Russell Mallett passed away on Valentine's Day in Friday Harbor, Washington, after living with cancer for over a year. He will be greatly missed.
Russ was born in Seattle on November 2, 1935, the first of six children for Lloyd and Margaret Mallett. He attended Ballard High School in Seattle, as did his mother. After graduating with a bachelor's degree in Physics from MIT in 1958, he was employed by Boeing as an engineer, supporting the space program by working on NASA's Saturn V rocket in New Orleans. He wed Marlys Kaye Stennes in 1961. Returning to school, he completed a Masters degree in Engineering Mechanics from Stanford in 1966 and a PhD in Applied Mathematics in 1970 from MIT.
Russ taught at Stanford for a decade as an Associate Professor. On Stanford campus, he built his first house. In 1982 he moved to New York where he taught at RPI. He eventually left academics to work as an mathematician for Alcoa in Pennsylvania. He loved the Northwest though, and moved back to Washington when he retired. He was able to build his second house on San Juan Island.
As a boy Russ competed in swimming, especially enjoying the butterfly. He later took an interest in mountaineering. His wife Marlys joined the Seattle Mountaineers so they could climb glaciers together. When his children were old enough, he took them along on hiking trips in the Cascades.
Russ was a generous person and a philanthropist. His mother and great aunt were nurses and he established two nursing scholarships at Shoreline Community College in their honor, funding them with regular donations. Over the years, these scholarships have helped many students.
In retirement Russ enjoyed travel, wine-tasting, investing, music, bridge, sudoku, and recreational mathematics. He was well-read and knowledgeable: in addition to the score of magazines he subscribed to, he tried to read 100 books every year.
Russ is survived by his two sons: Jeff and Erik; and six grandchildren. A Memorial Service celebrating Russ's life will be held Sunday, April 8 at Butterworth Funeral Home in Queen Anne Hill at 12:30pm.