MUNCY — Jane Andy (Hall) Russell was born Feb. 19, 1926, to William C. Hall and Clementine Waltman Hall in Montgomery, and died on Monday, Sept. 14, 2020, at the Heritage Springs community in Muncy.
She graduated from Montgomery Clinton High School, attended the Baptist Institute, and at age 48 earned a bachelor’s degree in theology from Lycoming College. She was baptized and confirmed at the Clinton Baptist Church in Montgomery and was an active member of Elimsport United Methodist Church. Jane and her late husband, Robert “Bob” Russell, spent most of their lives at their farm near Elimsport, but Jane relished trips to Alaska, Italy, and other places near and far.
Her first job at Bryfogle’s Nursery in Muncy led to a lifelong interest in ornamental gardening and arranging flowers. She enjoyed decades of activity in the McEwensville Garden Club and served as president. She was also a life member of both the state and national Garden Clubs. Jane took pride in continuing to work during her marriage. She operated switchboards at the Montgomery Exchange and taught kindergarten at Pine Street Methodist Church. A devotee of service-oriented programs, she became teen director of the Young Women’s Christian Association in Williamsport and then served as executive director for many years.
A natural athlete, Jane excelled at basketball in school. She played guard and was frustrated by the half-court rules for girls’ teams preventing her from scoring. She was also an outdoors lover and proud Girl Scout who took on leadership roles in her children’s scouting activities. She championed the disadvantaged as well by serving as a volunteer and in leadership positions in the Yokefellow Prison and Project Impact/Bridgehaven Ministries. She taught Sunday school at Washington Presbyterian Church in Allenwood. She and Bob established the Russell Rehab facility at Valley View Nursing Center while he resided there.
Jane loved good food but preferred for someone else to make it and clean up the mess. She was irrationally afraid of bananas and, depending on your point of view, irrationally or rationally afraid of snakes. This did not stop her from taking curious grandchildren to the nearby Clyde Peeling’s Reptiland.
Faith guided her long, joyful life. She loved studying the Bible and attending religious lectures at the Chautauqua Institution — but few things could make her squirm more than an overlong sermon. Jane taught everyone around her the importance of self-improvement and never stopped trying to improve herself and helping others to do the same. Her family and all the lucky others who came into her orbit have certainly been improved by knowing her.
Jane was preceded in death by her parents; her brothers, Merle and William; her sister, Beatrice (Rovenalt); her husband of 70 years, Robert B. Russell; and her son Richard W. Russell (survived by his wife, Cathy Newhard).
Jane is survived by her daughter, JoAnn Fremiotti (and her husband, Massimo); son John (and his wife, Carol Davis); seven grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren as well as many relatives, dear friends, and card game partners in the White Deer Valley and beyond.
Memorial contributions can be made to Elimsport United Methodist Church; Clinton Baptist Church; Yokefellow or Project Impact/Bridgehaven Prison Ministries; or the charity of your choice.
Visit www.betzerfuneral.com to sign the guest book or send an e-condolence.