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Candyce S. Russell

Candyce S. Russell Candyce Russell, 73, passed away on Monday, April 8, 2019 at the Good Shepherd Hospice House.

Candy was born in Troy, New York to Bruce and Ruth Smith. She is survived by a brother, Douglas Smith, a sister, Barbara Brugger, three nephews: Benjamin Smith, Lucas Smith, and Spencer Brugger, one niece, Lindsay Brugger, and her dear kitty, Misha. She is also survived by John Russell of Prairie Village, Kansas, to whom she was previously married.

She graduated from Niskayuna High School, Schenectady, NY in 1964, and with distinction from Cornell University in 1968. She taught Home Economics at Niskayuna High during the 1968-69 academic year and later earned a master's degree in Sociology and a Ph.D. in Family Social Science, both from the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Russell joined the faculty of Kansas State University in 1974, where she taught in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies for thirty-seven years. She co-founded the Marriage and Family Therapy Program and served as its Director from 1982-1994. She achieved the rank of full professor in 1986 and was later named to the first endowed chair in the College of Human Ecology.

Dr. Russell was co-developer (along with David Olson and Douglas Sprenkle) of the Circumplex Model of Marital and Family Systems, which continues to inform research and practice in family therapy and family studies. She was an award winning teacher who used her gentle presence to create a space for learning that included the heart as well as the mind. In the words of one of her students:

"Often, we measure the contributions of a particular scholar in terms of publications and advancing the science. Less measurable is the contribution of an individual to the lives of those she works with. Dr. Russell has quietly and humbly touched the lives of hundreds of students and clinicians during her career, gently and competently lifting those around her."

Candy loved her home. It was her refuge and her canvas. She loved arranging art and noticing how it changed with the changing light of the day. She found particular inspiration in the beauty of New Mexico, and much of her art was from early Santa Fe and Taos. She knew how to be content, to appreciate beauty, and to make use of solitude.

In later years, Candy developed an interest in Buddhism and mindfulness meditation. While she never thought of herself as Buddhist, she found Buddhist teachings helpful in living well with significant disabilities. She understood that while pain and disappointment are a given in life, suffering need not be.

Candy was blessed with many friends. Especially in her later years, she felt her life blossom as her friendship networks grew. Throughout her illness, family, friends, and former students offered their love and support in a multitude of ways. Candy carried that love with her.

The family wishes to thank Interim Healthcare and the many aides who made it possible for Candy to stay at home throughout her illness. They also wish to express their sincere gratitude to the caregivers of the Good Shepherd Hospice House.

The family requests no flowers. For those who would like to make a donation in Candy's honor, the family would suggest the Couples and Family Therapy Program, Kansas State University, the ALS Association, or the Good Shepherd Hospice House of Manhattan, Kansas.

Memorial services will be held at the First Congregational United Church of Christ, 700 Poyntz Avenue in Manhattan Kansas on Saturday, April 13 at 2:30 p.m.

The Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home, 1616 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, Kansas 66502, is assisting the family with the funeral arrangements. Online condolences may be left for the family at

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