Lieselotte “Lottie” Götz Russell passed away January 3, 2018 in her Irving home at the age of 91. She had spent Christmas Eve and Day dictating personal cards to great-grandchildren, signing each card personally, and holding court with her entire family surrounding her, presiding over a “lottery” of her treasured Christmas village houses.
Born in Munich, Germany on August 31, 1926, she was the youngest of six siblings and was doted on by everyone. Having survived the devastation of World War II, Lottie believed that life is too short to be filled with regrets. She lived by the motto “If you’ve got it, flaunt it!” whether that meant fresh flowers or sparkling jewelry or the highest heels imaginable for a tiny woman under five feet tall!
Lottie moved to the United States with her beloved Texas husband Carl Russell in 1951. They met on a train in Germany when he served in the Berlin airlift with the U.S. Air Force. She loved telling family and friends how he “wooed her with chocolates and nylons” even though he spoke no German and she spoke no English at the time. They married in June 1948 and spent almost 50 years together before Carl died in February 1998.
While Mamaw, as her six grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren called her, seemed to live the iconic American housewife life, she actually boldly relished pushing boundaries and trying new things: defying the nuns in Catholic school, being the first of her friends to wear a two-piece bathing suit in the 1930s, marrying a handsome Airman from America, moving across an ocean to start a new life in a new country with a new language, and raising three children as a military family and traveling from Texas to New Hampshire to Mississippi before retiring to Irving.
When Carl retired after a second career with LTV, Lottie decided to learn how to make china dolls. She quickly perfected her technique and made many as gifts. She also crocheted throughout her life, and she made countless blankets, scarves and hats for everyone. When great-grandchildren arrived, she learned to love Skee ball at ChuckE Cheese, becoming a fierce competitor. It echoed the way she played board games like Parcheesi with the grandchildren and great-grands when they spent the night with her. If you beat Mamaw at a game, you really were good, because she didn’t let anyone win, no matter their age!
About the only thing, she didn’t conquer was driving a car. When her father-in-law tried to teach her on the family farm, she managed to hit the corner of the barn. After that, she was content to be chauffeured by Carl and her children.
Mamaw loved her adopted country and became a U.S. citizen in 1956. Whenever people commented on her own accent (usually when she ordered “Schnickerdoodle” cookies), she proudly told them it was from Texas. But she never lost her love for all things Bavarian and celebrated birthdays with German food from Kuby’s in Dallas. She enjoyed shopping there and speaking German with the staff.
Lottie will be lovingly remembered by her three children and their spouses: Lee and Doug Robertson, Charlotte and Ron Douglas, and Mark and Mimi Russell; five grandchildren: Lisa, Cari, Casey and his wife Lindsay, Joseph, and Nathan; seven step-grandchildren: Brandon, Baxter, Donovan, Justin and his family, Matthew and his family, Melissa, and Matt; and 10 Great-Grandchildren: Sarah, Joshua, Meghan, Cameron, Ryan, Evan, Eli, Emma, Ben, and Frankie; her sisters-in-law: Jo Bess Russell and Virginia Bennet; and many nieces and nephews around the world! We are comforted to know she has been reunited with her Heavenly Father, her parents and all her siblings, her husband Carl, and her grandson Chad Russell Drewa.
Friends are invited to celebrate Lottie’s life during a visitation from 6-8 p.m. Friday, January 5, 2018 at Brown’s Memorial Funeral Home in Irving. A graveside will be held January 6, 2018 at Prairie Hill Cemetery in Prairie Hill, Texas.
While Mamaw loved flowers of all kinds and colors, she also loved her many dogs, and donations to the Humane Society at http://www.dfwhumane.com/ would make her so happy.