Margaret M. Russell, 73

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SOUTH PORTLAND — Margaret M. Russell, 73, died June 16 at the Gosnell Memorial Hospice House with her family by her side.

She was born Aug. 15, 1939, in Portland, the daughter of George P. and Annie B. Houston.

Russell grew up in the Portland area and graduated from Cathedral High School in 1957. In 1960, she graduated from the Mercy Hospital School of Nursing. She worked as a registered nurse for several months before she married Donald O. Russell at Holy Cross Church on May 27, 1961.

The couple soon started their family, and Russell chose to stay home and raise the six children. Although busy with them, Russell was also a mother to anyone who needed one, often sending her kids to school with more than one lunch for a classmate in need. She gave of herself freely, serving as a Scout den mother when her boys were young and volunteering at Precious Blood Monastery and most recently at St. John the Evangelist Church in South Portland.

Russell spent many days swimming at the South Portland Swimming Pool, where she had made many friends and found great enjoyment. She was also an avid reader.

She was a devout Catholic, and a communicant at St. John the Evangelist Church.

In addition to her parents, Russell is predeceased by her son Mark, in 2005, and two sisters, Patricia Houston and Sister Regina Marie Houston.

She is survived by her beloved husband of 52 yeas, Donald; five children, Ann Russell, of Portland, Richard Russell and wife Cynthia, of Gorham, Stephen Russell, of Portland, Jennifer Griffin and husband Kevin, of Skillman, N.J., and Robert Russell and wife Becky, of Windham; 13 grandchildren, Patrick and Aileen Russell, of Westbrook, Brendan and Elizabeth Farley, of Buxton, Jillian Farley, of Scarborough, Colby and Chloe Russell, of Gorham, Callie and Vanessa Russell, of Gorham, Daniel and Sean Griffin, of Skillman, N.J., and Alicia and Rianna Russell, of Windham; great-granddaughter Lily Emond; sisters Mary Bennett, of Portland, and Elizabeth “Betty” Ryan and husband Paul, of Walpole, Mass.; brother George R. Houston and wife Mary, of Portland; and many nieces and nephews.

A Mass of Christian burial was held Thursday at St. John the Evangelist Church, in South Portland, followed by burial at Calvary Cemetery, in South Portland.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Russell’s honor to the Gosnell Memorial Hospice House, U.S. Route 1, Suite 1, Scarborough, ME 04074.