Sandra Russell

Obituary of Sandra L. Russell

It's true that a grandmother can make a big impact in the lives of her grandchildren and Sandra L. Russell of Lakewood, New York is one such woman. Her eleven grandchildren, three great grandchildren, and three children, along with many other family members and friends, are the grateful beneficiaries of her passion for life and family. She leaves a void in all of their lives as well as a coveted trove of memories. Born in Jamestown, New York on March 6, 1942, to Fredrick and LaMar Hickman, Sandra was a 1960 graduate of Jamestown High School. She married Louie C. Russell (class of 1958) shortly thereafter and they set their sights on bigger cities, living in both Pacific Palisades, California and New York City before settling in Amherst, New York. The family kept a summer home on Chautauqua Lake where friends and family looked forward to the annual 4th of July party. Sandy enjoyed her career and worked for various companies from Buffalo to Boston. The pinnacle of her work life was her more than two decades at Computer Task Group of Buffalo, eventually becoming executive secretary for the president and CEO and creating an in-house travel agency to aid in her position as the company's chief meeting planner. Sandra facilitated and led many international trips throughout her time there, spurring a love for travel. She was talented in crafts, and her family is the beneficiary of her love for knitting. She also loved to play bridge, to do crossword puzzles, to watch the Buffalo Bills, and to visit her family, where she followed in her own mother's footsteps and became a beloved babysitter to her many grandchildren. She was an avid reader and a proud library card holder. She was also loved by every single dog in the extended family, which says so much about her kind and fun-loving spirit. She moved from Buffalo back to her childhood home in 2016, settling in Lakewood. She enjoyed the community at Connect 55 as well as visiting with her many friends from childhood, whom she had maintained close friendships with throughout her lifetime and whom she dearly loved. She showed uncanny resilience throughout her illness, but passed away on September 3rd at the Hospice House in Lakewood with her family by her side. She would want us to thank all of the people who made her life so special. The good times she had with you is what she treasured most. Surviving are her children David Russell (Carolyn) of Amherst and Lakewood, NY, Margot Russell (Bill Reich) of Lakewood, NY, and Mark Russell (Amy) of Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan, as well as her beloved grandchildren Kerry, Erin, Emily, Colleen, Katherine, Maggie, Rachael, Emma, Sam, Willy and Trey. She was a great grandmother to Nico, Joey, and Sloane. Also surviving is her brother John Hickman of Lakewood, and sister Piper Antonuccio (Charles) of East Amherst, NY. She was preceded in death by sisters Sheila Gilligan and Johanna Gaeta and niece Lauren Antonuccio. She also leaves behind several nieces and nephews of whom she was very fond. The family will hold a celebration of life in late September. An announcement with the time and date will be posted.
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