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Patricia Maureen (Patti) Russell

Patricia (Patti) Maureen Russell
Jul 25, 1958-June 25, 2013
Former resident Santa Cruz
Patti was the sixth of eight children born to Pat and Ernie Russell. Her arrival into this world was truly a catalyst for change. Patti was born with Down Syndrome, and her parents soon learned that there were no support programs to help special needs kids like Patti. To fill that need, they were instrumental in establishing skill centers and served on the board of what is now The Arc of California.
For Patti, her life was full of siblings, The Skills Center of Santa Cruz, and music. She was the original "cockeyed optimist", and loved singing along to My Fair Lady, Mary Poppins, and The Sound of Music. She was an enthusiastic competitor at Special Olympics and won almost every free throw contest with her brothers and sisters, at their front yard hoop on 209 Majors Street.
For the last eighteen years, Patti lived in Sacramento with her brother Phil (Buddy) and his wife Leora. They and their extended family gave Patti all the love, care and attention she'd had at home with her parents.
Patti leaves behind seven of her "favorite things": Sisters Meri, Kathy, Colleen, and Janeen; and Brothers Buddy, Terry and Kevin. She was the little angel in their midst. Patti was loving, stubborn, tender and sometimes just a little devilish. She enriched the lives of her great big family, and changed the way we look at the world. God speed Patti Russ.
A Funeral Mass for Patti will be held July 25th at 11:00 a.m. at Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, with a celebration of her life afterwards at the Parish Hall. 4123 Robertson Ave., Sacramento CA 95821. Please offer donations to www.thearcca.org.


Published in Santa Cruz Sentinel on July 14, 2013
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