We would like to offer our sincere support to anyone coping with grief. Enter
your email below for our complimentary daily grief messages. Messages run for up to one year and you
can stop at any time. Your email will not be used for any other purpose.
Mary Louise Russell
August 9, 1953 ~ July 24, 2023 (age 69) 69 Years Old
3 Trees, Flowers, or Condolences have been shared with support of Mary's family - View on Tribute Wall
Read more about the life story of Mary and share your memory.
Mary Louise Russell, 69, passed away on Monday, July 24, 2023 at her home in Ithaca, NY. Born August 9, 1953 in Fall River, MA, she was the daughter of the late Eileen and Kenneth Russell. Mary grew up in Lincoln Park, MI, and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with Highest Honors from Wayne State University before attending the University of Michigan Law School, earning her J.D. in 1979.
Mary moved to Ithaca in 1983, where she raised three children and became deeply involved in local politics and governance. She was an active member of the Tompkins County League of Women Voters, co-chairing its Natural Resources Committee for nearly a decade, as well as serving on numerous other municipal groups and committees. She was a dedicated public servant to the Town of Ithaca, serving two terms as an elected Member of the Town Board and as Deputy Town Supervisor. Her work as a public official and as a volunteer was driven by her belief in the importance of intermunicipal cooperation, and her devotion to the preservation of open space and farmland. A member of the New York and California Bar Associations, she opened a solo law practice in 2006 focused on municipal and environmental law.
Mary loved to travel to new places, but loved most of all to return to Horseneck Beach near Fall River where she was born. Her Massachusetts roots gave her a lifelong appreciation of seafood of all types, and fried clams in particular. She amassed a formidable library of cookbooks and was an excellent and adventurous chef, with a repertoire of dishes from around the world. An enthusiastic birder, she enjoyed visiting bird sanctuaries and tracking the wildlife in her own backyard. She loved getting the latest updates from her grandkids and playing along with their make-believe.
Mary is survived by her children Kate Rubin, Daniel (Claire Halpert) Rubin, and Benjamin Rubin; grandchildren Hugh Halpert and Elaine Halpert; brothers Kenneth Russell and James Russell; her nephew Kenny, nieces Nicole, Colleen, and Lindsay, and many grandnieces and grandnephews; and her partner Charles Westlake.
A Celebration of Life will be held on August 9th at 6pm in the Large Pavillion at Stewart Park, 1 James L Gibbs Dr, Ithaca, NY 14850.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to the Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex in Mary’s honor.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Bangs Funeral Home. Online condolences may be made to Mary’s family at www.bangsfuneralhome.com.