Russell M. McMillan
NORFOLK - Russ McMillan, our singing cowboy, of 3515 Tidewater Drive, Norfolk, departed on a permanent singing engagement with God on May 29, 2005. He was preceded in death by his father, stepfather, two brothers, and Corky his beloved Yorkie. Left to cherish his memory is his wife of 48 years, Betty; sons, James and Rob McMillan, and Michael Albritton, who was like a son; four grandchildren; his pets, Missy, Speedy, Callie and Sam; his mother, Emma L. Jolly, four sisters and three brothers, all in Florida; one brother in Georgia; his lifetime friend, Woody Woodall; his Dallas band family; and many others. Russ was retired from the U.S. Navy and Electronic Systems. He was a lifetime musician, Past and Present President of the Virginia Country Music Association, Peninsula Blind Bowlers League and a host of others. He was presented with every award from the VCMA that could be awarded. Russ was a wonderful loving, caring person with a great sense of humor. He loved his family, his pets, home, music, and his many friends and above all else God. Our thanks, love, and appreciation for the wonderful care he received from everyone at the Portsmouth Naval Hospital. His doctors were superior and his nursing staff was the best. A memorial service will be held 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 2, at Smith & Williams Funeral Home, Norfolk Chapel. Condolences may be made to the family at
Published by Daily Press on May 31, 2005.
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15 Entries
I came upon this today. I I miss him EVERY day. He was OUR treasure, our STAR. He loved the music in every cell and his talent was immeasurable. Love you, Brother. Deanie.
Nadine Jackson
August 31, 2021
Dear Russell,
I know you can't see or read this now. I had a dream last night and you were telling one of your funny stories about your time on one of the ships and everyone was laughing. And then the dream turned sad because I realized, once again as I have in so many dreams, that you are sleeping and cannot tell your funny stories or sing and play.
You always encouraged me to sing. And you always encouraged me to draw. I could never draw as you could and wish I had some of your sketches from when we were kids.
Mama would tell me of the time when you were taking care of me the year I was born . She trusted you with me when I was so tiny, and she trusted you every day after that whenever she needed someone who could care for us kids or take care of the house.
I can recall the times we played softball and football and the movies you made of everyone and we all had a laugh. I can recall so many times when you were cooking and we all were doing housework. And I remember very fondly when you helped me learn to ride a bicycle.
I miss you more than I can say. But I recall the last time I did see you, just before you went to sleep and I am reminded of what we said to each other. I love you. Always have and always will and I look forward to seeing you again. Soon.
With Love,
Shirley Stevenson
December 2, 2018
While looking through the obituaries, I spotted your name. I cannot believe you left Betty. I know how much you loved her. But I know you are watching over her to make sure she is safe from harm. Your love for her was amazing. And so were you. I loved to hear you sing and play and I am sad to know that I will not be able to hear you again. I use to love it when you would come to Mom's and play. I was blessed for having known you. And I know you and Betty brought alot of joy to my Mom's life. She loved you both so. So when you see Mom, sing her that song she loved so much "He stopped loving her today" and she will be so happy. And when I get there, you can sing one for me. Alot of people will miss you Russell. Until we see you again, you will always be with us.
Love, Vickie
Victoria Baker-O'Donnell
July 23, 2005
As a youngster, uncle Russ was my shining star. I remember sitting on granny Jolly's living room floor as a child listening to him pick and sing as we would all sing along. He was a great person in my eyes. As the years passed, I have not seen him. I spoke to him on the phone a while back and
told him that I was a little girl who just adored him. He knew who it was when I called after all these years. He was the best singer I had ever known. Although I have not been around much, he still
held a special place in my memory. By the way, I still have his record that he recorded with the now famous
"Sylvia". You will forever have a place in my heart and memory.
Love, Cindy
Cindy Jolly -Sheffield
June 7, 2005
Dear Russell - I know we haven't seen each other since mama and daddy passed away. It meant a lot to us that you and Betty came to be with us. I remember when I was younger, we would get very excited to hear that you were stopping by our house on the way to Florida. I can still see the big motor home parked on the road in front of our house. When I heard of your passing the first thing I thought was that the McMillan boys are together again! And what a reunion I'm sure that was! I know you, daddy and Ronald have a lot of catching up to do so until we meet again......Love You.....
Your neice
Debra Galloway
June 6, 2005
When Ron died, Russ came and we talked. When Russ became ill, I went to see him and we talked some more.
I knew I would miss him, I just didn't know how much.
Like an old song said, I have to be good so I can see him again.
Jerry Jolly
June 4, 2005
I am sorry that we did not get to see each other more often. I can remember when I was just a little girl - I would get soooo excited when I saw that motor home pull up at the bottom of the driveway. And you had such a wonderful voice! I know there was a whole lot of "pickin and grinnin" on Sunday morning when the three "McMillan brothers" were reunited. I love you, and you are truly missed. Until we meet again......
Your Niece, Lynn
Lynn Moxley
June 3, 2005
"O' Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling
From glen to glen and even down the mountainside
The summer's gone and all the roses falling
It's you, it's you, must go and I must abide.

But come ye back when summer's in the meadow
Or when the valley paths are even white with snow
Yes, I'll be here in sunshine or in shadow
O' Danny boy, O' Danny boy, I love you so."

O' our dear Russ, O' our dear Russ, we love you so.
June 2, 2005
I love all my children and would gladly have taken his or any of my children's place in suffering or in death. I loved to hear him sing so much, especially Danny Boy. I look forward to hearing him sing it again. I will always remember his youthful face and his strong hugs even in his sickness. I will hold on to these memories to sustain me until I see him again, and hear him sing again.
Love always,
Emma Jolly
June 2, 2005
Midnight visitor
Dress whites, beautiful music
He will come no more

Our Russ, shining star
Taken from us much too soon
You are in our hearts

Standing on the stage
He sings, then we applaude him
Everyone happy

Nadine Jackson
June 2, 2005
I'll always love and miss you Brother, there is no way any one of the remaining brothers can fill your boots. You were always better with words than me, I would really like to have you here to put into words how I feel. So all I can say is I will love you always and see you again one day.
Bobby Jolly
June 1, 2005
I too, will miss you and all those songs you loved to sing. There was never a minute while entertaining that you showed how much pain you were in. Now, no more pain, no more medicines, just a wonderful path to the promise land. May God bless you and your family.
Stephanie Poole
May 31, 2005
Russ was the best of brothers - our "Glamorous" brother - to his younger brothers and sisters.
We are so glad we were able to visit with him and let him know his family loves him and will miss him terribly.
Thanks to all his good friends and the staff at Portsmouth Naval Hosp. for the care he received.
Nadine Jackson
May 31, 2005
I cannot think of Russ without smiling. When I was little and he'd come over with Betty or when he came home from a tour of duty it was a THRILL. Everyone was so happy to see him. And if we could get him to sing and play for us we were on Cloud 9. He would bring in his guitar case and wait a few minutes. Then he'd open it up and wait a few more minutes. Then he'd take out that beautiful guitar and start to check the tuners. Such anticipation. We'd wait what seemed like forever and then he'd start to sing "O'Danny Boy; Under the Double Eagle, Nadine, Haunted House" and anything else we could think of to ask for. And he was always so handsome - neat as a pin and smelling wonderful. We would've traded every toy we had to have him home. Elvis was nothing - we had RUSS! And he & Betty were always so kind to us. I can only hope he knew how much we love him. I cannot wait to pick and sing with him in the future when no one will be sick and his beautiful voice will be better than ever. Until then I'll be practicing - hard.
Iris Johnson
May 31, 2005
I will miss you. I will always remember
The many good times we had playing in bands together throughout the years.
I know you are relieved of all pain and suffering and in a far better place.
My sympathy and prayers go out to all the family and friends who love you and will miss you.
Walter Scott
May 31, 2005
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