Leola Jonelle Ellis Russell
Nov. 9, 1937 - Oct. 27, 2019
Leola Jonelle "Jo" Russell passed away surrounded by family on October 27, 2019, at the age of 81 years old in Lakeport, California.
Jo was born to Earl O'Dell and Ollie Ellis on November 9, 1937, and was raised in Waco, Texas. She married Charles E. Russell, Sr. on Valentine's Day in 1955. They had been married 64 years, when he passed away in July of 2019.Jo was a devoted wife and mother to her four children. Charles' military career gave the family wonderful adventures of living overseas during their child-raising years. Jo was an incredible family chef, baker, hostess, seamstress, and gardener. After raising her children, she went to college as a re-entry student earning her bachelors' degree when she was 51 years old. She then developed a new hobby of genealogy and became the family historian, traveling to many southern states tracing and recording her family's roots. She became a local expert in genealogy by teaching community workshops. In her later years she suffered from Alzheimer's and resided in a care home in Lakeport, California.
She was predeceased by her husband, Charles E. Russell; her parents, and her brothers, Edward Ellis and Earl Ellis.
She is survived by children, Charles E. Russell, Jr (Joven), Sharon Burford (Larry), Denise Combs (Kurt), Mark Russell; seven grandchildren and one great-grandson; sister-in-law, Jean Ellis; and many nieces and nephews.
A memorial service and reception will be held at Salem Lutheran Church in Tomball, Texas on Saturday, February 15, at 11:00 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Alzheimer's Association.