A much loved wife, mother, grandmother, aunt and friend, Sandy Russell, 71, of Warrensburg, died suddenly of a brain aneurysm July 5, 2013 in Colorado. She was born December 15, 1941 in Liberty, Missouri, to Arthur 'Bud' and Henrietta Morris. A graduate of the University of Missouri, she and Bob, her husband of nearly fifty years, resided in Warrensburg for the past forty-five. With her ice blue eyes and movie- star smile, it's no stretch to imagine that in her youth, Sandy was a true beauty queen. A model in Kansas City, she was Princess of the 1957 Kansas City Auto Show and as a Tri Delta at the University of Missouri was named one of Glamour Magazine's 'Top Ten Best Dressed Women' in 1962. Much more than just a pretty face, Sandy had a fine mind and believed that women could achieve anything. After marrying Bob, Sandy taught first grade in Kansas City before having children. She then taught art in the Knob Noster public schools before becoming a successful realtor and real estate developer. She sat on the Board of First Central Bank. In the last several years, she pursued a life long dream of owning cattle and created the Bucket List Cattle Company. Always one to make the world around her a better place, Sandy was an active member of the Warrensburg Community. Sandy was a member of the School Board in the 1970s, a Board Member of the UCM Foundation, a Board Member of the Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of Military Affairs and Past President of the Whiteman Air Force Base Community Council and Civilian Air Boss of the Air Show at Whiteman for the past twenty-five years. Highly artistic and musically inclined, Sandy was a sculptress, stained glass artist, knitter, needlepointer and crocheter. Essentially, there was nothing she could not achieve when she put her mind to it. In the 1970s she and five of her friends formed a band called "The Girls' and played many gigs around Warrensburg with Sandy as guitarist and back-up singer. She decided at fifty to learn to play the piano and though not a virtuoso, could still play well enough for others to sing along. Sandy was known for a keen sense of humor and an incredible sense of adventure that likely was sparked by her participation in 1962 in the first People-to-People program to Berlin. Not only did she get her pilot's license and run a marathon before it was cool to do so, she jumped out of a plane, white water rafted through Ecuador, traveled solo through China and caught a 300-pound marlin while deep-sea fishing to name a few of her many accomplishments. Always up for a thrill, she was hot-air ballooning and hiking Fish Creek Falls in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, the day before she collapsed. Sandy was best known, however, as a wonderful cook and entertainer. Her cinnamon rolls will be remembered by all that tasted them. Her favorite activities were baking cookies with her four beloved grandchildren, the horse and livestock shows at the American Royal, her annual trip with the Ladies of the Lake, anything Native American, cheering on the Mules and Jennies and attending to her very spoiled cows. Her greatest love was undoubtedly her family. The most devoted wife, mother and grandmother, her family always came first. In addition to her husband Bob, she leaves behind her three favorite people: her son Rob and wife Kelly, of Sedalia, her son Randy and companion Ann Bailey of Warrensburg, and her daughter Beth of Jupiter, Florida. Additionally she leaves behind four beloved grandchildren: Carly, Ryan, Andrew and Nick; a daughter-in-law, Kelly; three grand-dogs and many wonderful nieces and nephews. Predeceasing her are her mother Henrietta Morris, her father Arthur Allen Morris, her brother Arthur Allen Morris, Jr., her son-in-law Geoffrey Neuhoff, her niece Becky and her darling dog Patou. Memorial services will be Wednesday, July 10, at 2PM at the First Christian Church of Warrensburg, with Pastor Jerry Bayse officiating. A celebration and reception will follow at the Russell Farm, 255 SE 600 Rd., in Warrensburg. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to: Show Me Christian Youth Home, PO Box 6, Lamonte, MO 65337 or The Harvesters, www.harvesters.org
or 816-929- 3000. Donations may be left in care of the Sweeney-Phillips and Holdren Funeral Home.
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Published by Kansas City Star on Jul. 8, 2013.