Ruth Russell, 97, of Meridian, Idaho, died on Jan. 15, 2020.
Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 24, at the Church of Latter-day Saints, 2090 N. Eagle Road in Eagle, Idaho. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m. Graveside services will follow at Meridian Cemetery.
Remembrances may be left for the family at AccentFuneral.com. Services are under the direction of Accent Funeral Home, Meridian.
Ruth was born Oct. 1, 1922, to James and Thelma Christiansen. From the time she started school, 6 years of age, she was tutored in public speeches and readings. She attended all years of school in the same building, fourth grade advanced to fifth grade after Christmas holidays and to sixth for the next year.
She graduated in 1939 from Moreland Idaho High School and was the vice president of the student body her senior year. She presented the salutatorian address. Graduated the same year from LDS Seminary. She went to Salt Lake City, highlighted by personal visit with president, Heber J. Grant.
She enjoyed entering in drama and speech festivals, going to state each year, placing in state with dramatic reading.
Ruth attended the University of Idaho Southern Branch in Pocatello for one year, where she worked in the University library. She was initiated into Delta Psi Omega, drama fraternity; Kappa Phi, speech fraternity; Lambda Delta Sigma, LDS Institute fraternity. She also acted in leading roles in Family Portrait and Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town.”
Ruth worked in the Soil Conservation Office in Blackfoot from 1941-1943. In 1943 she went to Western Union School in Santa Cruz, Calif. Her first assignment after school was Vallejo, Calif., which she couldn’t wait to get out of. She then went to Ogden, Utah, Idaho Falls and St. Anthony.
On May 15, 1944, she married Bill Powell. She quit Western Union and had a family. She moved to Idaho Falls and went back to work for Western Union and then moved to Cody. She worked at Williams, Gaskill and Ferguson, CPA and Kenneth Bailey, CPA and Don Robirds, CPA.
Ruth married Ervin (Russ) Russell on Oct. 7, 1967. She was a lifelong member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving in many callings and teachings. She was a teacher in Sunday School and Relief Society, visiting teacher, and served in the Presidency of the Relief Society.
She received her endowments in the St. George, Utah Temple, March 2, 1990, and cherished several years of service in the Boise Temple. She belonged to the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, holding several offices.
Survivors include her children: Anne (James) Henderson, Robert James (Norma) Powell, Peggy (Gilbert) Robles, Kristina (Vincent) Burns; stepchildren: Clifford (Jeanne) Russell, Joe (Sharon) Russell, Barbara (Tom) Barber, Bonnie Decker and Janie (Donny) Anderson; 24 grandchildren and 44 great-grandchildren; four great-great-grandchildren and sister, Rayola.
She was preceded in death by her siblings: James, Park, Margene and Kent.