Sun Prairie-Mildred Ruby Thompson, age 96, passed away on April 11, 2012 at Kindred Hearts, Sun Prairie. She was born on September 6, 1915 in Pepin, WI, the daughter of Peter & Ruby (Little) Hicks. Mildred married Fred Thompson on October 16, 1937 in Durand. He preceded her in death in 1968.
Millie earned a life-time teaching degree from the LaCrosse Normal School (1933). From a sole teacher in a one-room schoolhouse to the principal at Genesee Depot, she taught throughout Wisconsin (including Fairchild, Dunville, Downsville, Eagle, Sunny Brook, Genesee Depot and
18 years in the East Troy District). At age 56, she earned a Masters degree (education) with a perfect 4.0 record, an achievement recognized by a personal letter from the academic Dean of UW-Whitewater.
Millie was an admirable farmer, gardener and hunter, skills she used to provide for her family through the depression and WWII. She was a great waterskiier, and skied on her 60th birthday. Millie kept young with a positive attitude, by trying new things, and by easily making new friends. She spent her last 31 years in Sun Prairie, an extraordinarily active community member and honored as one of Wisconsin's Most Admired Senior Citizens (1987). She was the original host of the tv show "Colonial Club Commentator", and produced over 380
episodes in eight years (1998-2006). Millie was also active in the Friends of the Sun Prairie Library, Eastern Star (Durand and Sun Prairie), Job's Daughters, the Colonial Club, Meals on Wheels, Twentieth Century Club, Red Hat Society, Royal Neighbors, United Methodist Church/Esther Circle, and Retired Teachers Association for the Madison Area and the State. She tutored elementary kids in reading and drove other seniors to their doctor's appointments. Many will remember her Christmastime appearances as "Mrs. Claus".
Mildred lived like there were no boundaries. She was a world traveler who snorkeled in the Carribbean, visited Maachu Picchu and the jungles of Peru, climbed in the Himalayas, and explored Europe, the British Isles, Greece, the pyramids of Egypt, the Taj Mahal in India, Jordan, Turkey, Latvia, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Norway, among other places. She visited her family around the world, and at 80 years old slept in a papasan chair in her granddaughter's college dorm room. She particularly enjoyed sampling world cuisine. Mildred loved dessert--and she always had room for some!
Mildred's enthusiasm for life was age-defying. Even as she approached 90, she kept her children and grandchildren hopping to keep up with her, redefining their opinions about what age is really old. She is survived by her Son, Fred (Rizan) Thompson, Brown Deer; her daughter, Fannie (Neill) Kiley, Sun Prairie; her grandchildren, Maiken (Jeff) Schroedl, Kerry-Jon Thompson and Heather (Michael) Lerner; her great-grandchildren, Jacob & Luke Schroedl, Mason Thompson, Evelyn Lerner and twins, Amalia Ruby (named after Millie) & Alexander Lerner. In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents, a son (Weldon), and a brother (Willard).
A Memorial Service celebrating her life will be held on Saturday, June 23, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. at the Cress Funeral Home, Sun Prairie. Dessert will be served. Private burial will be in the Waubeek Township Cemetery, Durand. Donations can be made in Mildred's name to the Sun Prairie Public Library Foundation http://www.sunlibfoundation.org/