Hilary Russell was born on Feb. 28, 1944, in Manitowoc, Wis., to John and Marian Higginson. She met and married her first husband, Marlyn (Butch) Hanson, in Brigham City, Utah, on March 17, 1961. They had three children: twin sons Kris and Karl and a daughter, Kori.
After a few years in Billings, Mont., they moved the family to Independence so Hilary could attend Oregon College of Education to pursue an art degree while Butch could pursue farming interests.
Hilary and Butch divorced after their children were raised, then she met and married Maurice Russell II on May 19, 1984. They were happily married for almost 25 years before he passed away in 2008.
Hilary was an extremely talented artist. She had a bachelor of arts degree from Western Oregon University, and was a founding member of the River Gallery in Independence.
Her art has been shown and sold in many different states. Hilary had a passion for mixing media and techniques in her art and created many beautiful pieces of work.
Hilary is survived by her son, Kris Hanson, of Selkirk, N.Y., son Karl Hanson, of Henderson, Nev., and daughter Kori Valencourt, of Dallas; and four grandchildren, Trevin and Lacy Hanson, and Brianna and Taylor Valencourt. Hilary also leaves behind her two sisters, Winnifred Richman and Pamela Apodaca, both from Utah, and their extended families. She will also be missed by her extensive group of friends and colleagues in the local art community.
A memorial service will be held at the Independence Event Center (downstairs in the new Independence City Hall) 555 S. Main St., Independence, on April 29 at 1 p.m.
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