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Robert Russell Millsap


1916 - 2013 Obituary Condolences Flowers
Robert Russell Millsap Obituary
Robert Russell Millsap
May 10, 1916 - Aug. 13, 2013

Robert Russell Millsap died on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013, at the age of 97. He was a descendant of a pioneer family that settled in Yolo County in the 1850s on a ranch west of the town of Yolo.
Russell was born on the family ranch on May 10, 1916 to Wirt and Mary Shannon Millsap. He attended Woodland schools and graduated from Woodland High School where he participated in track and baseball and was the class valedictorian.
Russell graduated with honors from UC Berkeley with a major in physics. On April 13, 1941 he married Elizabeth Cunningham, a fellow student at Berkeley. They were married for 65 years until her death in 2006. Russell was working on an advanced degree in physics at the University of Wisconsin when World War II intervened. He served in the Army Air Corps as a meteorologist in China and India, being discharged in 1945 as a Lt Colonel. Upon his return, he chose a new career path and attended UC Hastings College of the Law, graduating in 1948. He soon established a law practice in Woodland where he practiced law for over 40 years.
Russell was a man of many talents and interests. In the 1950s he built the family cabin at Lake Tahoe, which is being enjoyed today by his great grandchildren. He became a Master Gardener and maintained a large vegetable, fruit and rose garden where he also grew grapes and made wine. For many years, he and Beth had season tickets to the San Francisco Ballet, Symphony and Opera, and he was actively involved in fundraising in the early years of the Woodland Opera House restoration. Russell was also active in fundraising and land acquisition for the present YMCA building and was named Layman of the Year for his efforts. Early in his career he served on the Woodland Planning Commission and was a member of the Lions Club. He was a lifelong member of St. Luke's Episcopal Church and liked to say that it had been organized in his grandparent's living room, which was later the site of his rose garden. He was a member of the Woodland Rose Club and the Masonic Lodge.
Russell is survived by his two children Marylin Thompson (Andy) and Robert (Susan); five grandchildren Andrew Thompson (Caroline), Elizabeth Palmeri (Mark), Tyler Millsap, Soo Jin Millsap, and John Murrieta and three great-grandchildren Sophia and Sidney Palmeri and Evelyn Thompson. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Beth, and his siblings Frank, Floyd and Mary.
A graveside service will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 17, at Woodland Cemetery, 800 West St., Woodland. Memorials may be made to Citizens Who Care, Yolo Hospice, the Woodland Opera House or the Woodland Rose Club. McNary's Funeral Chapel is assisting the family with arrangements.
Published in Daily Democrat from Aug. 15 to Sept. 5, 2013
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