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The Telegram
  • Willma Louise Russell

  • Willma (Billie) Louise Russell (formerly Simmons) 89, beloved daughter of William K. and Theresa C. Simmons passed peacefully in her sleep Wednesday, February 6, 2013.

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  • Willma (Billie) Louise Russell (formerly Simmons) 89, beloved daughter of William K. and Theresa C. Simmons passed peacefully in her sleep Wednesday, February 6, 2013.
    Willma was born at home in Bridgeport CT, on August 2, 1923. Willma was pre-deceased by her loving husband, Raymond H. Russell in 2010.
    Willma graduated from the College of New Rochelle in 1944. After graduation, Willma moved to New York City, where she worked for several years for the New York State Journal of Medicine. During this time, she wrote several short stories and radio plays.  Willma married Raymond in Westport CT in 1947, moving to Ilion NY where they started their family.
    Willma was a loving devoted wife and mother to her family. She is survived by her five children, Sharon (Steve) Peelor, of Norman OK, Michael, of Newburyport, MA, Pamela, of Schenectady, NY, Stephen (Cindy), of Schenectady, NY, and Chip, of Hull, MA. Willma was a loving grandmother to her eight grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and especially her niece, Sue (McKenna) Paine, of Livonia, NY. Willma is survived by her dear sister, Sylvina Simmons, who resides in Ilion.
    Willma was actively involved, with many community organizations including, Shakespeare Club, Traveler's Club, Ilion Hospital Guild, and the Ilion Historical and Garden Clubs. Willma was also active in the Ilion Little Theater Club where she directed and acted in many plays. Her work as a volunteer with the Mohawk Valley General Hospital, Red Cross and Public Library brought her great joy. Willma transcribed educational material into braille for children. During this time, Willma was also a Reading Research Specialist at Ilion elementary schools, and was a Girl Scout Leader and Den Mother, when her children were young.
    Willma enjoyed travel immensely, visiting various Caribbean islands and several countries with her husband. Her family will cherish the memories of the times they shared with Willma and her husband at the family camp on Piseco Lake in the Adirondacks. Willma had a great love of literature and reading. Willma will be missed dearly by her family.
    Calling hours for Willma will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Monday February 11, 2013 at the Whiter-Hendrix Funeral Home Inc. 100 Otsego St. in Ilion New York. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday February 12, 2013 at The Church of the Annunciation with Fr. Leo Potvin officiating assisted by Deacon James Bower, interment will be in the spring at St. Agnes Cemetery in N. Ilion.
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