Russell, Louise Hartness

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On Thursday, December 11, 2008, Louise Hartness Russell, of Blacksburg, Va., left the weeds and thorns of this life to join the Heavenly Father where the blossoms will never fade.

She was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 50 years, Edgar V. "Buck" Russell Jr., who went ahead in 1988 to plant the dahlias, and prune the roses and irises in the Heavenly gardens. Now, together, they shall enjoy the blooms of eternity with the Master Gardener. Her family rejoices in the knowledge that this year, for the first time, she and Buck will together share Christmas with the One whom Christmas is all about!

Louise was also preceded in death by, her father and mother, the Rev. Robert Nelson Hartness and Sarah Mitchell Hartness; her brother, Maj. Gee. Harlan Hartness; her granddaughter, Carolyn Yvonne Russell; and her great-grandson, Matthew Grant Russell.

Left to cherish the memories of her love and care are her daughter and son-in-law, Jean and Dick Quible, of Blacksburg; her son and daughter-in-law, Ted and Connie Russell, of Dublin; her granddaughter and her husband, Jennie and Ted Farmer, of Dublin; her grandson and his wife, Dean and Gina Russell, of Dublin; and her great-grandchildren, Rachael and Hannah Farmer, and Luke and Erin Russell, all of Dublin.

She was born March 16, 1912, at Lancaster Courthouse, Va., attended public school in Eastern Virginia, and State Teachers College at Farmville, now Longwood College. Louise taught school in Chesterfield County for four years before marrying a young chemistry instructor at VPI in 1938. For three years she was actively engaged in the Senior Woman’s Club, in which she was president, until her husband was called to active military duty in 1941. After the family’s return to Blacksburg in 1945, she became an active member of Southside Garden Club, which was an outgrowth of the Garden Committee in the Senior Woman’s Club of Blacksburg. In addition to being president of the Southside Garden Club, she was president of the Blacksburg Council of Garden Clubs, which consisted of the nationally accredited garden clubs in Blacksburg. Louise was honored with a State Life Membership and also a National Council Life Membership.

For many years she held the chairmanship of several committees on the district level, and almost as long on the state level. After completing several required courses of the Accredited Flower Show Schools, growing and exhibiting horticulture, making and exhibiting floral designs, and helping judge flower shows throughout Virginia, she felt proud to have had the opportunity to participate in the judging of the International Flower Show held in Miami Beach, Fla., and also in flower shows presented by the National Council Clubs in the Washington, D.C., area. Louise and her husband were avid dahlia enthusiasts, and grew many gorgeous varieties, which earned many blue ribbons in area shows. She felt quite honored that she had assisted in decorating the Virginia Tech President’s home and the University Club on several occasions for annual events.

Louise was proud to have been a member of Blacksburg United Methodist Church since coming to Blacksburg in 1938, and had been presented a Life Membership pin in the United Methodist Women Society.

The family would like to offer a special thanks to the Kroontje Health Care Center, the Cove, Southern Care Hospice, and McCoy Funeral Home for the compassionate care and consideration they have given to us and to Mother. To all who knew her, her love for people, and her love of flowers, she would want to say thanks for sharing her life.

Funeral services will be held 2 p.m. on Sunday, December 14, 2008, at McCoy Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Herbert Hobbs officiating. Interment will follow in Westview Cemetery, Blacksburg.

In lieu of flowers, Louise has requested that contributions may be made to Blacksburg United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 931, Blacksburg, Va. 24063 or your favorite charity. The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, December 13, 2008, at McCoy Funeral Home, 150 Country Club Drive, S.W., Blacksburg, Va.