Let All Our Lives be Music: The Duane and JoAnn Russell Memorial Tree


On April 26, a Tulip Poplar tree was planted near the MSU Music Building in honor of Duane and JoAnn Russell. The tree, donated by the family of Duane and JoAnn, commemorates their legacy as MSU alumni and supporters of the university who gave back to the place they loved.

Duane and JoAnn met at MSU in the late 1940s after WWII, enjoyed 68 years of marriage, and raised four children together. Their lifelong theme of “let all our lives be music” was celebrated in the planting of this tree, which was accompanied by the Russells’ favorite songs played by the Beaumont Tower Carillon. “The tree planting with Carillon music is our final tribute to their exceptional lives,” said their daughter, Amy Russell. "My parents would be really proud that we did this… It’s been a really special day.”