Dottie’s favorite poem The Dash refers to the dash between date of birth and date of death. In part, it reads:
“For that dash represents all the time they spent alive on earth and now only those who loved them know what that little line is worth. For it matters not, how much we own, the cars…the house…the cash. What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.”
On a hot summer day in Union, South Carolina, Dorothy Jean Farr made her debut into the world. It was August 22, 1933. Her proud parents, Maggie (McCluney) and Charlie Farr welcomed their fourth of six children into a growing, loving, and Christian family. Her brother Dennis and sisters Magdalene (Mag) and Wilhelmena (Mena) doted on their new baby. She was a beautiful, mild-mannered child who became devoted to her siblings, which later included Connie and Roslyn. Everyone affectionately called her Dottie or Dot.
At the age of 13 her parents, in search of new life experiences, joined the Great Northern Migration and moved the family to Pittsburgh, PA. After the family settled into their new home, they joined Lily Baptist Church. Dottie was baptized there and grew spiritually through regular attendance and bible study. She was gifted with a soulful soprano voice that was used to help Lily’s Gospel Choir rock the church with her rendition of the classic spiritual God Is. After years of worship and dedication to the Lord she was ordained as a Deaconess.
An avid Pittsburgh Steeler and Pittsburgh Pirates fan, she was one heck of a baseball player back-in-the-day! She and sister Mena played softball with the Plato Athletic Club, and Dottie mastered the position of shortstop. She was a member of the La’Real Social Club. Dottie’s musical talent also gained her recognition at Fifth Avenue High School. While studying to earn her diploma she was the top soprano soloist for the Fifth Avenue High School Chorale.
Her beauty and voice caught the attention of upper classman Jimmy “Cool Breeze” Russ, who became the love of her life, her soul mate and business partner. She and Jimmy were married 68 years, and they traveled the world together. Their love story lasted nearly 70 years and was blessed with four children—Jeannie, Jim, Tony and Rick—and several businesses. She played a significant role in the life of Richard (Butch) Wright, who adopted her and Jimmy as his parents.
Proverbs 31:10-31 speaks of the virtuous woman; the virtuous wife. This passage accurately describes Dottie. Possessing a keen sense of humor and quick wit, she was the epitome of style
and grace. There was nothing more important to her than her role as wife, mother and homemaker. She was a child of God, devoted wife, exceptional mom, loving daughter and sister, and loyal friend. Dottie
Dorothy Jean Russ peacefully departed this life Monday, April 13, 2020, with Jimmy by her side. Not wanting to live without her he joined Dottie in heaven three days later. In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her son Anthony (Tony) Russ, granddaughter Amber Russ, Richard (Butch) Wright, brother Dennis T. Farr, sisters Wilhelmena George and Roslyn Farr. Dottie leaves to celebrate her life and cherished memories her children: Jeannie Davis (Aurora, CO), James (Jim) Russ (North Port, FL), Rick Russ (Venice, FL). Grandchildren: Robert (Nanette) Anderson (Upper Marlboro, MD), Jason (Sita) Russ (Sarasota, FL) Crystal and Tony (Sugar) Russ (Pittsburgh, PA), R.J. Russ (Atlanta, GA) and Richard Anthony Wright). Great-grandchildren: Christopher and Chancellor Anderson; Dyami, Kaya and Akio Russ; Kaleb and Kaylin Cormany, Amber and Lawrence Broadus; and Shania, Avyion and Neela Russ. Sisters: Magdalene (Mag) Lindsay (Pittsburgh, PA), and Connie Kane (Aurora, CO). Sister-in-law Mary Farr (Pittsburgh, PA) and a tribe of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
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