“Nominees is this category are individuals who stay active in our community after reaching the age of 70 years with volunteerism and outstanding commitment to community service.”
Chemistry’s loss; our gain
The next award is also a new one this year. We only had to think about 30 seconds to know that we wanted to acknowledge Millie for her life-long commitment to Osceola. She is a great lady.
Millie was born in Hanska, MN to a family of Norwegian ancestry, and enjoyed her childhood in the rural community. She earned a degree (with honors) in Chemistry from the University of MN, and met her future husband when he was working in the student clinic of the dental school and she was a patient there. Dick grew up in Sleepy Eye, MN not far from Hanska, but did not know Millie in high school. Dick proposed to Millie in her junior year of college, and they married a few days after she graduated. Dick and Millie moved to Osceola in 1948 and Dick started his downtown dental practice. Shortly after moving to Osceola, Dick (as an army officer) was sent to Okinawa to treat soldiers in the Korean War. That left Millie on her own in Osceola with her toddler son, Michael (1950) and infant daughter, Marian (1952)--and no car!
After returning to Osceola post-war, Dick and Millie built a home on the banks of the St. Croix River and welcomed another son, Daniel, to the family in 1957. All of the children graduated from Osceola high school earning many academic honors. Millie was an active participant in her children's school lives, as well as leading Boy Scouting and Girl Scouting troop activities. Both sons are Eagle Scouts and Marian earned a similar achievement award in Girl Scouting. Millie has two grand-daughters who are graduating with advanced professional degrees in the spring.
She has been a gracious hostess to all of her children's friends who have visited Osceola. As a retired colonel in the army reserves Dick and Millie traveled through the US to many army bases, and visiting relatives and friends along the way. Millie was a member of five volunteer groups in Osceola (including the Women's Club that created the first library in Osceola) and volunteered at the Methodist church during her years in Osceola. She and Dick were charter members of the Osceola Historical Society. She nursed her husband through his last days in 2002, and continues to live in the home that they built on River Street. The neighbors on River Street are great people who have kept an eye out for Millie over the years.
Millie is the volunteer family archivist, and holds the documentation of her family members' lives *somewhere* in her house. Millie has been the recipient of the Osceola Love Light volunteer award, as well as being recognized for her contributions to the Polk County Historical Society.
Millie is a strong advocate for the downtown business community, and can often be seen patronizing the stores and restaurants. Millie has been known to pull weeds from untended downtown sidewalks to tidy up Main Street! She always has a good word for friend when she sees them. We are extremely happy to give Millie the Senior Citizen of the Year Award for 2014.