POLLY COPLEY RUSSELL, passed away peacefully with her daughters by her side, February 10, 2023, in Spartanburg, S.C. and she was welcomed to her heavenly home by her Savior. A service of remembrance will be held at Johnson-Tiller Funeral Home in Wayne on Saturday, February 18, 2023, with visitation from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. and the funeral immediately following. A private burial will be at the Jones Cemetery at East Lynn.
Polly Fae Copley Russell, 95, was born April 27, 1927, in Wayne County to parents Monroe Copley and Millie Brook Perry Copley. She had an older brother Gene Copley whom she adored and who is now deceased.
When Polly was three years old her mother died and she went to live with her mother’s sister Aunt Polly and Uncle James Fry and was raised alongside her cousin Sadie Fry Bunn, whose daughter Brenda Polly Bunn became a favorite niece. Later, her father remarried and blessed Polly with more siblings, whom she loved very much. She’s survived by siblings Neltha Shaffer, Shirley Queen, Eileen Watts, Kenneth and Clarence Copley. Deceased are Eloise, Lenny and Larry Copley and Kathy Caldwell.
Polly graduated Wayne High School where she was an honor student, cheerleader, played basketball and was a drummer in the band. She loved to dance, socialize and spend time with all her friends and Fry cousins.
She fell in love with Ray Russell (deceased 2021) and they were married for 74 years. She loved the Russell family and Ray’s sisters became her sisters and his brothers became her brothers.
Ray and Polly enjoyed touring the US, Canada and Mexico on motorcycles, taking their camping gear to pitch tents in national parks and on the Blue Ridge Parkway to fully enjoy God’s majestic creation.
Ray and Polly had five children: Millie Hamner (Jack, deceased), Karen Jones (Stephen), Sara Queen (Danny, both deceased), John Russell (Stephanie) and Mark Russell (Brenda). The family continued to grow with 13 grandchildren: Christopher Adkins, Erika Leak, Natalie Amato, Aaron Russell, Megan Russell, Sara Kate Russell and Daniel Russell, Jennifer Jones Nicholson, Stephen Jones, Jr., Sarah Jones Disasa, Jamison Queen, Laura Lea Queen (deceased) and Cora Leigh Russell (deceased). 10 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
Polly had a very interesting life: In her early years of marriage she raised 5 children, grew huge gardens, canned vegetables, worked part time at the Post Office, sold Avon, was president of PTA and taught Sunday School. Polly played piano for her own enjoyment, and she often played at church.
Later in life, when the nest became empty, she joined Ray aboard his 18-wheeler, hauling classified loads for the US Military-everything from Tomahawk missiles to cash payroll for our servicemen and women to military bases all over the US. This was quite an adventure that lasted nearly 20 years, including some years driving with her son Mark after Ray retired. She and Mark continued hauling the highly classified weaponry.
Each trip on the road was a field trip, whether taking pictures of the Tetons or visiting Hoover Dam; she made the best of her time at work. She always carried along a good book. Reading was her passion and she read from 9:00-midnight every night.
Polly lived most of her life in West Virginia: Coalwood, East Lynn and Lavalette. For the past 2½ years she made her home with daughter Karen and son-in-law Stephen Jones in Spartanburg, S.C, where daughter Millie Hamner had also moved to be near her mother.
Polly was very happy in S.C. as she enjoyed her bowl of fresh fruit each morning as she watched the birds at the feeders, waved to neighbors and marveled at every dramatic S.C. sunset. What she loved most in S.C. was sitting around the dining room table sharing meals with her children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Polly was truly a bearer of the Fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self -control. She loved the Lord with all her heart and trusted Him completely, even in the face of many sorrows. A devoted prayer warrior, Polly loved to pray for people and situations and prayed without ceasing.
The family wants to thank all the medical staff, nurses, therapists, CNAs and kind people at White Oak Rehabilitation Center who have helped our sweet mother through these last months. We want to also thank Hospice who provides such tender care to not only patients but family members as well.
While living at White Oak since August Polly developed a beautiful and lasting friendship with her roommate Miss Mary Simms. Mary would wheel herself over several times each evening to check on Mother. Often they would have long conversations and many laughs were shared.
We will miss our loving and beautiful mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, friend and sister in Christ, but we rejoice knowing that she is now at home with her Lord and those who have gone before. She is well, happy, and whole, and she is dancing once again!
“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you…”
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