Former Craig resident Mildred “Millie” Inez Bilsing died Friday, April 20, 2012, at The Memorial Hospital with her three children by her side. She was 92.
Millie was born October 21, 1919, in Wichita, Kan., to the late Chester and Olga Lowe. She was raised in Wichita, where she graduated from Wichita East High School in 1937. She spent the summers with her parents in Craig starting when she was 13.
It was then she met William “Bill” Bilsing and they became friends. After graduating, she started dating Bill and they married Dec. 7, 1938, in Craig. Their honeymoon was spent in Idaho Springs and Denver. They had three children, Barb, Sue and Bill.
Millie was involved in many volunteer organizations such as the Congregational Church, TMH Auxiliary, Preschool Bible Teacher and the Red Cross. She was also a room mother, band parent for 25 years and was involved in her children’s many activities.
Millie enjoyed sporting events such as baseball, football (especially CU football games) and figure skating. She was passionate about outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, and boating. She made latch hook rugs, woven baskets and was part of a bridge club for more than 40 years. She and Bill loved to travel and their favorite spots included the Caribbean, Hawaii, Mexico and Cuba. Their favorite trip was taking the entire family to Hawaii (13 total) in 1977.
She cherished putting music into the lives of others from age 5, when her parents bought her a piano. She had years of lessons, but never liked reading the music as she thought it was more fun to play by ear.
You could hum any tune for her to play and she would play it flawlessly, without a note in front of her for guidance. Her music resonates through the hearts of those who had the privilege of hearing her play.
When Bill died in 1999, she was trying her best to live her life to the fullest.
Serendipitously, she met Jim Fuller in 2004, and he brought the music back into her life. She looked forward to each day they could spend together, and they enjoyed doing crossword puzzles, eating out, and playing Bingo. They also liked driving up to the new hospital site until it was completed.
Millie was preceded in death by her parents, Chester and Olga Lowe, and husband William Bilsing.
Millie is survived by her three children, Barb (Ed) Bumbalo, of Kyle, Texas, Sue (Jerry) Thompson, of Craig, and Bill (Carol) Bilsing, of Mesa, Ariz.
Grandchildren include Brett (Robin) Balley, of Denver, Brenda (Ed) VonHolst, of Buffalo,Wyo., Pam (Greg) Felderman, of Broomfield, Penny (Brad) Rose, of Greeley, Tia Shaw, of Loveland, and Lisa (Mark) Palacio, of Carrollton, Texas. Great-grandchildren include Jessica, Katrina and Shayna Balley, Mara VonHolst, Audrey, Kate and Adler Felderman, Alexa and Jackson Rose, Maya Shaw and Garrett and Gavin Palacio.
She will be missed by everyone she touched, but reminded us to “Love one another and try to be together as much as you can.”
Donations can be made to The Memorial Hospital Auxiliary in her honor.