Francis "Frankie" Todd Russell, age 52 of Montello/Westfield, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, April 21, 2020 at Siesta House in Montello. He was born on February 12, 1968; the fifth child of Hance and Elsa Russell who were dairy farmers on Russell Flats, Westfield, Wisconsin.
Because he had physical and speech difficulties, he was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. He delighted in growing up on the farm. Fortunately, when he was ready for school, Special Education had recently been implemented in Wisconsin schools. Frank liked his years at Westfield and Oxford Grade Schools and then in Wild Rose's excellent program. He graduated in 1989.
After that he worked at Marquette Area Opportunities (MAO) and later for Diverse Options in Montello where he thrived.
When Frank was 26, he needed to expand his independence, so he moved into a group home in Montello with an excellent caring staff. He was very well cared for, and had weekends with his parents.
He was preceded in death by his father, Hance Russell, his brother, Mark Russell, Mark's wife, Peggy and all four of his grandparents.
Frank is survived by his mom, Elsa (Franzmann) Russell; sisters, Merry Russell, Patricia Russell (Jeff Smith) and Naomi Russell-Smith (Dan Smith); nephews, Matthew Russell, Kenny Hampton, and Russell Smith; nieces, Ivy Machmueller (Jayson Resop), Holly Machmueller, and Rachel Smith. He is also survived by great-niece, Autumn and great-nephew, Abel; other relatives and friends.
We are so proud of how Frankie battled his cancer; with humor, bravery, consideration and unfailing love. Pastor Zietlow’s spiritual support was invaluable to Frank.
We could not have navigated Frank's journey without the wisdom and compassion afforded by Agnesian Hospice Hope.
Siesta House and Catholic Charities will always hold a special place in our hearts. They were Frank's "other" family. They showed excellent, loving care and we believe strongly that Frank never felt alone.
A public visitation and memorial service for Frank will be held at a later date at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Montello. A private graveside inurnment service will be held at Oak Hill Cemetery, Town of Westfield with Rev. Peter Zietlow officiating. In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to St John's Lutheran School, as St John's was Frank's church home here in Montello.
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