Margaret Miriam (Cross) Russell (Peggy)

November 5, 1924 to June 7, 2021


The fabric of the lives of the Russell family changed forever with the quiet passing of Margaret Miriam (Cross) Russell (Peggy) on June 7, 2021 after a very brief illness but long and fulfilled life of 96 years. Peggy was born in Grimsby, Ontario in 1924. Predeceased by her husband Frederick William in 2001. Leaving with wonderful memories four children, Doug (Verda), Jan (Rick Spracklin), Jim (Deanna), and Peter (Lesleigh). Fourteen grandchildren: Kerri (Chris Neary), Ashley, Alexia (Chris Feltham), Tracy (Terry Hudson), Dan (Alison), Lesley (Karl Reid), Fred (Lisa), Carolyn, Peter, Rebecca (Keith Maddocks), Lara (Andy Malam), Catherine (Dan Frye), Ben and Sam, nineteen great-grandchildren: Katia, Adia, Elliott, Eva, Zack, Juliette, Ronin, Dawson, Annaka, Lyla, Nelson, Autumn, Beatrice, Elijah, Teddy, Avery, William, Issac and Grace. Also leaving to mourn her sister Barbara McKinnon, Guelph ON, and brother-in-law Don (Pat) Russell, Amherst NS, as well as nieces and nephews.

Peggy met the love of her life, Fred, while they were both in service for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) in Dartmouth, NS, in the early stages of World War Two.  She often said that the 25 cents that it cost to get into the dance where they met was the best quarter she ever spent. They married in 1946 and she moved from Ontario to St. John’s, knowing only Fred but ready for the adventure. She embraced the province and people completely for over 70 years.

From 1991 to 1997, she and Fred served the people of the province as Lieutenant Governor and Her Honour of Newfoundland and Labrador. She graciously welcomed royalty and dignitaries to our province and was as warm and kind to everyone as she was to the Queen.   Peggy was invested as a Member of the Order of Canada in 2000.

Peggy cultivated a multitude of friendships and had a very special gift of making anyone feel at ease in her presence due to her kind and welcoming spirit. She was well-traveled, well-read and well-informed. Her memory was legendary within the family and she remained interested in everyone’s passions until the very end.

Her greatest passions were her family, her garden, reading and long visits to Florida. When she was a child Peggy told her parents that when she grew up she wanted to live in a house where the supper guests every evening were a surprise, and the summer house on Windy Cove Lane in Manuels was exactly that. In the late 1970s she and Fred built a swimming pool as a “grandchild trap”. The family pool has been a gathering place for generations of family members and friends and it was Grandma’s greatest joy to sit by the pool and watch children swimming. Her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren’s friends were as welcome as family and she was “Grandma” to them all. She touched so many people’s lives and was truly able to see the best in everyone.

Her zest for life and new adventure never waned. Well into her 90s she was a joy to behold as she was strapped into her “throne” chair on the back of Rick’s ATV to make the short journey down to the wharf for a trip out in the boat. She loved to be out on the water, wind blowing through her hair. When she wasn’t on the boat she watched faithfully for its departure and return, waving from the deck.

Grandma taught us all the power of positive thinking and showed us that you are never too old for your next dream or adventure. Starting with her 80th birthday she began to bring family together for a celebratory adventure. Every five years we met as a clan in Cuba, Jamaica, on a cruise and finally on her 95th birthday in Newfoundland. And what celebrations they were!

The family is forever grateful to Jim and Deanna, who lived with Grandma and cared for her for the last five years, allowing her to remain in her beloved home.

The difficult part now remains, how to follow in her example and live well in a world without her presence.  We will miss her forever.

Because of Covid-19 restrictions, there will be no visitation.  A celebration of her life will be held later in July.  Donations in her honour may be made to the Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Care Foundation ( or the Manuels River Natural  Heritage Society (






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Jan, Rick and Family,

Please accept our condolences on the passing of your dear Mom. She was an incredibly kind and warm person. Hopefully with the passage of time you will be able reflect on all the amazing memories you shared over her lifetime.

To the Russell Family…
.Warm thoughts and hugs to you all on this sad occasion. Your mom was such a bright light to all of us lucky enough to share in the fun and adventures on Maypark and at Cherry Lane. We always felt welcome and certainly always enjoyed her energy and laughter. Thinking of you all.

Jim and Deanna,
Please accept my sincere sympathy .to you and your children.It is hard to lose a Mom and Grandma.
If you are living in St. John’s I would love to see you.!My name is in the phone book..
Marion Forsey

To the Russell Family

I would like to express my condolences on the passing of your mother. I was privileged to know Peg for many years, and always found her to be very warm and kind. She will certainly be missed by her family, and her many friends.

Shirley Bursey

Dear Jan and Family,
Philip and I send our sincere condolences to you and all the family on the passing of your lovely Mom. We have both lost our Moms in recent years and it certainly leaves a big void in the family. Rest assured that we will keep you all in our thoughts and prayers. God Bless you all.
Stephanie and Philip Gavell

To the extended Russell and Spracklin families please accept our sympathies on the passing of a wonderful lady, Mrs. Margaret Russell. It was our honour to know Mrs Russell and to have been able to spend time with her on occasion.. She will be greatly missed by all who were lucky enough to know her.

To the Russell and Spracklin family, we send our condolences on the passing of Mrs. Russell. We are thinking of you all, and hope that you continue to lean on the memories of this beautiful lady to bring you comfort. So many lives have been touched by her, and her spirit and grace will long be remembered

To the Russell and Spranklin families we send our sincere condolences. We are so very sorry for your loss. We always enjoyed your Mom’s bright smile and her friendly conversation.

To Jan & Rick and family,

Jan I am so sorry to hear of your Mom’s passing, She was a beautiful person. And we loved her as our International Honorary Member of Beta Sigma Phi. Our sincere condolences and prayers for you and your family at this very difficult time in your lives. I loved the tribute that was written on your Mom and know you have so many wonderful memories to give you strength and help to get you through this very difficult time. Sincerely Carol & Ches Roe

To the Russell Family
Sorry to hear of Mrs. Russell’s, thinking of you and remembering you in prayer during those difficult days..

Doug, Jan & the Russell Family.
Please accept our sincere condolences on the passing of your beautiful Mother. What a lovely tribute written for her. A very warm and caring person.
We had the privilege spending time at her home on Cherry Lane, with wonderful memories and lots of fun .
We are sure you have special memories of your mom to hold in your hearts , hoping the memories will help you through this sad time..
Keeping you all in our thoughts!

Jane & Nev Hackett

Thinking of you all at this sad time and I hope that your many happy memories help to ease your sense of loss over the coming months. Many happy childhood memories of time spent with your family at Manuels. Your mum was always so warm and welcoming.

To the Russell family,

I only had the pleasure of crossing paths with Mrs. Russell a few times but she really did warm your heart. It’s rare to meet someone so strong and yet so warm at the same time. She was stopping through Toronto one time and took us out to The Keg. That was the first time I ever went to The Keg. I loved this air of importance she had about her and how she made me feel important too. A truly wonderful woman, who will be dearly missed by all who knew her. My deepest condolences for your loss, I’m thinking of you all at this difficult time.

To Doug, Jan, Jimmy, Peter, Verda, Kerri, Ashley, Alexia, Katia, Adía, Elliott, Eva, Zackary, and all extended family..
I am so sorry for your loss. Mrs. Russell, since the day I met her, has always been a gentle, kind, forward thinking, welcoming individual. I think there are few people in the world who could equaled her wisdom and compassion. She truly loved her family and we are all blessed to have known her.

We are so sorry to hear of your lovely mom’s passing. So many memories of growing up on Maypark… I remember the elegant breakfasts she would make for us after the sleepovers, served on the best china, making us all feel so grown-up and special,. I remember how we helped “thin out” the carrots in the vegetable garden ( she told me once that she knew what we were up to and planted extras!). I remember when she hosted the luncheon for the Parsons, Clancy, and Russell families at Government House when Chris and I got married. Always so kind and thoughtful and with a lovely smile.! She will be missed by all of us who were fortunate enough to know her.
Thinking of you all,

Barbara and Chris

Very sorry for your loss. Deepest condolences from the Finney family.

To Rick ,Jan & family, Thinking of you all at this difficult time

Doug, Jan and family,
We are so sorry to hear about the loss of your wonderful Mom. Our sincere condolences to your family.
Joan Butler & Norm Cook

Our sincere sympathy to all the family on the passing of a lovely lady.. We had the privilege of spending some time with Mrs. Russell in Florida a few years ago doing a few shopping trips and having a meal, she was a joy to be with and will certainly be missed by the family and friends. We had a conversation with her just a couple of weeks ago when she stopped by Stephens shop with Jan, how coincidental that was and we will cherish her memory. If we all could be so privileged to live to such an outstanding age and be respected as she was. Blessings John & Barbara Ivany

To all the Russell family, sending our condolences on the passing of your mom. Take comfort knowing you had a most wonderful mom. Brenda and I have you in our thoughts and prayers

Jan and Rick: So sorry to hear of your Mother’s passing. She was a wonderful lady.

So very sorry to hear of Mrs. Russell’s passing. I know she leaves you with wonderful, beautiful memories and I hope cherishing these helps get you through the sadder times. The ‘grandchild trap’ gave us all such great memories, and those poolside PBJ’s remain unbeatable to this day!!

When going to family gatherings as an adult it was so natural to get some of the ‘what are you doing career wise?’ ‘are you seeing anyone these days?’ style questions from everyone round the table, however this was never Mrs. Russell’s focus. I remember she always commented on my smile, and my laughter. It really stood out to me that she showed more interest in my joy than my path in life 🙂

A wonderful lady all around, I’ll be thinking of everyone in the coming days and sending love xoxo

Sending deepest sympathy to you all at this sad time.,from my mother Florence Randell and the Family.

I want to say how much I admired Peg,, she had such a wonderful presence, so kind and friendly. I will her very much

Doug, Jan, Jim, Peter and families. We are so sad to hear this news. We have such great memories growing up with our “other mother” and she always welcomed us and ours as one of her own. We hope that the wonderful memories you all must have will help you through this most difficult time. We send our love to you all.

Jan and family,

It was so sad to learn of your mother’s passing. She was a wonderful lady who touched everyone she met with her warmth, grace and charm. We hope your wonderful memories of your mother will be a comfort at this difficult time.. You are all in our thoughts and prayers. Judy Mugford and family

Thinking of you and your family in the loss of your Mom. Certainly a life well lived and surrounded by love. Let your countless happy memories being you smiles.

Jan, Doug and families, Jim and I offer our sincere condolences on the death of your mother. I didn’t meet her often but she always remembered me when we did. She was as you described. You are all in our thoughts and prayers. at this time. Sincerely, Susan

Grandma (Margaret) was an amazing woman and she will be greatly missed by many, she touch the hearts of everyone she met and always left such a wonderful impact, I am blessed that I have met her and have gotten to know her, you’ll never be a moment away from my heart, My condolences to the Spracklin family And the Russell family may she always be with you.

Jan, thinking of you on the sad loss of your mom. May happy memories of her bring you comfort.

Linda Lynch

My deepest condolences to the Russell and Spracklin families , I am so sorry for your loss . Mrs . Russell was a wonderful lady , mom , grandmother , grand grandmother and friend who will be dearly missed . I know you have such great memories of her to hold dear to you during this very sad time .

Sincere condolences to all the family on the loss of your matriarch. Cherish all the wonderful memories you made together.

Our condolences to the Russell family on this day.May your cherished memories carry you through this difficult time.God bless.

Jan and family – I was so very sorry to read of your mother’s death this week. She was SUCH a lovely lady! I believe she had a soft spot for those- like herself and me and many others – who were not fortunate enough to be native born. She made a great effort to make all feel welcome. She was so genuinely friendly and kind. I know how greatly she will be missed by her family and multitude of friends.
Nancy Cook

Jan, so sorry to hear of your moms passing. She certainly was a very special lady. What sweet memories you have. Thinking of you and your family.

Doug, Jan and families,
Our thoughts are with you and your families on the passing of Mrs. Russell. I am sure you have many special memories that will give you comfort at this time. Having met her on a number of occasions certainly left an impression of ” what a wonderful lady”.
Our condolences to the entire family.

Dear Jan, Doug, Jim, Peter and families., please accept my most sincere condolences on the passing of your mother. What a wonderful tribute you have written! She was just as you described her- warm, caring, interested. She did indeed make everyone feel comfortable and welcome. I have many wonderful memories of her at Maypark Place. – Making doughnuts, pulling taffy, her kitchen garden, the amazing breakfasts she cooked for your birthday sleep-overs! It was your mother who gave me my first Cairo cookie (which obviously left a big impression me since I remember it all these many years later!) These are now known as Nanaimo bars and I still like them. I know you will miss her but your wonderful memories will keep her close in your hearts. Love to you all.

Doug, Jan and families, my heartfelt condolences to you on the passing of this lovely lady! It was my pleasure to meet her several times, either through Rotary events or as a guest at our house in Florida. I was always so charmed by her grace, warmth and interest in the world around her. She was a truly special person and will be sadly missed.

Jan, Doug and families, I was so very sorry to hear the sad news. Your mom was a lovely, lovely lady and time spent with her was always enjoyable. I fondly remember our chats by the pool and the feeling of being so welcomed. Sending hugs to you all.

Doug , Jan and all the Russell Family , so sorry to hear of your Mom’s passing but at the of age 96 she lived a wonderful long life to the fullest……our thoughts and prayers are with you all at this time………

Wonderful Lady and a joy to know. Fishing trips, vegetables from her garden and the annual trip down the Southern Shore for some home cooked food were special times for my parents and a source of wonderful stories . A special Lady that it was our great pleasure to know.
Best wishes to all the family

A gracious and lovely lady. It was a privilege to know her.

Met this lady once what a beautiful person and a woman that was always in the present her family and friends are lucky to have had her for so long
May the memories of this wonderful woman give you comfort in the days ahead
Marilyn Hogan

Please accept my sympathies. Heather Shields Meaney.

Doug,, Jan, Jim, Peter and your families
I was saddened to hear of your moms passing. Our families growing up on Maypark Pl. together your mom was like my second mom. I’m sure I was in your house daily or following your mom around her gardens asking her questions. She was a lady of joyful presence. She will be missed.

Barbara (BobbiClancy) Sidel

Dear Peter!, Lesleigh & all the Russell family,
Please accept our condolences on the loss of your dear. mother. She was renowned for her graciousness and for her kindness to everyone she met.We know you will miss her terribly.We are thinking of you all.
Gordon & Eileen MacNab

Doug, Jan and family
Paula and I were both disappointed and saddened to learn of Peggy’s passing
While we did not know her well, we were fortunate to have had dinner with her on a couple of occasions and truly experienced her welcoming spirit and easy capability to make those she just met feel special.
Our thoughts are with you at this time.
Jack &Paula Hillyard

My sincere condolences Jan, to you and your family.

To the Russell and Spracklin Family,
We are so sorry to hear the sad news of your Mother/Grandmother/Great-Grandmother’s passing. Our deepest sympathies and condolences for your loss.
May the feeling of warmth and loving kindness, that seemed to radiate from this special woman, give you strength and comfort as you pass through this difficult time.
May the spark of a life well-lived bring you inspiration and healing with the passage of time.
Love, Anne and Eleanor Power and Family

Doug, Jan and Families – Thinking of you at this time. Your Mom was such a lovely lady, always with a smile and so much interest in everyone she met. She will certainly be missed.

Peter and Family,
Our sincere condolences on the passing of your
dear Mother. She was a gracious Lady and I’m sure
you have many wonderful memories of her. May
she R.I.P. God Bless.
Alice and Mike Donovan ❤️

Dear Peter, Lesleigh, Tracy and family:

We are so sorry to hear about Mrs. Russell’s passing. While we never meet Mrs. Russell personally, I feel like I know her from all the stories shared over the years. She was an extraordinary person and our thoughts are with you all.

Alex, Rodrigo and Elena

I am so saddened to hear of Grandma’s passing. I feel so privileged that she allowed me to call her Grandma and have so many lovely memories of times spent with her. It brings a smile to my face as I remember visiting her in Florida and her mischievous smile she had on her face, asking me and Tracy what we would have for Happy Hour today. She was a true treasure and will be missed by all who knew her.
Sending big hugs to the family. My love to you all,

to Jim and the family.

We send sincere condolences .

Catherine and Ray and family

Our deepest condolences to the entire Russell Family. She was a lovely lovely lady. You are so lucky to have had her this long… I know you all have many many memories to hold onto forever. I too have many fond memories of her when my Family lived on the corner of May Park Place many years ago..
God Bless
Janet(Granter) Butler and Gary Butler and our Family

I had the honour of meeting “Grandma” this past Christmas at a family gathering. What an absolute joy to be around. She was so full of life. My condolences to all the family and friends. Her legacy will live on for years to come!

To the Russell family, please accept my deepest condolences on the passing of Mrs. Russell, what a wonderful life she lived. Thinking of you at this sad time. Hold tight all the memories you have of her.

Our sincere condolences , she was a perfect example of a “gracious “ woman and we feel honoured to have known her . Don and Judy Fitzpatrick

My sincere condolences on this sad occasion. I am sure she was a wonderful lady. All the best to your entire family from myself and Cynthia, You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Thinking of the entire Russell family. From her obituary it looks like she lived a full life filled with love and adventure. May you forever cherish the memories you have with her.

Jan, Rick, Dan and Family

Sincere condolences on the passing of your Mother and Grandma. I’m certain you have memories which will last forever. My thoughts and prayers are with you.


Doug and Family,

So sorry to read of the passing if your Mother and Grandmother. She was a wonderful lady who lived a full life surrounded by love for and from her family.. Sincere condolences from Dianna and Me.

Doug, Jan, Peter, & Jim.
My sincere condolences on the passing of your beautiful mother. I have very fond memories of her at Government House. She always had a smile for everyone, and I shared many a cup of tea with her.
She will be missed by everyone.
My prayers are with you all during this time.

Russell Clan,
I had the privilege of being one of the friends that were welcomed to the pool and got to call her Grandma. She was one of the first (with all of you of course) that truly taught this mainlander the meaning of Newfoundland hospitality. It was always great to have a place to feel like home. I’ll cherish those memories always.

My deepest sympathies and prayers to your family.


Doug, Jan, Peter, & Jim.
Sorry to hear of Mrs. Russell’s passing.
My memories of her are at TUC and on the beach with Rick & Jan in the Barbados during a NLCA event..
She was such a monarch at all times.

God bless


Ashley, Lesley and families,

I’m so sorry to hear of your grandmother’s passing. She was such a sweet lady – so inviting and kind. I have lots of awesome memories from being at her summer house over the years.

Sarah x

Fred (and Lisa), we are so sorry to hear of your Grandma’s passing. From what you have shared about her, and what we’ve heard from Avery, and read here, she sounds like she was a wonderful, wonderful woman. Our hearts go out to you all on this monumental loss. We will keep you in our prayers xo

Jan and family We were so surprised and saddened to hear of your Mom’s passing. Your Mom lived such a wonderful and fulfilling life and left all her family with such special memories. We are so pleased to have had the pleasure of meeting her on different occasions and she was always so friendly and welcoming. Our deepest and heartfelt sympathy to you and all members of the Russell family.

Doug and Family,

We were saddened to hear of your mom’s passing. May the memories of her wonderful life give you strength at this difficult time and joy in the future.

Our deepest condolences,

So many childhood memories and your Mom was a mom to all the kids who ran through her home .
She will be missed as is true for all those we love and have gone beyond .
Love and blessings to you all at this very sad loss of a wonderful woman .

Mrs Russell was a great lady,very easy to talk to.She always reminded me of my grandmother.She will missed by all.

So very sad to know Mrs Russell is nolonger in this world. Living on Maypark Place was all that much better beacause of her love of kids and her cake!
So sorry for your loss. I am sure she will be missed by many because she was certainly loved by many.

Sincere condolences to the Russell Family on the passing of such a wonderful lady. She will certainly be missed. May she Rest In Peace

My condolences to the Russell family She was a lovely lady
Jim Piccott

To Alexia and the Russell Family,

Grandma certainly lived up to the stories you told. Her life was fully lived and she was fiercely loved by her family. What an incredible legacy to leave. Thinking of you as you celebrate her life and hold your memories close.

Lori and Colin

Grandma, you meant the world to me. The time I spent with you I will cherish for a lifetime. I will never forget how you opened your arms to me and welcomed me as one of your own grandchildren. I will miss you dearly.