Mildred Louise "Millie" Russell

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  • "Millie was a special lady and friend. She brought humor..."
    - Georgena Hanning
  • "Mary Rasmussen. My thoughts are with you."
  • "Thinking of the special person Millie was. I knew her as a..."
  • "Millie was part of a special group of friends who enjoyed..."
    - Karen Fitzsimons
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    - EG
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Obituary


MILDRED LOUISE RUSSELL
November 28, 1924 ~ November 13, 2017
"Millie was known for her great sense of humor
and her generous heart."

Mildred Louise Russell, age 92, passed away Nov. 13, 2017. She was born in Long Beach, CA Nov. 28, 1924 to Buford Claborn and Bonnie Ridling. Red-headed freckled faced Millie was the youngest of her siblings, Buford Jr., Ray and Ruth. But her childhood was overshadowed by the contraction of Tuberculosis, which unfortunately took the lives of her sister and her mother. Millie went on to graduate high school at age 16 and enrolled in secretarial college, which prepared her for working for a local family doctor's office and General Telephone Company.
She met her future husband, John Russell after his return from WWII. After a whirlwind three-month courtship, they married in 1944 and had two daughters, Jan and Judi. Their spirituality ran deep, and as a family, they were active in University Baptist Church, Millie as secretary, and together as youth leaders.
When Jan and Judi were teenagers, Millie fulfilled her dream of being the first in her family to get a college education. In 1970, she graduated cum laude (alongside Jan) from Cal State University, Long Beach, CA, with a degree in Social Welfare, and served as a Los Angeles County Probation Officer working with troubled youth, some of which were LA gang members.
Among her numerous hobbies, Millie loved collecting antiques. Her broad knowledge and keen eye for authentic pieces eventually turned into her own business as an antique dealer. On her numerous travels throughout the US and Europe, she was always on the lookout for special and unusual pieces. Millie's love for the Victorian Era was passed on when she created Victorian wreaths using silks and lace and attaching personalized mementos for each of her daughters and granddaughters, heirlooms for sure. Her other interests were volunteering, reading books, potting flowers and making cards, and loving on her Springer Spaniels. She had a penchant for decorating and entertaining. She's known for her great sense of humor and one-liners. Everyone who visited Millie, left feeling warm and welcomed.
Millie was a true friend and always had a gentle ear and a helping hand when someone needed assistance or encouragement. She loved her many friends!
She was proudly married for 67 years until John's passing in 2012.
Her spirit will live on in those that loved her, including, two daughters, four granddaughters, ten great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.
A Celebration of Life, will be held on Sun. Dec. 3, 2017 at The Quarry Senior Living Auditorium, 415 SE 177th Ave., Vancouver, WA, at 2:00 p.m., with reception to follow.
Please sign her guest book at: www.columbian.com/obits.
Published in The Columbian on Nov. 26, 2017
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