Monday, November 21, 2005
Mildred Edith Riggins Stovall, 93, of Sunnyside passed away Friday, Nov. 18, 2005, at Sun Terrace Assisted Living and Retirement Community in Sunnyside, where she had resided for over seven years.
Millie was born May 28, 1912 in Fenn, Idaho near a homestead that was settled by Fred and Clara Rowe Riggins. Clara had arrived in Idaho via the Oregon Trail as did eight parents and grandparents of Clara and Fred. Millie was raised along the banks of the Salmon River, where her father developed the Riggins Hot Springs. The family moved to Yakima in 1919 and she started grade school. Later she and her family moved to an orchard in Lombard Loop. She attended Parker Heights School and graduated from Toppenish High School in 1930. While attending Toppenish High School, Millie played basketball and participated in the orchestra. After graduation, she attended St. Elizabeth Nursing School in Yakima and served as a doctor's assistant for two Toppenish physicians during WWII.
Millie married C. Randel Stovall in 1932 and lived in Toppenish for 50 years, where they raised their three children, G. Maxine Van de Graaf (Dick) of Sunnyside, Brigadier General Dale E. Stovall, (ret.) (Carol) of Missoula, Mont., and C. Susan Stovall Crossland (David) of Seabeck. They moved to Yakima in 1982. Millie moved to Sunnyside in 1996.
During her lifetime, Millie was active in the Red Cross, where she took water and life saving courses and volunteered for blood drawings. In the 1930's Millie swam on the Yakima swim team and was the Yakima Valley underwater swimming champion. She was a member of the Women's Republican Club, Mt. Adams Golf and Country Club, Yakima Rock and Mineral Club, Yakima Genealogy Society, Audubon Society, and belonged to the Toppenish Christian Congregational Church.
Millie had a life-long love of horses, hunting, traveling, rock collecting, gardening, clam digging, and bird watching. She raised several foals and one summer had a riding academy along the Naches River. Her favorite horse was sold to the U.S. Army Calvary during WWII. She traveled to almost all of the continents and experienced the thrill of riding in a hot air balloon in Africa, when she was over 80 years old. Randel and Millie hunted both game birds and large game and she shot her first elk at age 70.
She also enjoyed taking adult education classes at Yakima Valley Community College and loved spending time with the family. She focused her time with all the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren attending sporting and school events as the matriarch of the family.
Millie is survived by three children, Maxine, Dale and Susie; nine grandchildren, Karen (Steve) Erickson, Rick (Kathy) Van de Graaf, Rod (Lori) Van de Graaf, Kristin (Victor) Pereira, Justin and Robin Stovall, Amy, Jim, and Scott (Anna) Crossland; 11 great-grandchildren, Juliana, Connor, and Annaka Erickson, Heidi, Kyle, Hilary, Cole, Hunter, Drew and Nate Van de Graaf and Lily Bella Pereira; and several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Randel Stoval in 1994; a granddaughter, Dana Susan Van de Graaf in 1959; and great-granddaughter, Heather Van de Graaf in 1987; a sister, Alice O'Donahue; and brothers, Paul and Frank Riggins.
A private family graveside services will be held at Elmwood Cemetery.
A Celebration of Life will be held Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2005, from 3 to 6 p.m., at Toppenish Mt. Adams Golf and Country Club. Those wishing to honor her memory may contribute to the Toppenish Mural Society or to a charity of the donor's choice.