1925 – 2011
It is with tears and great memories we announce the passing of Russ Eve Duncan (nee Russell) who passed away on February 15.
Predeceased by husband John, brother Malcolm and Margarite, sister in law Margaret and niece Gail. Survived by brother Al (Torch) children; Jim (Delee) Bruce (Kathleen) & Erin, grandchildren; Eric, Spencer and John. Russ was born in North Vancouver.
In 1932 the Russell family moved to Regina where they lived until Russ, in her early teens struck out on her own to Toronto. There in the 1940’s she worked for de Havilland building the Mosquito bomber.
In 1945 Russ won the “”Miss Models Model”” contest, defeating over 3000 entrants. Her modeling career was launched and she moved to New York. It was there she discovered her lasting passion, dance. One of her regular dance partners was Ira Murray brother to the famous Arthur Murray.
She returned to Vancouver as the house model for the Couture dept at the Hudson Bay Company where she met John. They married in 1954 and enjoyed all Vancouver’s blessings including water sports, skiing and camping.
In 1956, they moved to Calgary bought a restaurant and saw the birth of their sons, Jim and Bruce. They missed Vancouver, and came back for the birth of their daughter, Erin. Russ was involved with founding of the Sharks Swim Club, volunteered with Meals on Wheels and The United Church.
Her real passion was the Dance Box which she started in 1972. She bought an old mail truck painted it hot pink, stocked it up and drove to dance studios across the lower mainland to fill the need for dance supplies. The Duncan TV room was changed into a store which overflowed to a shed, until the first “”real”” store on Austin Ave in Coquitlam was opened. The Langley store followed close behind, as she ran the business with her usual flair and spirit, while building a reputation as “”the go to”” person for Pointe Shoe fittings. She fit and took pictures of thousands of the `first pairs’.
Russ’s first acting break came in her 70’s. She had parts in Cold Squad, Animal Miracles and many commercials. She was involved with the Cranberry Saucies Red Hat group which she loved, Russ was never one to miss wearing a fashionable (or not) chapeau. She golfed, white water rafted, snorkeled, made pottery, painted, swam, and loved to travel.
Russ was a remarkable woman who lived her life to the fullest, right up to her very last days. She was a connoisseur of a good Martini and never missed a party.
A celebration of her life will be held on her birthday April 17, 2011. Heartfelt thanks to Royal Columbian Hospital 5th floor South & North and Crossroads Hospice.
In lieu of flowers a dance scholarship fund will be set up in her name. Donations can be sent to the Dance Box with scholarship fund noted or go have a good Martini. As the follow spot fades she slowly turns and walks away. The final curtain has come down. Bravo