Thora Russell

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Russell, Thora C.
Thora Ann Carr Russell, age 84, wife of John Gibson Russell, passed away peacefully as a result of Alzheimer's disease on Thursday, April 18, 2013 at the Wilton Meadows Nursing home, Wilton, CT where she had been a resident for eight years. Thora was born on September 18, 1928 at home on Fairfield Beach Road in Fairfield, CT and lived her entire life in Fairfield, prior to her moving to the nursing home. She was the daughter of the late Harry and Dorothea Carlson Carr. Thora graduated from Roger Ludlowe High School in 1946 and received both undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Bridgeport. She worked in New York City for Pan American Airways for four years during which time she traveled to many overseas destinations including a favorite spot, Bermuda. She later worked at Rolock Inc until her marriage in 1958 to John. Over the ensuing years, she raised four children born within six years of each other. She relished this role and was very involved in her children's activities, including serving as president of the PTA at Timothy Dwight School. Her other volunteer activities included serving for two different terms as president of the Greenfield Hill Garden Club, board member of the Grasmere Eldercare Center in Fairfield, member of the Near and Far Aid committee and the Fairfield Christmas Tree Festival. One of her greatest loves was chairing the "Plant Tent" for over 15 years at the annual Dogwood Festival at the Greenfield Hill Congregational Church. She also was a member of the Fairfield County Hunt Club for over 50 years and the Fairfield Beach Club. Thora had a kind and gentle spirit and she loved gardening, tennis, paddle tennis, and all animals, especially cats. She was fortunate to continue traveling with John to many corners of the world including watching Grand Slam tennis at both Wimbledon and Roland Garros in Paris. In addition to John, her husband of 54 years, Thora is survived by her son Doug of West Hartford, CT, daughter Betsy Milicia and husband Joe, of Fairfield, CT, six grandchildren, Chip, Johnny and Laura Russell and Sarah, Kelly and Allison Milicia, her sister Judy Norwood and husband Jerry of Foxboro, MA, and their four children as well as many cousins. She was predeceased by her two grown sons, Tim and Steve and her daughter-in-law, Mary, Doug's wife. A memorial service to celebrate Thora's life will be held on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 11:00 am at the Greenfield Hill Congregational Church. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Thora's name to the Greenfield Hill Congregational Church, 1045 Old Academy Road, Fairfield, CT 06824, or the Fairfield Museum and History Center, 370 Beach Road, Fairfield, CT 06824. For information or to sign on online guest register please visit


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Spear-Miller Funeral Home
39 South Benson Road
Fairfield, CT 06824
(203) 259-0824
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Published in StamfordAdvocate from Apr. 26 to Apr. 28, 2013