Age 86, of Hendersonville, Tennessee passed away in the comfort of her bed on May 21, 2016.
Jeanne was born October 9, 1929 in Queens, New York to John and Gertrude McGurrin. Though she was born in Queens she was brought up in Floral Park, NY. She was a graduate of Sewanhaka High School, where she met her beloved husband, Andrew. Sewanhaka High was an institution that each member of the Russac family passed through in their teenage years. After marrying her husband, they raised their children in South Floral Park, NY where Jeanne served as the Village Clerk for many years. Jeanne went on to work for Nassau County in the office of Housing and Urban Development from which she retired in the mid-90s. Though she dedicated herself to her work, Jeanne was a loving and devoted wife and mother.
Known for her devotion to her family, Jeanne would drop whatever she was doing and help a loved one whenever and wherever it was needed. Family was one of the most important things in her life, second only to God. She was an active parishioner at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Elmont, NY where she was a member of the Altar and Rosary Society and assisted with various parish festivals. Jeanne was also a co-leader for the local Girl Scout troop in which her daughters participated. Aside from her volunteer activities, she enjoyed arts and crafts and will be remembered for her abilities in the kitchen.
She enjoyed painting in both watercolor and oil, knitting, crafting hook rugs, calligraphy, playing solitaire, and working crossword puzzles. Jeanne would knit together mittens, sweaters, and afghans; in fact, her children recall receiving new sweaters at least every couple of years. At one time each of her daughters had matching sweaters to wear. Jeanne enjoyed taking art classes throughout her life and learning new skills to employ in her works of art. She was a gifted cook and baker who will be remembered for the best meatballs and meatloaf. Plum dumplings, polachinta, dodle, her mother-in-law’s doughnuts, corned beef and cabbage, and chicken paprikash were a few of her specialties. The Russac family has fond memories of gathering together every holiday and enjoying many of these dishes. On St. Patrick’s Day Jeanne would regularly prepare Irish Soda Bread. She was a strong-willed Irish woman who took after her father. Jeanne never met a stranger and somehow remembered everyone’s name and knew about their families. Though she was independent, opinionated, and a “tough cookie” she had a warm personality. Jeanne would probably take this opportunity to mention that “you eat a bushel of dirt before you die” and that you shouldn’t attempt to “put ten pounds of crap in a five pound bag,” she certainly had a sense of humor.
She is preceded in death by her parents, John and Gertrude McGurrin; sister, Patricia Russac; and her husband of 64 years, Andrew W. Russac. Jeanne leaves behind her daughters, Eileen (John) Rushing of SC, Kathleen Russac of Carmel, CA, Maureen Russac of Huntington Beach, CA, Christine Rasmussen (Allan) of Hendersonville, TN; grandsons, Nathan Rushing, Garrett Tumbleson, Hunter Tumbleson, Maxwell Rasmussen; granddaughter, Samantha Rasmussen; several nieces and nephews; and many friends.
A life celebration will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 4, 2016 at Hendersonville Funeral Home. The family will receive visitors beginning at 12 p.m. until service time. In addition, the family will have a Memorial Mass on June 10, 2016 at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church in Floral Park, NY at 10:30 a.m. Burial will follow at Long Island National Cemetery, 2040 Wellwood Avenue, Farmingdale, NY 11735 at 2 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Mrs. Russac to the Alzheimer’s Association at alz.org, to the American Cancer Society at donate.cancer.org, or to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society at nationalmssociety.org. hendersonvillefh.com 615-824-3855