Cover photo for Betty Russell's Obituary
Betty Russell Profile Photo

Betty Russell

October 24, 1932 — October 31, 2021

Betty Russell

Betty E. Russell

Age 89 of Wilmington, passed away Sunday, October 31, 2021 at AMITA Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet.

Born October 24, 1932 in Clarksville, Tennessee, Betty was a daughter of William and Delma (Pritchard) Akins. She was raised and educated in Clarksville and graduated from Montgomery Central High School. On June 25, 1960, Betty married Lester Russell in Crown Point, Indiana, and together they would raise their family in Wilmington.

She began her employment with Uniroyal and later with Johnson and Johnson Personal Products from where she retired after 25 years of service. Betty was a member of Island City Baptist Church where she was a member of the choir and played the piano. She also volunteered her musical talents to the local nursing home which brought great joy to the residents.

Betty was an avid shopper, always looking for the next great find at any garage sale that crossed her path. She also enjoyed shopping via the QVC network and her local AVON representatives. Betty loved to play bingo, especially at Saint Mary’s in Joliet and the Wilmington VFW, and never missed her favorite soap opera. She was talented at handcrafts such as crocheting and sewing, making many sets of clothes for her children growing up. Family was Betty’s number one priority. She lived for raising her children, and was overjoyed to see her family grow and cherished any family gathering.

Survivors include four children: Nancy (Dan) Parker of Ellsworth, Illinois, Ramona (Gregory) Sopko and Robert (the late Shelah) Russell, both of Wilmington, and Dawn (Joseph) Eustice of Pontiac; nine grandchildren: Sally Parker, Lester John Parker (Natasha Slagel), Erik (Nicole) Lyday, Sara (Casey) Mazeika, Meghan Peterson, P.J. Hathaway, Andrew Michaels, Elizabeth Michaels, and Krysta (William) Reynolds; twenty-one  great grandchildren: Haley, Dylan, Maggie Jo, Phoenix, Machenzi, Evie Rae, Nora, Rowan, Emma, Ava, Casen, Cayslee, Keagan, Nikoda, Gavin, Skyler, Ceara, Kaige, Brylee, Talon, and Tatum; four great-great grandchildren: Peyton, Braxton, Atlas, and Matilda; one brother, Steve (the late Norma “Cookie”) Akins of Clarksville, Tennessee, two sisters: Norma Hayes of Effingham, Illinois, and Margie (the late Edgar) Hayes of Clarksville, Tennessee; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Betty was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Lester on June 19, 2021; two brothers: Bill (Ruth) Akins and Allen (Bonnie) Akins; one grandson, David Lee Pulaski, and one great grandson, Connor Kyle Lyday.

The family will receive friends for a visitation on Friday, November 5, 2021, at Baskerville Funeral Home, 700 East Kahler Road, in Wilmington from 11:00 a.m. until the time of funeral service at 2:00 p.m.

Those wishing to participate in Betty’s services virtually are welcome to join the live stream beginning on Friday at 2:00 p.m. A link for the service will be available on Betty’s memorial page.

Burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery in Wilmington where Betty will be laid to rest with her husband.

Pallbearers will be Dan Parker, Lester Parker, Erik Lyday, Andrew Michaels, Dylan Hursh, and Joey Eustice.

Preferred memorials may be made as gifts in Betty’s memory to the family for distribution to charities of the their choosing.

Family and friends are encouraged to sign the online guest book, upload photographs, and share Betty’s memorial page by logging onto:

Funeral services and arrangements have been made under the direction and care of Baskerville Funeral Home in Wilmington (815) 476-2181 .

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Betty Russell, please visit our flower store.


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