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Barbara A. Russell, 59

Barbara Ann Russell, age 59, of Alexandria, formerly of Lester Prairie, died Tuesday, July 27, 2010, at home, after a courageous battle with cancer.

She was born Oct. 27, 1950, in Sauk Centre, the daughter of Merle and Evelyn Dowell.

Barbara graduated from Swanville High School in 1968.

She was united in marriage to Larry Russell Aug. 15, 1970, at the American Lutheran Church in Long Prairie. After their marriage, the couple moved to Wadena and in 1971, moved to Lester Prairie. To this union, two children were born: Michael and Michelle.

After her children had grown, Barb worked in public health doing pre-school screenings, and later at Hallmark, doing gift sales.

In 2006, Larry and Barb moved to their home on Lake Ida, where she enjoyed spending time outside enjoying nature and viewing all its wonders.

Barb was very active with her family and community. She was a chairman of American Red Cross Blood Drive for 30 years, Scout leader for Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, After Prom Party chairman, and an Alexandria and Lester Prairie Relay for Life participant.

A member of Lester Prairie Bethel ELCA from 1973 to 2006, and a member of Grace Lutheran Church in Brandon, MN from 2007 until present, Barb served many offices and was very active in Bible study groups, WELCA, and as a summer school and vacation Bible school teacher.

Barb also enjoyed golfing, water sports, cross-country skiing, gardening. and reading.

She was diagnosed with colon-rectal cancer in 2002, which went into remission in 2003. In 2006, Barb was diagnosed with metastases to the pelvic region and had many different treatments since.

Barb is survived by her husband, Larry; son, Michael and wife, Elizabeth of Holmen, WI; daughter, Michelle and husband, Timothy Olson of Dassel; five grandchildren: Derek, Andrew, and Seth Russell, and McKayla and Keagan Olson; father Merle Dowell of Long Prairie; two sisters, Kathryn (John) Carlson of Grey Eagle, MN, and Donna (Robert) Johnson of Burtrum, MN; four brothers: Gerald (Connie) Dowell of Pella, IA, Wayne (Wilma) Dowell of Kalispell, MT, Roger (Dorcas) Dowell of Albany, and Larry (Lori) Dowell of Mendota Heights; as well as several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her mother, Evelyn Dowell; father and mother-in-law, Chester and Helen Russell; and a niece, Brigitte Dowell-Baxter.

Funeral services took place Saturday, July 31 at 11 a.m. at Grace Lutheran Church in Brandon, with the Rev. Norman Olsen officiating. Interment was at Moses Dane Cemetery in Burtrum, MN.

Visitation was Friday, July 30 fro 5 to 8 p.m. at Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria, and continued Saturday for one hour prior to the service at the church.

Pallbearers were Barb’s brothers and sisters: Kathryn Carlson, Donna Johnson, Gerald Dowell, Wayne Dowell, Roger Dowell, and Larry Dowell.

Arrangements were with the Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria. www.andersonfuneral.net