Born on January 8, 1925 in Edmonton Alberta, Eleanor was welcomed into heaven by the Savior she loved on March 10, 2024, at the age of 99.  She was predeceased by her loving husband John in 2009, and her parents Frederick and Adolfina Smith (nee Kludt).  Eleanor was the youngest of 8 children and was predeceased by all of her siblings: Adina, Walter, Asaph, Reuben, Herbert, Edna, and Irwin.  She is survived by and will be greatly missed by numerous nieces, nephews, loving friends, “honorary grandchildren”, and also by her church family.

Eleanor and John were married in 1969 in Victoria.  Prior to that, she had numerous career opportunities including working in Germany in both an Orphanage and at the US Embassy.  Over the years she also had various secretarial positions around the Vancouver and Victoria areas, her last one being at the University of Victoria.

Eleanor’s greatest pleasure was involvement in serving the Lord in various church and missionary related activities.  She lived her life with a passion for serving and she exhibited contentment and thankfulness always.  She loved being “Aunty Eleanor” and “Grandma Russell” to many, and she will be missed by all who loved her.

A graveside service will be held at Royal Oak Cemetery, 4673 Falaise Drive, Victoria, on April 2, 2024, at 11:00 am, followed by a Celebration of Life at Oak Bay Gospel Assembly, 1900 Oak Bay Avenue, Victoria, at 2:00 pm.

To obtain a link for viewing the Celebration of Life via Zoom, please email

Condolences may be offered to the family below.

McCall Gardens

  • Lise Burley

    “I, being in the way, He led me….” To me these words from Scripture can be well appropriated to Eleanor. She grasped at every opportunity that came her way to help, guide, teach, mentor and be a friend, I was the benefactor of such opportunities multiple x multiple times. As new comers to Vic Chapel, my husband John and I became frequent guests to the Russell home as well as with an ever increasing circle of new friends. With the arrival of new visitors, many from England and Europe, they would be introduced to Salt Spring Island where we lived, and many an adventure took place there. On one such occasion, with Ruth and Esther Ludwig from Germany, Eleanor suggested we climb a mountain to see the view. We climbed into the old blue pickup truck, the lads in the cab, the 4 gals in the box and headed to Mt.Tuam. We held on as best we could, weakened from laughter, as we were unceremoniously jostled around, navigating acute switchbacks, huge ruts and boulders along this old, abandoned in disrepair logging road. What a beautiful meadow, sunny soft breeze and absolutely stunning views greeted us at the top, where we rejoiced at God’s beauty and bellowed songs of praise! A true mountain experience.
    Eleanor loved to visit the sick and shut-ins, and when possible take them out for a treat. This led to the forming of the ELEE club, with Eleanor, Lise, Emma and Edith. Every week we randomly chose a new restaurant for lunch from the Victoria coupon book. At times this took us to precarious places in crowded small cafes with loud music blaring, but Eleanor always led the way never turning back. Who knew what opportunity would present itself? On another occasion we found ourselves at the buffet in the Bengal room at the Empress hotel with posh big chairs and huge round tables. Somehow we had all unknown to each other dressed in navy blue and we indeed looked like a club! One young man there had been scrutinizing us and finally came over and joyously shook our hands saying how delighted he was to meet the “sisters of St Anne”! How truly disappointed and dejected he looked as we informed him we were not,, but sisters indeed we were, sisters in the Lord.
    For a while Eleanor with others taught ESL. How many students she touched is unknown but not only did she teach them but they became guests and personal friends included in birthdays, Christmas etc. Some were still keeping in touch today.
    When dear John Russell was confined to a home, Eleanor faithfully visited him daily. As was usual she brought the HOT thermos of tea, the white linen napkins and a small lace tablecloth, and tea was served in china cups, whether in a small hospital room, or outside at a picnic table or otherwise, it was properly served! Along with scones or butter tarts.
    On my last visit with Eleanor, we went down memory lane, and what struck me again was that at every occasion through the many many years, the theme that enclosed and filled them all was “ rejoice evermore, in everything give thanks, pray without ceasing for this is the Will of God…” 1 Thess. 5:16-18. This was Eleanor, as she sat at her coffee table with the pictures, letters, cards of those who had crossed her path, and her ever increasing prayer list. Thank you dear dear Ronaele. I will see you soon. Ettesil. (Our pet names to each other)

  • Alistair Bell

    Eleanor was a truly wonderful person.
    She visited my Grand Parents Jean & Sandy Bell in Scotland.
    At least 6 times from 1958.
    We often phoned her & corresponded via email.
    She would ask about our Family.
    My Parents Ian & Mary Bell.
    And my Brothers Steven & Stuart.
    I visited Eleanor twice in Victoria in 1977 & 1999.
    Our connection with Eleanor was via Steve & Myra Biggs.

    And Granny finally met Myra in 1977.
    Mum & Dad visited Canada in 1992.
    Best Wishes, Alistair Bell Perthshire, Scotland.

  • Debbie Maxie

    Eleanor was truly a Proverbs 31 woman. Her love for her Lord was evidenced in everything she did. She opened her home and her heart to so many. We will remember her for her prayer support. Her coffee table was full of photos of loved ones she remembered daily. We rejoice that she is finally Home.

  • Vera Schipfel

    Vera Schipfel – Vernon, BC

    Tante Eleanor will be fondly remembered by the whole family. She always extended an invitation to
    her famous roast beef dinners & her flaky pies for dessert whenever we made a trip down from the Okanagan. As well she & Oncle John made several trips to visit my parents in Vernon. She had the gift of hospitality & faithfully exercised it towards our family and many others in the Russell’s circle of friends and family. Oncle John was always proud to show off their beautiful ENGLISH country garden. I feel privileged to have known them and know they blessed many pilgrims in their Oak Bay home. I trust that the Lord will be pleased with your many years of caring for & service to others.

  • Dennis Scott

    Eleanor was a regular member of the seniors that attended the Camp Imadene seniors camps. She was also positive , cheerful, lots of fun and always complimentary to my Wife and I when we ran those camps.

  • Lorraine McWilliam

    We first met Eleanor and John at Vic Chapel . She was so welcoming to our little family. We enjoyed many Sunday roast beef dinners and pie after church. She was the pie queen! Her and I would swim at the Oak Bay pool for a time as well. Such a gracious woman of God and we have sweet memories of her years ago

  • S. Lee

    I was in Eleanor’s Sunday School class for girls in their early teens at South Main Gospel Hall. We loved her kind, personal interest in us, taking us out on special outings. Shirley (Van Boeyen) Lee, Langley, B.C.

  • Dorothy

    Eleanor Russell was so many things to our family. I first met her when I came to be a student at UVIC in 1978, and we soon discovered that we shared a mutual faith. She became a friend, an aunt, a surrogate grandma to our kids, and was a friend to many. We enjoyed so much hospitality in her home; she and Uncle John were known for hosting so many people and Auntie Eleanor‘s famous roast beef dinners and fruit pies were not to be missed. She and Uncle John attended our wedding and witnessed our growing family. They spent a lot of time here at Prairie Rose Farm, and took in most of our kids’ birthday celebrations. We are thankful for their love and example of Christian faith. I will never forget this remarkable, godly woman. Rest in peace Tante Eleanor. ❤️❤️❤️ With love from Dorothy, Mark, Ashley, Colin & Jenny Hawes

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