Jessie "Cleo" (Wright) Russell (1920 - 2017)

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Cleo Russell, 97, of Vandalia, passed away on Saturday, July 15, 2017, at her home, surrounded by her family.
Services will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday at Hohlt and File Funeral Home in Vandalia, with the Rev. Robert Weaver officiating. Burial will be in Fairlawn Cemetery in Vandalia. Visitation will be held from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday at the funeral home. Memorials: Unity Baptist Church of Vandalia. Online condolences can be expressed at
Jessie Cleo Russell was born on Feb. 15, 1920, in Clinton County, the daughter of Jesse and Dora (Allen) Wright. She married Glen S. Russell on Dec. 16, 1939, in St. Louis, Mo.; he preceded her in death on May 16, 1969.
Mrs. Russell worked for Johnson, Stephens and Shinkle Shoe Factory, Princess Peggy Dress Factory and P.N. Hirsch Warehouse in Vandalia before retiring. Even in her retirement, she was a hard worker, caring for elderly in their homes and helping to raise her grandchildren. Cleo stayed very active, tending to her flower and vegetable gardens, baking pies and traveling to Branson for great food and shows. She always had a very positive attitude and put a smile on the faces of everyone around her. She was a long-time member of Unity Baptist Church, formerly First Baptist Church of Vandalia.
She is survived by her daughter, Twila and her husband Dave Orr of Effingham; grandson, David Orr of Effingham; and granddaughter, Laura Orr and her fiancé Ray Shraideh of St. Louis, Mo.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; daughter, Connie Russell; sisters, Helen Kircher, Fairie Meyer, Elva Holtke, Norma Madison, Lorene Spain and June Wright.
Funeral Home
Hohlt & File Funeral Home Ltd
204 North Fourth Street
Vandalia, IL 62471
(618) 283-3434
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Published in The Leader-Union from July 17 to July 26, 2017