Margaret F. Russell, 84, fitness instructor

November 18, 2005

Margaret F. Russell, a former fitness and swimming instructor, died of a cerebral hemorrhage Sunday at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. She was 84.

She was born Margaret Fittipaldi in Baltimore and raised in the city's Pimlico neighborhood.

After graduating from Seton High School in 1939, she worked for nearly a decade for her father, Joseph Fittipaldi, a well-known tailor and designer whose business was located in the Paca-Pratt Building in Baltimore's old Garment District.

She was married in 1945 to S. Maynard Russell, who owned the Square Deal Sewing Machine Co. on Redwood Street. He died in 1989.

For 25 years, until retiring in 1997, Mrs. Russell taught yoga, swimming, water aerobics and life-guarding at the Towson YMCA. "She was a lifelong athlete and into her 70s was still swimming," said daughter Margie J. Russell of Rodgers Forge.

Mrs. Russell was one of the original residents of the Gaywood community of Baltimore County where she lived for 56 years. She was a longtime communicant at Eucharistic minister at St. Pius X Roman Catholic Church in Rodgers Forge.

Services will be held at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Mitchell-Wiedefeld Funeral Home, 6500 York Road, Rodgers Forge.

Survivors also include two sons, Joseph M. Russell of Baltimore and Robert P. Russell of Towson; a sister, Phyllis Lorenzet of Baltimore; and five grandchildren.

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