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Happy Heavenly Birthday Aunt Tata

It is on this day, Alecta’s family is able to reminisce and respectfully pay tribute to her legacy. She gave true meaning to the title family matriarch and led by example. She was the daughter of George and Lillian Deevey and took pride from growing up on a farm with all of her brothers and sisters. She worked hard to help her parents on the farm and as she grew, she kept that same work ethic as she entered the work world as a dietitian and was among the first workers to break ground at the Plummer hospital in 1962. Alongside her lifelong best friend Thorma Miller, and what a beautiful friendship they shared where every Saturday evening, they would meet up after church for tea and dessert, reminisce and shoot the breeze while Grand Ol Opry played in the background. On June 15/1959 Alecta married her best friend and soulmate Albert Russell and made a home on Second Line, where Uncle Bert’s garden bloomed, his prized bird feeders, his decorations for every occasion, kids splashing in the pool or playing in our life size dollhouse while Uncle Bert took immaculate care of his yard mowing the front in a circular pattern and Aunt Tata’s love for lawn decorations, driving by you might think someone was celebrating a birthday because there was pink flamingos all over the yard but everyday every occasion was one to celebrate in the Russell home. They took pride in their New Years Eve parties where we all gathered in the basement and where Uncle Bert would show off his bar memorabilia while making the young ones a shirley temple and for the adults cocktails. We would shoot darts and laugh while enjoying Aunt Tata’s pinwheel sandwiches and dessert platters. She enjoyed hosting and baking her meat pies and carmel apples with family over the holidays so all the neighborhood kids could enjoy, she would smile as she got older and laugh when the parents told her they would come here as a young girl for carmel apples and now there children get to enjoy it. She loved passing on traditions being kind and non judgmental towards others and treating everyone fairly and equally, sometimes in life we forget that but it just took one look from her to quickly remind you to behave. The Russell’s door was open to anyone at anytime they needed it, they lived a life so selflessly always giving and bettering others, Uncle Bert a respected Army Corporal, a retired worker from the steel plant, a member or the Knights of Columbus, bowling dart and golf leagues. He had a hardy laugh and always a sparkle and admiration for his wife, they enjoyed traveling there favorite spot Aruba , there travel companions Uncle Donnie and Aunt Shirley, her cherished spoon collection, she was able to name off all the places she traveled or who traveled where and brought back what spoon for her. They loved when family would stop in for a coffee and bring an updated picture of a loved one. She dedicated her retirement wearing her title proud of baton mom and kept all us in line, her and Uncle Bert would be at every practice, competition, recital and parade being our biggest fans for over 20 years she did this all while still dedicating her time to her faith in the church, she had her 4th row seat every Saturday where we would sit and pray, she loved the church songs and singing along and would always have a Kleenex up her sleeve for when our eyes would water from singing. She was a well respected member of her community and in her family and she loved everyone equally all the same she would say and would always send cards on every occasion with her closing line saying good luck good health and god bless. Some people go a whole lifetime not knowing the impact they’ve made on others or the example they set, I was able to write her a thank you letter years before her passing to acknowledge how truly great she was for our family and how loved and respected she is and will forever be and to know that as the years passed on we are going to be just fine because we have had her love wisdom guidance that will carry on in us. Our family is able to reflect on this day at all the wonderful memories they’ve shared, may her memories and wisdom bestowed offer comfort and healing , and know that she is finally at rest peacefully with her soulmate.

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