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1937 Michalene "Mickey" 2024

Michalene "Mickey" Russell

May 29, 1937 — March 4, 2024

Vermillion

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Michalene D’Arcy O’Connor Russell, fondly known to the world as “Mickey” passed away peacefully on March 4, 2024 in Vermillion, SD.  She was 86 years old.  

Mickey was born May 29, 1937 in Sioux City, Iowa to Margaret Helen (D’Arcy) and Joseph Patrick O’Connor, the second of their five children and “Irish Twin” to her beloved Pat.  At age 7, her family relocated to Vermillion, where the large extended O’Connor family settled when her grandparents immigrated to the US from Ireland. Mickey always treasured her second-generation Irish heritage and her entire family.   

Mickey graduated from Vermillion High School in 1955 and earned a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of South Dakota.  She and her family lived in several places before returning home to Vermillion in 1988, where she was employed for many years by the Vermillion School District.  

She married her high school sweetheart, Jack Russell, in 1957. Together, they had 9 children, 26 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren. Mickey’s greatest joy in her life was her family.  She loved nothing more than to gather with her family over a meal and the card table – and relished in the stories, activities, photos and lives of us all.   No matter where we happened to be, it was always clear that Mickey’s unconditional love and faith surrounded us.

Mickey was a woman of strong faith who faced life’s challenges fearlessly, with peace in her heart, a positive attitude and a quick wit.  She never knew a stranger, and she fully embraced a spirit of kindness, hospitality and love for ALL people. Over the years, so many friends became family.   Mickey always put others first and would drop any task to listen to a friend over a cup of coffee or help anyone who needed her. Mickey lived her faith and loved like Jesus – every person she met left knowing they had been seen, heard, and loved.   

Mickey is survived by her nine children Randy (Deb) Russell, Patsy (Rick) Cogdill, Sheila (Keith) Pearson, Jack (Mary) Russell, Kathy (John) Stampfel, Marty (Wendy) Russell, Melissa (Luke) Wolsky, Annie Russell and Tim Russell; 26 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren who will deeply miss their wonderful Grandma Mickey; Kyle Russell; her brother Jerry O’Connor; brothers-in-law Jerry Pratt and Joe Zuppo; and many beloved family and friends.  She was preceded in death by her husband of 57 years Jack Russell, her parents, sisters Pat Pratt and Fran Zuppo and her brother Tim O’Connor.  

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 7 at St. Agnes Church in Vermillion followed by a celebration lunch.  An open visitation and rosary will begin at 9:00 a.m.  

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to St. Agnes Charities in Vermillion or National Right to Life.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Michalene "Mickey" Russell, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, March 7, 2024

9:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

St. Agnes Catholic Church

416 S Walker St, Vermillion, SD 57069

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Mass

Thursday, March 7, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

St. Agnes Catholic Church

416 S Walker St, Vermillion, SD 57069

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Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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