Mildred Richmond passed away this afternoon, March 27th, 2020 at the Crestview Nursing Home in New Lisbon.
The sky was full of sun and a calm wind swept over the pasture 104+ years ago and a beautiful daughter was born to Martin and Olga (Larsen) Kraiss – their first of six children on a farm North of New Lisbon. Her name was Mildred Kraiss which later became Mildred Margaret Louise Kraiss Richmond or to us – Mater, Millie, Toots, Mom!
You could say she was the guardian angel of the family as she ended up watching over her siblings until they passed and now she represents the final member of that family. It was a golden time when she was born and then became a very difficult time as she ended up spending her teenage years during the depression.
High school in those days was only 2 years in New Lisbon so she went to New Jersey and stayed with her aunt while finishing high school. And fortunately, she was smart and able to skip a grade and finish early. When she returned home, it was work at the County Farm just outside New Lisbon and that is where she met Riley – her future husband.
They were married and started a family while living at the Richmond homestead farm in Warrens. Three of their seven children were born there – Elaine, David, and Leslie. After that, they moved to another farm outside of Warrens and four more children were born – Leonard, Joel, Jane, and John.
The family moved to New Lisbon in 1958 and Mater became part of the Koch-Weston Clinic doing lab work etc. for Dr Weston and Dr Koch. She retired after more than 4 decades at the clinic and then spent the rest of her years in New Lisbon.
In that time she has pursued many activities some of which are:
Being involved in the community, her church, Bethany Lutheran, and served on the council as well as starting and operating the Food Pantry in the basement of Bethany Lutheran.
Was part of the Heritage Days Park and was awarded Citizen of the Year!
Was a Torch Bearer in La Crosse for the 1996 Olympics and had to stroll a couple of blocks in La Crosse with the lit torch in hand. We were all in attendance with her. The event was fantastic!
She loved bowling and participated in several leagues over the years and bowled at an establishment in Tomah.
And finally, Mater loved to travel with family and friends! She was in Brazil a couple of times, Spain, England, twice to Germany and made it to numerous locations in the US. Her travel buddies have since passed but her memory was intact to the end and she always enjoyed reminiscing the times.
Mater was a woman before her time. She was independent, she was a decision maker and she always had an opinion! She loved her family, she loved her church, and she loved her community. But most of all – was her integrity! Her word was her contract and she lived her life without ever having to look over her shoulder. To all of us children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great, great, grand children - she will always be remembered as the perfect example to follow. She represents the friendship and love that guides us every day. She will forever be our beacon of hope. And she will forever be our Mother! We kept her as long as we could, and now we must let her go! Godspeed on your journey Mater – with love!
She is survived by Sons David, Leslie, Leonard, Joel and John and Daughter Jane. She was preceded in death by her parents, siblings, husband Riley, and oldest daughter Elaine.
She had four Brothers who served in WWII and four Sons who served in the US Navy. She loved her country!
The Richmond Family would like to gratefully thank all the staff at Crestview Nursing Home for their personal and professional care afforded “Millie” during her stay. Thank you so very much! And special thanks to our niece Jackie who always looked in on Mater!
The family requests the memorials be made to the Bethany Lutheran Church or to the New Lisbon Food Pantry, you may mail the memorials to the, Hare Funeral Home, 217 W Pearl St. New Lisbon, WI 53950.
Due to the state’s restrictions on the size of gatherings, a memorial gathering will be planned at a later date. Private burial will be in Warren Mills Cemetery, in Warrens WI. next to her husband Riley E. Richmond Jr. Family & friends may watch a live video stream of the graveside service at 11:00a.m. on Tuesday March 31st , 2020 on the Hare Funeral Home Facebook Page. Online condolences are available at www.harefuneralhome.com
DO NOT STAND A MY GRAVE AND WEEP
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there, I do not sleep
I am a thousand winds that blow
I am the diamond's gift of snow
I am the sunlight on ripened grain
I am the autumn's gentle rain
When you awaken in the mornings hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight
I am the soft stars that shine at night
Do not stand at my grave and cry
I am not there, I did not die.
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