Tribute to Rosalie Motz Russell

Submitted by Michael Neininger on
Rosalie Russell

Ida Rosalie Motz Russell was born in Bessarabia, then lived in Poland with her parents and two brothers. They had to flee to Germany, and after the war emigrated to Canada. She attended the University of British Columbia before coming to the University of Washington (as Rosalie “Lee” Wright), completing her Master’s degree in German in 1970, and her PhD in 1978. Her dissertation, “Poetic Consciousness in Günter Kunert's Prose,” is obtainable through the UW Library.

Prior to finishing the doctorate, she had immigrated to Australia and married Barrie Russell of Brisbane in 1976. She joined the German Department at the University of Queensland, where she authored a German textbook "Deutsch-lernen macht Spass!" (published by University of Queensland Press in 1982). Along with Professor Hellgard Rauh in Berlin, she was involved in the UQ exchange program for undergraduate students.

Rosalie was a petite person with abundant energy, definite opinions, and a big heart. She was a very generous, kind person, helping a friend with the financing to buy a small house, giving of her time for projects to help students, and volunteering. She enjoyed working with the UQ Alumni Association’s Book House to collect books and sell them at an annual sale which raised thousands of dollars for the university. After retirement she volunteered for Meals on Wheels, at St. Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital, and sang in a choir based in the German Club. In honor of her mother and husband, she established a charitable foundation for cardiac research.

Many people remember her fondly, and her legacy is represented by a substantial gift in her name to the UW German Department, to support the study abroad program.


Judith Alexander,
BA in German 1969
MAT in German 1970, as Judith Nichols