Loribeth Russell

Loribeth (Jones) Russell died Oct. 15, 2013, in Florida after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Her husband, Steve, held her hand as she peacefully crossed over into Eternal Life.

She was born March 16,1958, to Dorothy and Harold Jones of Cutchogue, the fifth of six children. She attended Sacred Heart Elementary School in Cutchogue and was a graduate of Southold High School.

During her academic years and those that followed, Loribeth’s birth name had become affectionately shortened by family and friends. Many had come to know her as “Lorie.” Some of her siblings and closer friends had even called her “Lo.” No nicknames were objectionable to her. She understood how each represented the source from which it came but barely gave much thought to it until she was introduced to her future husband, Steve. When Steve became aware of her full name during their courtship, he lovingly insisted on addressing her from then on as Loribeth. He had unknowingly struck a chord in her heart, a simple gift she would treasure forever. On June 16, 1990, the two were married and had since made their home in Zephyrhills, Fla.

Loribeth was a licensed insurance agent at the Lee Reed Insurance Agency in Zephyrhills. During her tenure with the company, she compared her relationship with both the owners and her co-workers to that of a second family. Their embrace and compassionate gestures throughout her term were deeply felt and appreciated.

Lorie’s affection for animals provided an outlet for her kind and gentle spirit to flourish. She had a unique relationship with each of those she either cared for or adopted. All were considered “her babies.” Her dog, Angel, and cats Abby, Autumn, Buddy and Kiwi were special to her.

Beneath Lorie’s often quiet and shy demeanor lived a passionate sports fan. She was a huge Tampa Bay Rays fan, and her favorite player was Ben Zobrist. She also had a prized photo taken with Tampa Bay Buccaneers player Mike Alstott. In time, she traded in her softball glove and went from pitching strikes to bowling them on Wednesday nights in the ladies league at Zephyrhills Bowling Alley.

Lorie touched many lives, including those of her nearly 30 nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews — all of whom will miss her smile and thoughtful approach. Memories of her as a sister will cover a broad spectrum of love and laughter with perhaps a dose of sibling rivalry to spice them up. “You could always touch the higher branches on that cherry tree, Lo, but thanks for letting me think I had a chance. You were by order of birth a little sister to four and a bigger sister to one, but you were perhaps the bravest of all in your valiant fight for life. Every version of our Loribeth, our Aunt Lorie, our Lo won over our hearts. And you will always live forever in them.”

Lorie is survived by her husband, Steve L. Russell Jr.; her sisters, Margaret (Peg) Kaelin and Corrine Rempe; and her brothers, Harold (Dan), Dennis and Kevin Jones.

A wake was held at Brewer Funeral Parlor in Brooksville, Fla., for her numerous friends and “second family” to bid her a final goodbye. Loribeth was then waked at DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home in Mattituck on Oct. 18, 2013. A funeral mass celebrated by her friend Father Joseph Staudt was held at Our Lady of Good Counsel R.C. Church in Mattituck Oct. 19. Deacon Jeff Sykes led family and friends in prayer at her final resting place next to her parents at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Cutchogue.

In lieu of flowers, Lorie requested that memorial donations be made to Hernando Pasco Hospice, 12107 Majestic Boulevard, Hudson, FL 34667-2460 or Pasco Animal Shelter, 19640 Dog Patch Lane, Land O’ Lakes, FL 34638.

This is a paid notice.