Obituary for Jessica Tedder Russell

Jessica Tedder Russell, mother to Zachary Lachlan and Emmaleigh Afton Russell, unexpectedly passed away at her home in Southern Pines on March 9, 2023.

A lifelong resident of North Carolina, Jessica grew up in Moore and Montgomery counties. She attended both Pinecrest High School and West Montgomery High School and continued her studies at Montgomery Community College and East Carolina University. She was a lifelong learner who enjoyed reading, cooking, hiking, kayaking in the ocean, and taking yearly trips to Grandfather Mountain and Topsail Beach.

Remembered by her quick wit, a joke, and a hug, Jessica was as comfortable belting out a karaoke song as she was planting flowers in her garden or dancing around a bonfire. Jessica held court frequently in the kitchen whipping up culinary masterpieces and her signature cowboy caviar. Her smile and laugh were infectious and she was never without a coffee in her hand. Frequently visiting her friends that became family at Flynnes Coffee bar and then onto Swank a local coffee hot spot!

Jessica returned to college as an adult to realize her dream of becoming a teacher. She embraced her students as her own and loved them! She was a diehard Florida Gators fan and an enthusiastic mom who cheered loudly from the stands for her son Zachary, who played football, and her daughter Emmaleigh, a competitive cheerleader. Jessica loved dressing up in her Clan MacKay tartan every summer, alongside her family, in the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games. 

In addition to her children, Jessica is survived by her husband, Stephen Russell; mother Deborah Hinson Thomas (James) of West End; father Robbie Tedder and wife Nancy of Mount Gilead; sisters Bliss Jacobs (fiancé’ Brandon) of Whispering Pines, Bethany Tedder of Mt. Gilead; brother Rick Jacobs (fiancé’ Jacob Lee) of Jackson Springs; grandmother Lola Hinson of Candor; mother-in-law Mary Russell of Wadeville; nephews Grayson and Kieran of Whispering Pines; and several aunts, uncles, and cousins. She was preceded in death by her grandfathers, James Hinson of Candor and TR Tedder of Biscoe; grandmother Leona Tedder of Biscoe; uncle Barry Hinson of Spies; and aunt Becky Wallace of Titusville, FL. She also leaves behind her close friends Suzann Beddingfield, Rebecca Boston Polley, and Erica Street.

In lieu of flowers, an account has been established at the State Employees Credit Union for Jessica T. Russell for the benefit of her children for education. Checks will need to be made payable to Stephen Russell.

We thank everyone near and far that have sent messages of sympathy and love in the past few days. There is a huge hole in our hearts and the world is a bit dimmer without her infectious smile and joyful laughter. She will be missed but her spirit lives on in her children and her many friends

A visitation with friends and family will be held from 5 to 6 pm on Thursday, March 16th 2023 followed by a Memorial service at 6 pm at the Boles Funeral Home in Southern Pines. The family ask that you please come as you are.

Online condolences may be made to

Services entrusted to Boles Funeral Home of Southern Pines.

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