Obituary for Magdalena E. Russell
Magdalena Eitzenhofer Russell, age 84, has left this earth for her heavenly home on 12/23/2017. She was born in Mainaschaff, Germany on October 23, 1933 to Georg and Theresa Eitzenhofer. She met the love of her life, an Army soldier, Crue Gene Russell when he was stationed nearby. They married in 1955 and moved back to the United States and started a family going wherever the military sent them. They had 3 daughters: Theresa Magdalena, married to Randy Rucker, resides in Olive Branch, MS; Roberta “Bobbie” Jean, married to David Whittington, and currently resides in Honolulu, HI; and Polly Ann Russell, who resides in Tonawanda, NY. Magda spoke very little English but quickly learned by watching soap operas on TV. She loved being an Army wife & sewed patches on many uniforms. She became an American citizen in the early 1960’s. After Crue retired from Army life in 1968, they moved back to Memphis, TN. She went to cosmetology school in 1966 to become a hair dresser (she had been a hair dresser in Germany but was required to be licensed in the US). She loved the life of a beauty shop owner which for a while was in her home in Whitehaven, then to a location on Brooks Road, before going to work in a shop on Milbranch. She loved to brag about all her grandchildren who called her Oma: Davy & Mark Whittington, Sarah Rucker Barker, Jessica Rucker Schwegel, Nathan Rucker, Melanie Rucker Caffee & Abigail Rucker, Wendy Meador Hale and Maggie Meador. She also loved her 19 great grandchildren: Aaron, Kyle, Lexie, EJ, Crue, Micah, Haven, Stone, Cross, Finley, Lincoln, Beckett, Everly, Lucy Kate, Emmeline, Rowan, Elijah, Bradley & Ruby. She loved to travel during her more than 50-year marriage to Crue; they attempted to travel to all 50 states. After 20 years with Mapco Refinery in Memphis, TN, Crue retired and they settled at Snow Lake Shores in Ashland, MS. Health concerns caused them to move to Olive Branch to be closer to family in 2009. During her lifetime, Magda was fearless. In her teenage years, she was a German National Champion for her bicycle trick riding! She never hesitated to take on any roller coaster, trampoline, motorcycle or dare! She was fun-loving, loved her life and never met a stranger! She never lacked friends or projects. She could sew anything from homemade doll clothes, stylish outfits and costumes for herself, dresses and fake fur coats for the granddaughters and she would sew her special quillows for family and friends. Always busy but never too busy to help someone with a visit, food or homemade goodie. She loved to entertain, everyone loved her cooking and she loved getting together with friends and family. She was always serving at a church or club function. She planned many trips with the grandchildren taking one or two at a time to experience Germany, Disney or wherever she wanted to go! Magda and Crue were married for 56 years. Before Crue died in August, 2011, we discovered she was dealing with dementia. Alzheimer’s changed her life during the last few years. She moved in with Bobbie & David in 2011. In December 2016 she travelled again. She was enjoying life in Hawaii with Bobbie and her family until her mind and body were disabled by the disease. She is now whole again, reunited with Opa and other loved ones in heaven!