Annabelle Ruth Milliron (nee Neary) passed away on January 29, 2020, at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Gig Harbor Washington. Annabelle and husband Jim lived in Purdy and Gig Harbor Washington for more than 65 years. At 94 years, she continued to smile and enjoy everyone in her life: friends, family, and care-givers alike.
Annabelle was born on July 4, 1925, in Tacoma Washington to Ellen Markuson Neary and Wilmot Whitfield Neary. She was the youngest of four siblings, including Margaret Mack (Neary) Wild, James Phillip Neary, and Emeline (Neary) Bentley, who each preceded her in death. She graduated from Stadium High School in Tacoma Washington, on June 2, 1943. She loved playing tennis with friends and, learned to sew, embroider, knit and crochet. After high school, she worked for Sperry’s Flour Mill on the Tacoma water front, while she continued to live at home with her mother.
Annabelle married Jim on January 24, 1947. Jim was stationed at Fort Lewis during World War II and they met at the First Congregational Church in Tacoma in 1943 while attending a USO dance. After Jim returned to his hometown of Mt Pleasant Pa, they continued to correspond. Jim proposed in 1946. Annabelle traveled to Mt Pleasant. They were married at the Church of the Brethren on her father’s birthday. In 1951, they returned to Tacoma. Annabelle and Jim were married for 72 years.
After settling in Purdy in 1955, Annabelle pursued secretarial and office managerial careers, working for an attorney, an employment agency and for many years managed the office at Peninsula Lutheran Church, her favorite position. She retired from Peninsula Lutheran Church in 1991, but continued her active participation in church life. She enjoyed singing in the choir.
Annabelle treasured time with family and friends. Favorite activities included reading, gardening and knitting. Annabelle’s interest in gardening proved useful when the family moved to a nearby farmhouse in Purdy, where blackberries abounded. She was a prolific baker, making jam and pies for family and church events. She also enjoyed many years of golfing and cross-country skiing with Jim. They learned to ski after retirement while staying at the National Park Inn at Mt Rainier National Park one winter. That stay began a winter-time tradition of cross-country skiing with friends at The Mazama Inn in Mazama Washington which they enjoyed for many years.
Annabelle is survived by her children Christine Anne Milliron (born July 25, 1949) of Allyn Wa and Margaret Lynne Knutson (born January 19, 1954) of Gig Harbor Wa; her grandchildren Jennifer Lynne Knutson of Gig Harbor Wa, James Arthur (spouse Megan) Knutson of Gig Harbor, WA; Christopher Adam (spouse Amanda) Knutson of Gig Harbor Wa. Great-grandchildren include Mia and Marley Knutson (father James), Virginia and Milla Knutson (father Christopher).
She was preceded in death by her dear son Jeffrey Philip Milliron on July 8, 2017 (born November 21, 1964); cherished husband James Burl Milliron (born July 19, 1924) on April 4, 2019; and beloved son-in-law Gilbert Knutson (born August 28, 1948) on July 7, 2012. Annabelle was buried at Haven of Rest Gig Harbor Wa, with husband Jim and son Jeff (in memorium).
Her family sends many thanks to her church family at Peninsula Lutheran Church including, Pastor Chuck Slocum and congregation, for many years of friendship and spiritual enrichment. In addition, we thank the staff at St. Anthony’s for their loving and kind care during her final stay.
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