The strong and forward-looking spirit of our dear father, Milton William Valois, left us on the afternoon of February 13. Dr. Valois died of
consequences of a fall he had sustained the Saturday before. The day of his accident, he'd taken one of his daughters to lunch and spent the afternoon sailing his boat with a friend; just two weeks before that, he'd completed a snorkeling trip in Belize with another daughter. Milton "Pop" Valois was 96 years old, and had hoped to live to be 100.
Pop was born on June 22, 1917, in Pasadena, California. He married his sweetheart, Ann Dowell Hayes, in 1942, before completing dental school at the University of Southern California. He served as Dental Officer and Junior Medical Officer aboard an attack transport ship, the U.S.S. Crittenden, for two years in the Pacific, and retired from duty as a Lt. Commander in 1954.
Pop and Mom chose the small community of Sierra Madre, California, for their home and for the site of Pop's dental practice. They reared their three daughters, Pamela, Renee, and Teresa, in Sierra Madre. Both Mom and Pop were very involved in their community. Pop served as President of the School Board, the Kiwanis Club, the San Gabriel Valley Dental Society, and the Southern California Dental Foundation. He was active on the boards of many organizations, and helped establish the Dental Hygiene Department at Pasadena Junior College.
Pop's passion was boating. Beginning with a small powerboat, the Yoyo, and later graduating to a sailboat, the Santé, he and the family cruised the Pacific from Mexico to San Francisco. Countless weekends were passed at Cherry Cove, Catalina Island. Pop was a member of the Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, the Shoreline Yacht Club, and was Commodore of the Cherry Cove Yacht Club. He was awarded "Emeritus" status by the Adventurer's Club of Los Angeles, and was a founding member of the Pasadena Power Squadron. He and Mom traveled throughout the world, often cruising on small ships.
Pop loved music. After retiring from his dental practice, he joined the Valley of the Sun Theater Organ Society, and the American Theater Organ Society.
But in Pop's own words, "my true love was my wife Ann of 71 years, my three daughters, four grandchildren, and six great-grand children."
Pop is survived by his three daughters, Pamela Valois, of Berkeley; Renee Walter, of Phoenix; and Teresa Valois, of Seattle; and by his son-in-law, Lloyd Linford of Berkeley. Four beloved grandchildren, Dana Keig, Rob Walter, Zachary Linford, and Scott Linford reside in Scottsdale, North Tustin, San Diego, and Los Angeles, respectively. Pop enjoyed and followed the exploits of grandson-in-law, Gordon Keig, and two granddaughters-in-law, Rebecca Walter, and Rachel Linford; and six great grandchildren, Anna and Caroline Keig, Robby and Pearce Walter, and Abby and Joe Linford.
Friends and family surrounded Milton in his last days. We are grateful for the friends, new and old, who sailed with him, kept in touch by phone, and indulged in his local dreams and schemes. Our last words to him were "À Votre Santé!"
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to: The Los Altos Family YMCA, Dr. Milt Valois Memorial Fund, 1720 Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90815. Checks should be made payable to the YMCA. Please sign the guestbook at www.pasadenastarnews.comobits.
Published in Pasadena Star-News on Mar. 4, 2014