Celebration of life held for former City Secretary Anna Russell

HOUSTON – The lights of Houston City Hall and the Montrose Bridges will be lit blue Tuesday night in honor of longtime City Secretary Anna Russell.

She died last week at the age of 88 after serving the city for nearly 70 years.

A special memorial was held Tuesday morning at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts.

Mayor Sylvester Turner, alongside Russell’s family, friends and community leaders gathered for “A tribute to Anna.”

“She was a warrior and a remarkable woman,” Turner said. “Quite frankly, she was a superwoman.”

Russell was also known as a trailblazer. For 68 years, she served the city of Houston.

In 1950, at the age of 18, Russell began working for the city of Houston and was appointed City Secretary by Mayor Louie Welch in 1972.

In July of 2019, Russell was honored for her nearly seven decades of service to the office of City Secretary. Mayor Turner called her “a true gem of city hall” with an unforgettable personality and a demeanor that earned her the respect of those she served.

“When they say Kobe, you know, the house the Kobe built? Well, City Hall was the City Hall that she held together. She literally held together,” Turner said.

Sen. Carol Alvarado also spoke at the ceremony about the beloved city secretary.

“She will be remembered with admiration and great affection by all who were fortunate enough to know her," Alvarado said.

In Lieu of flowers, the Russell family is requesting that donations be made to the renovation of Herman Square at City Hall.

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