Sydney Ann Russell Hemeter

Sydney Ann Hemeter (nee’ Russell), age 88, passed away Sunday May 2, at her Hattiesburg home.  She was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on March 24, 1933 to William T. Russell, Sr. and Louise F. Russell.  When she was 6 years of age her family moved to Hattiesburg, where she would reside until her death.  She was a graduate of Hattiesburg High School and Randolph Macon Women’s College in Lynchburg, Virginia.  While at Randolph Macon, she was a member of Chi Omega social sorority.  In 1956, she was Queen to King XVI of the Mystic Krewe of Zeus.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 48 years, David, and son David Russell “Russ”.  She is survived by her son Frank (Amy) of Chicago, brother William, Jr. “Billy” (Jeannette) of Hattiesburg, grandson Russell of Omaha, NE  and several nieces and nephews.  She is also survived by her beloved teacup Schnauzer, Max.

Sydney lived a full life and was truly one of a kind.  She loved to “hold court” both literally and figuratively.  Many in town knew of her love of travel and extensive restaurant knowledge. While planning travel to a new location, she would research in detail and make reservations for every meal.  New York City was one of her favorites - she knew not only the neighborhoods, but also followed particular chefs’ careers and could tell you where they had worked before.  She loved to share her recommendations and passion with others, as long as you promised to share every detail of each meal with her when you returned.  (And she truly meant every detail.)  Years later she could recall exactly what you ordered and whether you enjoyed it.  Sydney was an avid tennis player who won several doubles tennis tournaments around the state.   Later, she loved being able to combine two of her favorite things by traveling to New York City to watch tennis and try new restaurants or return to a favorite. 

Sydney took her bridge, dry martinis, art and friendships very seriously.  She loved nothing more than talking on the phone to get the latest news from friends near and far.  She was a loyal friend, and will be greatly missed by many.

Condolences can be paid to the family on Thursday, May 20th from
10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Hulett-Winstead Funeral Home in Hattiesburg.  A private family graveside service will be held prior.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Forrest General Hospice c/o Forrest General Healthcare Foundation, P.O. Box 19010, Hattiesburg, MS 39404 or Southern Pines Animal Shelter, 1901 N. 31st Avenue, Hattiesburg, MS 39401.  The family would like to give a heartfelt thanks to her caregivers Pat, Linda, Janet and Alysa as well as her hospice nurses Vanessa, Mitsy and Nadia, for providing such great care and comfort during the last months of her life.