Maude Russ

Obituary of Maude Russ

During the early morning hours of Friday, March 31, 2017, Maude “Polly” Marsh Russ, a beloved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, went home to be with the Lord as she held her daughter’s hand. She was 87.

Born on December 30, 1929, into a family steeped in American history, Polly was a lineal Mayflower descendant and French Huguenot. Her ancestors peacefully founded several New England towns and settled Scotch Plains. They fought for our Nation’s independence in the Revolutionary War, defended the Union, and served in the presidential administrations of Lincoln, McKinley, and Roosevelt. Polly was especially proud of her great-great grandfather who stood against the unjustness of slavery and sheltered runaway slaves. A granddaughter of a rescued slave became her beloved "Auntie Emma" and adored member of the family.

Polly was a member of the Morristown Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution. She served as its treasurer and essay writing contest chair for many years. She was also a former member of the Huguenot Society of New Jersey.

Polly graduated from the Muhlenberg Hospital School of Nursing in 1950. She held a BS in Chemistry and, in her retirement years, obtained a Master of Arts in Religion from Liberty University. She practiced critical care and emergency room nursing in supervisory roles for more than 40 years. At the time of her passing, Polly had just completed a "little book" of essays about her days as a young student nurse.

Her great joy was to share the good news of the gospel. For 50 years, she served with Child Evangelism Fellowship as a good news club teacher. She was a member of the Mt. Zion Baptist Church where she taught vacation bible school and was affectionately known as "Miss Polly.” She also enjoyed participating in a Bible study and monthly senior luncheon at Grace Church. Polly savored the promises found in Psalm 73:25 & 26 her entire life.

Up until her passing, Polly remained very busy sharing God’s love. She would write to bereaved families who had lost loved ones - especially if they were children or young adults - and share kind words of comfort. A bereaved family recently wrote, "You'll never know how much your words meant to us.” Also, she would write to several young people - incarcerated in prisons throughout the country - to assure them that, no matter what, God loves them and will never leave them. Polly did not know these folks, but she made it her mission to minister to them.

Her grandchildren thought she was “cool.” She attended her grandchildren's school activities, took them on trips, sent care packages that only a grandma could create, and gave them lots of hugs. Their pictures adorned her home and heart.

Widow of the late Delwyn (1993), her brother, the Rev. Harold, her daughter and caregiver, Reignette, son Michael (Paulina), daughters, Constance (late Kelly) and Lori (Dr. Greg), foster sons, James (Dr. Mary) and Robert, cherished grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and grandnieces survive her. Cosette, her tabby cat, misses Polly’s morning hug.

Interment was private. A celebration of Polly's remarkable life will be held on Saturday, May 20 at 2 pm, Grace Church, Rt 46, Netcong. Arrangements by Tuttle Funeral Home, Randolph (tuttlefh.com). In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Dover, Grace Church, Netcong, or the Voice of the Martyrs, Bartlesville, OK.