Former NCDA President, Martha Russell Passed Away

Martha Russell 2016We are sad to announce that NCDA has lost Martha Russell this past weekend.  Martha had served in many leadership positions in both NCDA and ACA and was NCDA President in 2005-06.  Condolences may be sent to:

Harry Russell
PO Box 2647
Battle Ground, WA 98604

Mark Pope wrote beautiful tribute to Martha below.  She will be missed.


This weekend I received a call from Harry Russell telling me that our dear Martha Russell has passed. It hit me hard this morning, that my dear friend and traveling companion is no longer with us. I guess I was holding out hope that this brain cancer would heal somehow and we could go on our next international excursion together again, at least one more time. Not to be. Her last trip was with Harry at her side, as it was supposed to be. We miss you, Miss Martha. That was... what the people in Malaysia and Singapore called her on our last international trip together: Unforgettable.

In Melaka, Malaysia, she slipped on the marble floor in the lobby of our hotel and fell. Ever the trooper and never wanting to miss a day of our adventures, she took some aspirin, got a cane, and off we went in a teksi to some new and wonderful place.

In Hong Kong when I wanted to take an afternoon nap, she went to the Jade Market and bought this exquisite song bird cage of bamboo. At first, she did not like bargaining at the markets for a lower price. In fact, many times she paid more than the seller asked, because “they looked like they needed the money more than me.” I tried to explain to her that in Asia it was part of the rich cultural tradition and the game to negotiate the best price ... back and forth. She eventually accepted that but it went against her big heart ♥️ and she never wanted to feel that she had taken advantage of someone less fortunate than her.

We first met when I wandered into a California Career Development Association Executive Board meeting and asked if I could sit in. I was a newbie to California, but they and she took me under their collective wings and made me feel so much at home that I stayed. It was my first foray into organized career counselling in my new state and I fell in love both with CCDA but also with Martha, Judi Grutter, Dean Porter, Norma Zuber, and everyone there. Martha and I would compete only once and she beat me by 2 votes (CCDA President). Btw I was elected the next year. We both went on to be the National Career Development Association President (me before her) 🙂. And we shared so many hopes, dreams, and journeys together. In Asia they thought we were married. We laughed together so much. And cried together as well. I love her so much and she and Harry were so in love. It was a beautiful and full life, lived well, very well.Martha Russell 2011

Mario and I miss you, Miss Martha. And we’ll keep an eye on Harry for you.

We love you so much.

Mark Pope

NCDA Eminent Award Winner and NCDA President 1998-99

Printer-Friendly Version