Chris Russell fought valiantly but lost her almost five-year battle with melanoma on Thursday, October 1, 2020.
There will be a visitation on Tuesday, Oct 6 from 3:30-4:30 pm at the Rotary Hill Shelter of Lake of the Woods Park in Mahomet. Burial will be private at Riverside Cemetery, Mahomet.
She was born on September 16, 1965, in Albany, New York. She attended SUNY-Albany and the College of St. Rose, completing her Master’s Degree in speech-language pathology in 1992. She married Craig Russell on May 9, 1992, then moved with him to West Point, New York, where daughter Elizabeth was born, then Jackson, Mississippi, where son Ethan was born. Then in 1998 they moved to Mahomet Illinois, where she worked with pre-school and kindergarten speech therapy students at Middletown (later Middletown Prairie) School until her retirement in May of 2020. She taught Sunday School for a number of years at Emmanuel Memorial Episcopal Church, was a member of Mahomet Town and Country Women’s Club, serving two terms as president,and she volunteered with Peoria Greyhound Adoption, Retired Greyhounds As Pets (REGAP), and the American Lurcher Project. She could often be seen at greyhound “meet and greets” around Champaign-Urbana or manning a table at Bergner’s Community Days with a greyhound or two. She enjoyed baking and decorating cookies and dog treats, and as a committed dog lover she always appreciated the cat cards and gifts from her “friends” at Middletown. Daily dog walks (usually with friends), weekly “Great Adventures” taking the dogs to Forest Preserve and other parks, and long bike rides in the country also brought Chris joy.
Chris was preceded in death by her mother, Helga Karker, and several canine friends over the years. She is survived by her husband, Craig; her children Elizabeth (Orkun Krand) of Atlanta, GA and Ethan of Boston, MA; her big sister Deb Conary (Tom Conary) of Conway, SC; her father Harry Strang of Palmyra, VA; current mixed-greyhounds Ella and Manny; and hundreds of her student friends whom she helped learn to communicate (at least one parent was overheard to ask her where the “off” switch was after their child finally learned to speak clearly and wouldn’t stop).
Chris and her family are grateful for the love and support she received from her friends at Middletown, Town and Country, our neighborhood, and Emmanuel in her last days. Chris would never expect flowers or memorials, but individuals who are inclined to make memorial contributions are asked to think of Helping Hands Mahomet, Champaign County COVID Relief, Emmanuel Memorial Episcopal Church, the American Lurcher Project, or the Democratic National Committee.
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