Orval “Red” Millette
September 28, 1925 – December 4, 2018
Resident of Lafayette, California
Orval Dale Millette, affectionately known as Red, peacefully passed away surrounded by his children, their spouses and wife Marianne, his loving wife of 63 years, on Tuesday, December 4, 2018. He is survived by Marianne and his six children, Tim (Diane), Yvonne, Tom (Joanne), Joe (Jennifer), Tony (Dean) and Ted (Cindy) and grandchildren (Amanda, Emily, Lauren, Jack, Will, Cole and Aricela). Red is also survived by his sister Betty Embry and many, many nieces and nephews from his and Marianne’s families.
Red was born in South Dakota and grew up in his beloved Dell Rapids, the second of four children, to Victor and Mary Millette. He followed his parents and siblings to California after his military service. Red was called by many names on his path through life. Early in his life, his nickname was “Punk.” Reasons for the name come and go with the seasons, but Punk it was. “Punk” grew into “Red” during his military and college days. After serving our country in the U.S. Navy during World War II, Red earned his accounting degree from San Francisco State University in 1953. Upon graduation, Red went to work for the California State Board of Equalization where he climbed the ranks to Supervising Tax Auditor III during his over 40+ year career with the State.
In 1953, he met the love of his life, Marianne Malley, while auditing at Hagstrom’s Stores in Oakland. Eventually, through diligence on his part, he earned the name “Husband” in 1955 and moved to Lafayette shortly thereafter. In 1959, Red and Marianne were blessed with their first of six children, and Red earned the name of “Dad.” As father of six and lover of sports, his next nickname was “Coach.” Coach Millette led teams in boys and girls basketball (CYO and LMYA), soccer and Lafayette Little League baseball for over 19 years, and was a father figure to many. With the birth of his first grandchild, he earned the new name “Pepe” (grandpa). Always the coach, he loved watching his grandchildren play sports.
Along the path of his life, Red became a “Friend” to many. Many of these friends were or are members of Saint Perpetua Catholic Church, where all of his children attended grammar school and where Marianne and Red have been parishioners for over 60 years.
The life of this man known as Orval, Punk, Red, brother-in-law, uncle, cousin, husband, Dad, Pepe, fatherin-law, coach and friend, can be summed up in three words...”Love of Family” , which to Red included many he met along his path in life. Red’s love of family was shown by his compassion, commitment, a shoulder to cry on, a smile to warm you, laughter, love and a big Red Millette hug.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, December 15, 2018 at Church of Santa Maria in Orinda, CA, with a reception in the Church Hall immediately following. Please join in celebrating this wonderful man we were so honored to love.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Red’s name to the St. Perpetua Church – Capital Campaign for the new Parish Hall, 3545 Hamlin Rd, Lafayette, CA 94549.