Lillian Elizabeth Emma Lesina-Russell, “Lilly,” was the seventh child born to Elvezio and Erminia Martini-Lesina, immigrants from Canton Ticino, Switzerland. Lilly was born New Year’s Day, January 1, 1922, in Crescent City. When she was born, her father drove his new daughter into Crescent City to be baptized by the priest. Upon returning home, he announced the name in honor of his wife Erminia, a surprise to her as a name had not be chosen.
She grew up on the family ranch in Kings Valley and she often reflected back on her days at the ranch with happy and fun memories.
On March 29, 1941, in Reno, Nevada, she married Robert “Bob” Edwin Russell. Bob served his country during World War II and after, returned to Crescent City. Together they had two children, Robert “Bob” and Jacqueline “Jacque.”
Lilly and Bob also cared for several children of other relatives. From Crescent City they moved to Grants Pass and then Redding, and then to Stockton, returning to Crescent City in the late ’80s. Bob and Lilly shared 50 wonderful years together. She remained in Crescent City until moving to Alaska and later Oregon, to be near her daughter and son-in-law, who lovingly cared for her in her later years.
Lilly enjoyed working in her flower garden. She was noted for having a kind smile, a wonderful laugh, a sense of humor and true kindness. Wherever she went, she quickly met new people and friends.
Lilly is survived by her daughter, Jacque, and husband Dennis; grandchildren, Barbie, Rick, Kellee, Melissa and Hillary; 14 great-grandchildren; one great-great-granddaughter; one brother, Robert Lesina; along with numerous other relatives.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Elvezio and Erminia; husband, Bob; son, Robert, and his wife Sandra; her longtime companion, Luke; great-granddaughter, Kendall; and siblings, Olympia, Caesar, Eddie, Benjaminio, Benny and Julius.
Thanks to the loving support of the Regency Skilled Nursing Facility and St. Charles Hospice in Prineville, Lilly passed away Sunday, June 24, 2018, peacefully in Prineville.
A Mass will be held at a later date, and private burial will take place at the Del Norte County Veteran’s Cemetery in Crescent City.
Arrangements are under the direction of Prineville Funeral Home and Wier’s Mortuary Chapel of Crescent City.
In lieu of flowers, the family prefers contributions to your favorite charity.
— Submitted by family