Irene Louise Tilley Russell

irene louise russell
After a long illness, Irene Louise Tilley Russell, 92 years, passed away peacefully on June 8, 2015 at Deerfield Health Care Center in Asheville, NC. She was born on July 6, 1923 in Magnolia, Massachusetts, the fourth child of Elsie Irene (Renna) Kellaway and Arthur Wareham Tilley. She is survived by James S. Russell, her loving husband of 71 years, and her five children; Jeffrey K. Russell (Bea) of Asheville, Suzanne R. Stillman (Brad) of Norfolk, Va., Sandra R. Andrews (Jeff)of Burlington, NC, Elaine R. Boger (Brian) of Columbia, SC, and Thomas S. Russell (Gail) of Reston, Va., and 15 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. She grew up with three older brothers, Art, Bill and Doug, who all preceded her in death. Her early years were lived in Gloucester, MA and Chevy Chase, Md., and she spent the summers on Cape Cod in Hyannis, MA. She attended Hood College in Frederick, Md., and graduated with a BS in Nursing from Johns Hopkins University. She married James Sidney Russell, who also attended Johns Hopkins University. After her husband, Jim, returned from Germany (WWII), they began a family, eventually having 5 children. They settled in Alexandria, Va. where they lived from 1956 to 2001. At age 41, she returned to nursing, working in post-partum obstetrics. Later she cared for her aging mother for 10 years. She was also Vice President of Northern Virginia Beverage Company. the family business, and managed their pension fund for many years. She and her husband, Jim, traveled extensively and provided many family gatherings in Alexandria, at the beach in their second home in Garden City, SC and on ski trips to Colorado. She loved the outdoors, especially the ocean, fresh salt air, and the sun. In 2001, they moved from Alexandria, Va. to the Deerfield Community in Asheville, NC. For the past two years, she resided in Simonds Health Care at Deerfield. As a wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, she was the picture of grace and had an elegance that inspired others. She never missed a birthday, family event or anniversary without a thoughtful card or gift. She leaves a legacy of humanness, kindness, unselfishness and unending love for her family and others. A supportive and intelligent woman, she was devoted to her husband and family. She brought a calm and smiling presence to many. May she rest in peace with her loving God and deceased relatives and friends. We would like to acknowledge and express great appreciation for the loving and excellent care she received from the staff at Deerfield Health Care Center. Special thanks go to Malinda McDevitt, a loving caregiver from Home Instead. We also would like to thank her many caring and supportive friends at Deerfield Retirement Community. A funeral and memorial service is scheduled for 11:00 am Saturday, August 15, 2015 in St. Giles Chapel on the Deerfield Community Campus. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to CarePartners/Hospice Foundation, P.O. Box 25338, Asheville, N.C. 28813 or to a charity of your choice. Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian is assisting the family.

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  1. I am truly sorry for your loss. I know the pain of losing someone dear to me and something that has brought me comfort is the promises found in God’s Word, the Bible. Soon, God promises to ‘swallow up death forever’ (Isaiah 25:8) and to ‘resurrect’ all of our dead loved ones. (Acts 24:15) I hope these promises bring you comfort until that time comes.

  2. Dear Russell family,
    I am sorry for your loss. May Jesus promise of a resurrection at John 5:28 bring your family comfort during this difficult time.

  3. Sympathy goes to the family. May you look forward to a time when the trials we experience in this life, in this world, are no more. (Rev. 21:3,4)

  4. My condolences to the Tilley family. Mr. James, may you find some strength in Isaiah 33:24, for it read how: ‘No resident will say: ‘I am sick’. Yes, soon, you will no longer worry or pain from losing a loved one to death because of sickness, for it will be gone forever, never to return. Please find comfort from this, in your difficult days ahead.

  5. I am so sorry for your loss. I didn’t know her personally, but the things said about her, what a lovely women. I know that the loss of a loved one so dear is a difficult thing to bare, but please know that God is near those who are broken hearted and crushed in spirit – Psalms 34:18. Draw close to him through prayer & bible reading & you will learn of the wonderful promises he has made. Psalms 37:29 says that the earth is where the righteous ones will live.

  6. My condolences to the Russell family. Mr. & Mrs. Russell sound like a good example of a husband & wife. So much to learn, especially from such a wonderful woman. I didn’t know her personally, but she sounds like someone I would love to know! Praying for your family & hope you can have comfort from God’s promises. (Job 14:13-15)

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