WINSLOW - Ethelyn Russell, 89, of Winslow, passed away on Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013, at Inland Hospital in Waterville.
Ethelyn was born May 10, 1924, in Albion, the 10th of the 12 children of Seth H. Bradstreet Sr. and Ethel (Nelson) Bradstreet. She graduated from Besse High School in Albion and the University of Maine, Orono, with a degree in home economics. After graduation, she worked in New York and Florida and taught school and coached girls' basketball in central Maine. She married Theodore ¨Ted¨ H. Russell of Winslow on June 6, 1948.
Ethelyn and Ted raised nine children in Winslow, Sidney and Manchester. She was raised on a farm and during the early years of her marriage she was a farmer's wife. She enjoyed gardening and was known for both her vegetable gardens and beautiful flower beds. When her children were young, she was active in parent teacher associations and 4-H clubs. She actively participated in fundraising activities for building the James H. Bean School in Sidney and was a 4-H leader in Manchester.
Ethelyn held several offices in Lioness clubs in Manchester and Winslow and was a Past District President of Lioness District 41-I. She was also a member of the Winslow Lions Club and attended the Lions International Convention in Brisbane, Australia, in June 1991.
Ethelyn was actively involved in Democratic Party activities on the town, county, and state level, particularly get-out-the-vote efforts in critical election years. Ethelyn was one of the first women to run for the Maine State Senate. Her campaign slogan was, ¨Put a woman to work for you in the Senate.¨ She lost the race, possibly because we lived in a heavily Republican district. From about 1960 through 1986, she attended nearly every State Democratic Convention and many National Conventions. She was especially pleased to have been invited to President Jimmy Carter's inauguration and was one of the people from Maine who received a personal telephone call from President Bill Clinton during his re-election campaign. Although she had not been involved in politics for many years, she received a picture of the Obama family with a note from Mrs. Obama during President Barack Obama's re-election campaign. She put the picture in a place of honor on her refrigerator, despite protests from some of her Republican children and their spouses who repeatedly tried to hide it under other items.
Ethelyn and Ted traveled throughout the United States and Europe. While some of the trips were for Lions Club activities and Democratic Party conventions, many of them were rewards Ted received as one of the first State Farm Insurance agents in Maine and later as an agency manager.
Ethelyn enjoyed making crafts of any kind. Every time she saw a new ornament or knick knack, she wanted to take it apart and figure out how to make it. She specifically enjoyed ceramics, quilting, and knitting. She also enjoyed doing jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles, Sudoku puzzles, and the daily Cryptoquip and Jumble. She taught her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to cook, sew, do ceramics, quilt, knit, garden and freeze and can vegetables and fruits.
Ethelyn enjoyed people. She was the ¨life of the party¨ and loved having visitors. For many years, she hosted the Bradstreet family reunion in July and the family Christmas party at her homes in Sidney and in Manchester. She loved animals, particularly dogs and cats. During her later years, her favorite activities included cheering for her Red Sox, watching movies on the Hallmark Channel, and spending time with and playing games with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Ethelyn was predeceased by her husband, Ted, in 1986; by five sisters, Clora and Roy Perkins, Gwendolyn and Earle Purinton, Winifred and Walter Worthing, Alberta and Neil Macklin, and Lucile and Mitchel Sawlivich; by four brothers, Frederick and Avis Bradstreet, Clair and Freda Bradstreet, Donald Bradstreet, and Cecil and Faye Bradstreet; by a daughter-in-law, Carolyn May Russell; by a brother-in-law, William G. Russell; and by six nephews, Paul Hamlin, Richard Burnham, Eben and Karen Bradstreet, Brian Bradstreet, Roderick Macklin and Thomas Merrifield.
Survivors include five daughters, Bonnie Russell, of Winslow, Lucinda and Payson Barter, of Isle au Haut, Barbara Russell of Rome, and Beth and Neil Chesley and Doreen and Frank Kimball, of Winthrop; four sons, Franklin Russell and Robyn Kremer, of Starks, Andrew Russell and Susan Steele, of Portland, Mark and Vicki Russell, of Litchfield, and Steven and Julia Russell, of Winslow; by a sister, Virginia and Deane Hutchins, of Camden; by a brother, Seth and Betty Bradstreet, of Dexter; by three sisters-in-law, Virginia R. Bradstreet, of Albion, Joan F. Russell and Gardiner Hall, of Yarmouth, and Joan R. and Michael Mogilevsky, of Titusville, FL; by 21 grandchildren; by 16 great-grandchildren; and by many special nieces, nephews and cousins, both of hers and Ted's.
A memorial service celebrating Ethelyn's life will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 28, at the Winslow Congregational Church. A time of fellowship with light refreshments will follow the service at the church. Burial will be in the spring at the Howard Cemetery in Winslow.
The family would like to thank Dr. Roland Knausenberger and his staff for their care of Ethelyn for the last several years. We would also like to thank several people for their care of Ethelyn during the last several months: the aides and office staff from Maine-ly Elder Care and Care & Comfort; the doctors, PAs, nurses, CNAs, and other staff in the Emergency Room and on the second floor of Inland Hospital; nurses, CNAs, PTs, and massage therapist from Maine General Hospice and Home Care; and the nurses and CNAs from the rehab unit at Lakewood Continuing Care Center. We appreciate your help and care and concern for our mother.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Ethelyn's memory to the Winslow Congregational Church, 12 Lithgow St., Winslow, ME 04901. Please make a notation that the donation is to be used where needed the most.
Arrangements are by Direct Cremation of Maine and Riposta Funeral Home, 182 Waldo Ave., Belfast, ME 04915. Telephone 338-9199.