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Dorothy Russell
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Obituary for Dorothy Russell

Dorothy (“Dot”) Seamark Russell, 99, passed away Tuesday, September 19, 2017, at Green Hills Retirement Community in Ames. Dorothy was born August 25, 1918, to James and Rose (Seamark) Taylor in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Her father was a Scotsman and her mother from London, both of whom had immigrated to Canada in the early 1900’s. Dorothy graduated as a registered nurse from the Winnipeg General Hospital School of Nursing in 1941. She married Wilbert (“Russ”) Russell on July 17, 1943. She accompanied him when he was stationed as a navigator with the Royal Canadian Air Force on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, during World War II.
After the war, Dorothy returned home to Manitoba, Canada, where Wilbert worked and earned his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. They moved to Ames in 1952, with their three boys, where Wilbert was a long-time professor of agronomy. Dorothy and her family became United States citizens.
Dorothy returned to her nursing career in the 1950’s at Mary Greeley Hospital in Ames. She worked some 20 years in the OB unit, acting as a supervisor for many years, delivering thousands of babies. Dorothy also remained active in nursing outside of Mary Greeley, teaching prenatal classes and serving as vice president for multiple terms of the Iowa Section of the Nurses Association of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She stayed in touch with fellow nurses the remainder of her life, including a Monday morning nurse coffee group that meets monthly at Green Hills.
Dorothy remained active in the community outside of her career. She served as president of the local Tri-T society, raising funds to send young girls to summer camp. She was active in the PTA, the First Methodist Church, served as a Cub Scout den mother for several years, and later as a hospice volunteer.
Dorothy traveled the world, often for international conferences with Wilbert. She remained active with faculty wives, and entertained Wilbert’s graduate students and fellow agronomy department couples, often playing bridge.
Dorothy and her husband moved to the Green Hills Retirement Community in 1996, where they enjoyed many friends and the staff as well. She served for a period as a member of the Green Hills Board. More recently in the Green Hills Health Care Center, Dorothy was known to counsel and advise the staff in a warm, friendly way, discussing the staff members’ families and lives. She was known there for her smile, sage advice, understanding, and her appreciation for nurses and aides, especially working mothers.
Family and friends were Dorothy’s focus. She raised and was proud of her three boys, always having time for them and their families. On July 17, 2013, Dorothy and Wilbert celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary with family.
Dorothy is survived by three sons, Bernard (Robin Fleming ) Russell, of Seattle, Wash., Barry (Lu Ann White) Russell, of Johnston, and Ken (Joyce) Russell, of Lincoln, Neb.; five grandchildren, Johanna (Jared Feuerhelm) Russell, of Ankeny, James (Lindsay) Russell, of Ankeny, Kathryn Russell , of Ames, Thomas Russell, of San Jose, Calif., and Taylor Russell, of Seattle, Wash.; and five great-grandchildren.
Dorothy was a wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, nurse, teacher, board member, volunteer, counselor, and friend.
Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents, brother (Jim Taylor), and husband.
The family extends special gratitude to the Green Hills staff for their care and support.
Memorial services for Dorothy Russell will be at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, September 27, at First United Methodist Church in downtown Ames. Family will receive guests at the church following the service.
Memorial Contributions may be made to the Salvation Army or the Mary Greeley Foundation.
Adams Funeral Home in Ames is assisting the family with arrangements.
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Previous Events

Memorial Service




10:00 AM - 10:45 AM
First United Methodist Church

516 Kellogg Avenue
Ames, IA 50010

Cemetery Details


Iowa State University

Pammel Drive
Ames, Ia 50014


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