Lillian Russell Applegate celebrated her 92nd birthday with her sons and their wives two weeks before her death on December 18, 2017. Known to most as Lil, she was born in Sand Springs, Oklahoma, in 1925 to Emerson A. and Hazel Rhoads Russell.
In 1943 she graduated from Pineville High School (Missouri). For a year after high school, Lillian worked as a secretary in Rogers, so she could enroll and study at the University of Arkansas. Lil was the first in her family to attend college. In 1947 she married the love of her life, John Applegate of Rogers. They lived in Austin while John attended pharmacy school at the University of Texas. Returning to Rogers in 1949, they built a home, started a family, and owned Applegate’s Drug Store on First Street.
Lil was preceded in death by her parents, by her beloved husband John (in 2012 after 65 years of marriage), and by three (Dorothy, June and Allen) of her four siblings.
Survivors include her two sons: J. Bruce Applegate (wife Ann) of Springdale and Douglas L. Applegate (wife Rhea) of Bella Vista; her four grandchildren: Dustin Logan Applegate (wife Chris and sons Jack and Henry), Sarah Applegate Williamson (husband Brad and daughter Lyla), Jordan Applegate (daughter Sienna and wife Malorie), and Heather Applegate Paul (husband John and children Brooks, Rynn, Ellerie and Bryce); Lil’s brother Charles Russell (wife Peg) of Omaha, Nebraska; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A dedicated wife and mother, she loved her husband, children, grandchildren, the spouses of all, and her great-grandchildren. Lil and John’s favorite song lyric was: "The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return." Their marriage exemplified the lyric. A family celebration of life is planned for January, 2018. Memorials may be made to Circle of Life Hospice, 901 Jones Road, Springdale, Arkansas 72762.