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Betty Rae Dewhirst Russell

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Betty Rae Dewhirst Russell Obituary
Betty Rae Dewhirst Russell

AGE: 94 • Newark

Betty Rae Dewhirst Russell peacefully passed away at her home Wednesday September 28, 2016. She was born in 1921 in Olney, Illinois to Willard R. and Pearl Dillman Dewhirst.

She was educated in California and Illinois schools and graduated from the DePaul Hospital School of Nursing in St. Louis, Missouri in 1942. In April 1943, Betty reported for active duty in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps and reported to the 70th General Hospital stationed in Longview, Texas. There Betty met Lt. Lloyd B. Russell from Wilmington, Delaware. In August 1943, the unit sailed in convoy from Staten Island, New York to Oran, Algeria in North Africa. Betty and Lloyd were on the same troop ship and soon began dating. In November 1944, they were married in Oran, Algeria, once by the French government and once by an Army chaplain. They served one year in North Africa and one year in Italy before coming home in October 1945. Betty was awarded a Battle Star while serving with the 70th General Hospital in the North Apennines Campaign in Northern Italy in 1945.

The Russells moved to Hockessin in 1947. Betty was one of the founders of the Well-Baby Clinic in Hockessin, was active in the PTA, a Den Mother for the Cub Scouts, an American Field Service parent, a 50-year member of the Hockessin Community Club, helped to establish the Hockessin Public Library and Friends of the Hockessin Library, Lamborn Library Association Board member, a member of the Junior Board of Christiana Care and worked many years with the Wilmington Flower Market. Always the volunteer.

Betty was more than a 70-year member of First & Central Presbyterian Church in Wilmington where she served as a Deacon, delivered Meals on Wheels and served in the Emmanuel Dining Room.

Betty's husband preceded her in death after they celebrated 53 years of marriage. They enjoyed gardening and traveling and visited all 50 states and many foreign countries.

Betty and Russ are survived by their children, Lloyd B. "Rink" Russell, Jr. and his wife Mitzi of Hattiesburg, MS, Peter B. Russell and his wife Karen of Osprey, FL, J.D. Russell and his wife Linda of Goshen, IN and Becky Brooks and her husband Terry of Indianapolis, IN. She had ten grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 11:30 am on Saturday October 22, 2016 at First & Central Presbyterian Church.

In lieu of flowers, she would appreciate remembering her with gifts to Delaware Hospice, 16 Polly Drummond Center, 2nd Floor, Newark, DE 19711 or First & Central Presbyterian Church, 1101 N. Market Street, Wilmington, DE 19801.

For online condolences,

please visit

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302.478.7100
Published in The News Journal from Oct. 11 to Oct. 13, 2016
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