetable Buddies and South Bend Brew Works. She was a woman of style, always having her hair done and wearing fashionable clothing. Her style didn’t stop at her appearance. Her living spaces were always tastefully done and comfortable.
Martha earned her master’s degree in Social Work later in life. She used her education to help secure not for profit status, set up foundations and helped with fund raising. Earlier, she traveled the country accrediting colleges and universities. Martha was gifted with intellect and used that gift well.
If there is a word that comes to mind when thinking about Martha, it is tenacious. When she had a goal, nothing, not even rules, would stop her. Although quite social, she kept the details of per private life, private. Martha was also a very generous person. She cooked for many a Notre Dame college student and for her friends and neighbors. She was an artist and had a lot of colorful paintings. She loved to give those and her beautiful beaded bracelets away.
Special thanks to the staff at Milton Home in South Bend. They helped make Martha’s last years safe and enjoyable. She served there on the Leadership Council. Martha was a good friend to many, and she will be missed.
If you wish to participate in a small service on the shores of Lake Michigan, please join us on Thursday, August 26 at Tiscornia Park Beach in St. Joseph, Michgan at 3:00 pm. Afterwards, friends can gather to share memories at South Bend Brew Works, 129 N. Main Street, Suite 105B (new location). Cruz Family Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Osceola is assisting with the arrangements.
To light a virtual candle in Jeannie's memory or share a story of her life, please follow the links on the tribute wall tab above.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Martha "Jeannie" Russell, please visit our floral store.