Sarah Lee Russell
March 7, 1954 - July 6, 2019
Sarah Lee Russell went home to join her mother, father, daughter Abigail, and savior Jesus Christ on July 6, 2019. She was born in Waco, Texas, March 7, 1954 and grew up on Live Oak Street with Faye and A.G. Russell and her sister, Patricia. In her youth, she was an active member of her church, Columbus Avenue Baptist Church in downtown Waco. She attended and graduated from Waco High School in the class of 1972. In her final years of high school she took her first trip to Europe, sparking a deep love of travel that would last her lifetime. Her visit to Notre Dame Cathedral on this trip was a memory she continued to share with her children and grandchildren.
Sarah attended Baylor University, graduating in three years with a major in History and German in 1975. She married Patrick Wachsmann on December 12, 1975 and they became active in Highland Baptist Church both joining the church choir, Sunday school, home groups and later the mission's group. Sarah taught History and English at Waco High School from 1976- 1980 before leaving overseas for mission's work. Sarah and Patrick lived in Germany from 1981-1983 as missionaries carrying Bibles into Eastern Block countries under communist control. Sarah gave birth to her oldest child, Emily Wachsmann while in Germany in 1981. Returning to Texas in 1983, Sarah soon gave birth to her second child Patricia Wachsmann in 1984 and almost immediately thereafter, to her only son Jack Wachsmann in 1985.Sarah was an avid piano player and filled the home with both music she wrote and worship songs from church. She loved to garden, growing roses, hyacinths, lilies and other beautiful flowers her entire life. Each of her homes was marked by her green thumb, with plants and blooms in abundance. Having grown up in a home with a renowned caterer, Sarah took over the family business in 1985 so weddings and parties in Waco could still have a Russell touch of hospitality. She homeschooled her children before returning to the teaching profession at Waco Christian School and then Midway High School where she taught German. In 1992, she gave birth to the joy of the family, Abigail Wachsmann.
Sarah continued to travel to Europe taking her son, Jack on a soccer tour of England in 1995 and her daughters, Tricia and Abigail on a mission's trip to Macedonia in 2002. She visited the Middle East with her daughter Emily in 2005. Sarah visited Germany multiple times in her later life, always loving the language and culture of Germany. She had a special place in her heart for Eastern Europe with the Slavic countries being her favorite landscapes, people and food.
Faith, prayer and her prolific knowledge of the Bible marked her many journeys in life. She would often be up early with her coffee and her Bible having quiet time with her Lord.
Her last years were spent close to her daughter, Tricia helping her through law school before a move to New Braunfels. She spent her remaining time with her son's family business, supporting his expansion. She was able to pass on her love of piano to her grandson Jace and loved spending time with all her grandchildren.
Sarah is survived by her sister, Patricia Bridges; children, Emily, Tricia, and Jack Wachsmann; and grandchildren, Myer Reno, Jace, Keira and Alex Wachsmann. She is also survived by son-in-law, Mitchell Reno; and her three nephews she loved dearly; and their many children and grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, Faye and A.G. Russell; daughter, Abigail Wachsmann; and spiritual mother, Lucille Webb.
A private memorial service will be held from 10:00 to 12:00 p.m., Saturday, July 20, in Waco, Texas, at Cameron Park Clubhouse. Please contact Emily, Tricia or Jack Wachsmann for further details.