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Marion Russell

Obituary for Marion Russell

May 5, 1922 - August 18, 2019
Avon Lake, Ohio | Age 97

Loving Wife, Mother, Friend


Marion R. Gatts Russell (nee Widowson) passed away Sunday, August 18, 2019 surrounded by her loving family. She was born May 5, 1922 to the late Henry and Irma Widowson in Cleveland, Ohio.

Marion was a 1940 graduate of James Ford Rhodes High School. In her senior year, she earned two scholarships – one in Voice and one in Flute to the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music. She went on to teach both vocal and instrumental music for the Lorain County School system for 36 years earning her teaching certificate through Western Reserve University. Later, she studied and performed opera in the 1950's throughout Germany.

Marion had a vast music career spanning her 97 years and was an active member in numerous musical organizations. She dedicated much of her time and talents to the Cleveland Women's Orchestra, performing for 57 years as Principle Flutist, serving as President of the Orchestra as well as longtime member of the Board of Directors, and helped establish the Performing Artists Endowment Fund. She also spent many years adjudicating All-State Solo & Ensemble contest throughout the state for the Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) ;and was a longtime member of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society to endow women educators pursuing graduate studies.

Marion also devoted much of her time and service efforts to the Daughters of the American Revolution. She was accepted into the DAR in 1960, served as Regent of her Nathan Perry Chapter in Lorain, OH, was the Conductor and Director of the All-American National DAR Chorus in Washington, D.C. for 20 years, performing during the terms of Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and George H.W. Bush. She was also the Principle flutist of the Patriots Symphonic Band of Lorain County for many years.

Marion enjoyed floral arranging as a member of the Avon Lake Garden Club for 45 years, and was a Horticulture trophy winner. She enjoyed boating on the Great Lakes with her family and friends, and held a boating and navigation Power Squadron certificate. Marion enjoyed traveling and had done so extensively visiting all seven continents.

She is survived by her beloved husband Anson of 57 years; loving children David Gatts, Dale Gatts, Deborah Gatts Blackwood, DiAnne Gatts, Jake Russell, Harriet L. Russell, and Emily Russell.

She is preceded in death by her first husband Lowell Arden Gatts who died in 1959.

Family will receive friends Tuesday, August 27 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Busch Funeral Home, 163 Avon Belden Rd., Avon Lake, OH. A brief DAR Memorial Service will be held Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. A Celebration of Life will be held Wednesday, August 28 at 10:00 am at Avon Lake United Church of Christ, 32801 Electric Blvd., Avon Lake, OH. A private burial will be held at Lake View Cemetery, Cleveland, OH that afternoon. 440-933-3202

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Busch Funeral and Crematory Services

163 Avon Belden Road
Avon Lake, OH 44012
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