Elizabeth Nellie Russell was born on Dec 9, 1928.
Though out her youth Nellie had many adventures the most shocking I think to many was that Grandma
had hitch hiked across Canada and back with a good friend. She loved telling us stories and reminiscing
about her life.
On August 26, 1950 Nellie went on her first date with Leo and on Oct 30, 1950 they were married.
Together they had 12 children. Leo and Nellie homesteaded in the Dixonville area where the family
home is today.
Nellie spent many hours walking along the creek usually with her cat and dog saying her prayers. She
was a very devout Catholic, loved going Church and teaching anyone willing to learn about Jesus. The
kids would always look forward and be on best behavior waiting for Grandma to bless them with Holy
water that she always had on hand. Even with her illness and some trials life threw at her, her faith never
It is probably a good thing that Nellie had so much faith in Jesus raising all the boys and at times their
friends. When I married into the family and heard some of the shenanigans that they pulled I was in
shock. Once, she could not figure out what had happened to her chickens until she was walking by the
creek and they were hanging in the trees, the boys having dirt fights but using rocks, putting a brother in a
tire and rolling them down a hill, throwing homemade spears at each other, playing a good old game of
Risk and breaking the kitchen table.
Nellie was usually pretty easy going but if you were late for a meal or got caught swearing she would as
she put it “bring you up on the mat”. I think a few of the boys were called Mr. Dirty Mouth a few times.
But once she “brought you up on the mat” all was forgiven and forgotten. She was also a very happy go
lucky type of person and always took teasing with a laugh. She always thought she was a good driver
(she definitely was not!!) and we always told her if you want to go somewhere just call and we will take
you well… she went and bought herself a side by side so she could go where she wanted when she
wanted. If you were “lucky” enough for her to take you for a ride it would not be a ride you would
forget! She would laugh after the ride and say see it wasn’t so bad was it?
Nellie loved to sing (especially Wilf Carter songs) and play instruments, even with her illness she could
remember a song word for word.
Anyone that came into Nellie’s life was automatically considered “her children” as she put it. Her door
was always open for anyone needing a shoulder to lean on, something to eat (she always thought a person
should eat more!), a bed to sleep in or just a coffee. Most people young and old know Nellie as Auntie or
Grandma. I would ask her how she was Auntie to some person and she would tell me “Well dear not by
blood but they always just called me Auntie and that’s fine just means I have more children!” Through
the years I saw many kids come to her house as strangers and leave (usually with some sort of treat)
calling her Grandma Nellie and even in adulthood call her Grandma.
Nellie was predeceased by daughters, Karen and Ruth; son, Steven; and husband, Leo.
She will be sadly missed by sons, Ray, Marvin, Elmer, Ron, Doug, Clifford, Murray, Earl, Brian;
her daughter in laws; 27 grandchildren; 35 great grandchildren; nieces and nephews.
I encourage anyone with a story or a memory of Nellie to please share as we would love to hear them. I
know many people were touched by this Angel.
December 9 1928 December 14 2020
Nos plus sincères sympathies à la famille et aux amis de Nellie Russell December 9 1928 December 14 2020..
Décès pour la Ville: Peace River, Province: Alberta