Donna L. Russell

Donna Lee (Smith) Russell, 65, Winchester, Va., passed peacefully into the presence of the Lord on Jan. 20, 2013. She spent her last days in the tender, loving care of her family, friends and the Blue Ridge Hospice Residential Center.

She was born in Roaring Spring, daughter of the late Donald and Ethlyn Smith.

Surviving are her dearly beloved son and daughter-in-law, Jonathan and Erin Russell, and their daughters, Josie and Kelsey; her devoted sister, Nina Gilbert and husband, Bart, of Mineral Bluff, Ga.; and a niece and nephew, Dawn and Kevin McCreary, of St. Petersburg, Fla., who loved her as their second mother. In addition, she is survived by a host of cherished friends.

Donna was a master kindergarten teacher in the Pennsylvania public school system for 25 years, where she introduced and implemented innovative reading programs and where she is well remembered by many students for “helping them get a good start in life.” She lived in Roaring Spring for most of her adult life and was an active member of the United Methodist Church there.

After retiring, Donna lived in St. Petersburg, Fla., near her sister, niece and nephew. In later years, she moved to the Winchester, Va., area to be with her granddaughters, Josie and Kelsey, who were the light of her life.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013, at Omps Funeral Home, Amherst Chapel, Winchester, Va.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to Blue Ridge Hospice, 333 W. Cork St., Winchester, VA 22601, or the American Cancer Society.

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