Billie 'BJ' Russell
Anchorage resident Billie “BJ” Jean Russell died Tuesday, July 4, 2006, of natural causes in her home, attended by members of her family. She was 70.
A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. today at Kehl’s Forest Lawn Chapel in Anchorage.
Mrs. Russell was born July 26, 1935, in Hornersville, Missouri, the first child of Bill and Neva (Harkey) Roark. Shortly after her birth, the Roarks, and eventually the Harkeys, moved to Napa, Calif., and in 1947, the families drove the Alaska Highway to Alaska. The Roarks settled in the Matanuska Valley, where BJ attended school in Palmer, graduating in 1954 and marrying a year later.
BJ and her family moved to Kenai in 1962 and worked at various places on the North Road. In the early 1980s her family moved to Anchorage, and except for a period in Oregon, she remained in Anchorage for the rest of her life at the apartment building she managed for several years.
“She was known for her artistic talent and open-door friendliness. She enjoyed living on a homestead,” her family said.
She is preceded in death by her daughter, Neva LaRae “Pixie” Notter of Belleville, Kan.
BJ is survived by her husband, Jerry Russell; son and daughter-in-law, Darrell and Mariesa McAllister of Kenai; grandchildren, Robert and Teresa Campbell of Anchorage and Branden Notter of Belleville, Kan.; sisters Kathy Laing of Blaine, Wash. and Alma Johnson of Seattle; and nephews and nieces, among them Laura Kowal who had a very special place in her heart.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations be sent to Providence Hospice, 3435 E. Tudor Rd. Anchorage, AK 99507-1282.
Arrangements were provided by Kehl’s Forest Lawn Mortuary.
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