CANFIELD - Prayers will be held on Monday, July 30, at 11:45 a.m. at the Higgins-Reardon Funeral Homes, Boardman-Canfield Chapel, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 12:30 p.m. at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Boardman for Mildred Ann (Whaley) Lumley, who passed away on Thursday evening, July 26, 2018, at St. Elizabeth Boardman Hospital surrounded by her loving family.
Millie born on Oct. 4, 1936, a daughter of the late Louis and Olga (Whaley) Culbertson.
The tenacious Mrs. Lumley never shied away from a fight. While her mind was sharp as a tack, the numerous other maladies, including a recently-diagnosed abdominal cancer, was enough to do what the Great Depression, scarlet fever, World War II, a jerk of a first husband, and a recent hip and pelvic fracture had been unable to do. Not too fond of the name Mildred, she loved the name Millie or, if you really got on her good side, you could call her “Mickie.”
She was preceded in death by her sister, Corrine; brother Jerry; mother Olga; and her father, Louis Culbertson. She was also preceded in death by her husband, Richard, in August of 1983, she forged on with a spirit not found in many people. Never remarrying, she remained devoted to her children, Brian and Jennifer.
In 1991, she welcomed a new son into her brood when Jennifer married Jeffrey Kuczek. Within a few years, both of her offspring gave her four grandchildren that she, of course, adored. Six months after the passing of her husband, during a blisteringly cold winter, she disappeared. Her children, alarmed at her absence, searched high and low. She had donned a pair of blue coveralls and was found under her car in the garage, changing the oil.
A devout reader, she was almost never seen without a book in her hand. On countless occasions, she could be found fast asleep, bedside lamp still on, glasses askew on her face, and a thumb stuck between the pages of a book. She shared her love of reading with her daughter; weekly trips to the Elyria Public Library and numerous book-talks led to Jenny becoming a librarian. Always the bearer of a good yarn, she would spin tales of ancient Greece, Ptolemaic Egypt, Tudor England, and Homer’s Troy. Brian credits his lifelong love of history to his mother’s tales. Her family recalls that her snoring was legendary. Her snoring had the uncanny ability to wake people in rooms separated by thick plaster walls. Mildred, of course, eschewed that was a remote possibility and, when confronted with an audio recording, denied it was her and said it was most likely a recording of a bull elephant while in a full charge.
After her husband died, she became a world traveler. Starting small with a Caribbean cruise, she added such destinations as Tahiti, Hawaii, Newfoundland, and Alaska, and yearly vacations to the Atlantic coast. A 2012 trip to Italy with her daughter, Jenny, and family, was something she spoke of often and fulfilled a dream of seeing such sites as Pompeii and Florence. Her family recalls the tears Millie shed when she gazed upon the Statue of David.
After relocating to the Youngstown area to be closer to her daughter’s family, she became active in the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She became the chapter regent and was proud of the fact that her great-great-great-great-grandfather was George Washington’s aide-de-camp at Valley Forge during our country’s War of Independence.
Possessing a wicked sense of humor, while on vacation in New England she asked her two grandsons and son what songs should be played at her funeral. Brian shot back, “Ding Dong, The Witch Is Dead.” While both Alex and Johnny snickered, Mildred thought it was a great idea. Don’t be surprised that if you attend the wake the strains of that Oz tune may be playing softly in the background.
Retired from Lorain County Community College, she was a lifelong advocate of education. A girl scout leader, president of Ely School’s PTA, and a mentor to her children’s friends, she was a surrogate mother to countless young people throughout her life.
Born half Slovenian and Scottish with a wee bit of Irish, on Cleveland’s east side, she was a 1954 graduate of Collinwood High School. She attended college and became a secretary at various firms in the Cleveland area, meeting her future husband while they both worked at HK Ferguson.
She is survived by Brian and his son, Alexander Lumley; Jennifer and Jeff Kuczek, and their three children John, Jenna, and Jack; and a bolt-of-lightning West Highland Terrier named Scooter.
Family and friends may call Sunday, July 29, 2018 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Higgins-Reardon Funeral Homes, Canfield Chapel. Interment will take place at Maple Grove Cemetery in Vermilion, Ohio.
In lieu of flowers memorial donation may take form in Mildred’s name to Mahoning Chapter DAR, PO Box 243, Canfield OH 44406.