SHARON, Pennsylvania (MyValleyTributes) – Mary Joyce Russell, our beloved Mother, passed at age 91 on Wednesday, February 1, 2023.

She was born at home on the family farm on Big Bend Hill, New Hamburg, Pennsylvania and was the youngest of ten children of Edna Slater Little and George Little.

Joyce attended school in New Hamburg, Fredonia and Sandy Lake, Pennsylvania and wanted to be a nurse from a young age. Instead, she married and began a family as women did at that time.

Mother was very proud of her children, J. Dennis Russell, Dianne Russell, David Russell, Debra Russell Young, Jo Linda Russell and Mary Jeanne Russell, all of whom graduated college and had successful careers. She worked multiple jobs to raise them alone after a divorce.

Joyce was extremely proud to be the first woman crane operator at Westinghouse (1966-1982). She earned a licensed practical nurse license at the same time. When Westinghouse closed, she worked as a nurse in Pennsylvania and Florida. After retiring from nursing, she drove for Adesa Car Auction.

Joyce was a member of the DAR, the New Hamburg Countryside Garden Club, Stony Point Homemakers, a seasonal volunteer at Vero Beach, Florida Humane Society and a curator of the Caldwell Schoolhouse Museum. She was also part of the University of Pittsburgh’s Long Life Family Study due to her family’s longevity.

Her many hobbies included stained glass, knitting (taught at the Vo-Tech), needlepoint, rug hooking (won Grand Prize at the State Fair) and collecting and refinishing antiques. She made hundreds of lap robes which she gave to family, friends, the Mercer County Home and the Old Soldiers and Sailors Home in Erie. Joyce was known for her cinnamon buns, her beautiful home, her care for others, her sense of humor and her good advice.

Joyce was predeceased by her siblings, Mae Little Beringer, Jim Little, Fred Little, Mildred Little Pears, Bell Little Minner, Max Little and Grace Little.

She is survived by sister, Jeanne Little Martin. Joyce also leaves seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

A memorial is planned for a future date.

Arrangements are being handled by the J. Bradley McGonigle Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc.

A television tribute will air Sunday, February 12 at the following approximate times: 6:27 p.m. on WYTV and 6:58 p.m. on MyYTV. Video will be posted here the day of airing.