Mildred Elaine Windler, 96
Feb. 1, 1919 — Oct. 31, 2015
Mildred “Millie” Elaine (Johnson) Windler was healed and called to her final home Oct. 31, 2015, at the age of 96. Millie passed away after residing for more than seven years at Cedar Community in West Bend.
Millie was born Feb. 1, 1919, to Phoebe Ann (Anderson) Johnson and John “Jack” Johnson in Gettysburg, South Dakota. She married Russell Thomas Windler in 1939, and they made their home in Fort Dodge, Iowa, where they raised a family of seven children.
Growing up, Millie was a vibrant, hardworking and talented young woman. In her early teens she worked as a farmhand doing what she referred to as “man’s work,” which was uncommon at the time. She was an adventurous country girl who took great pride in a job well done, and passed on this characteristic to her seven children.
Certainly her greatest pride was caring for her children and grandchildren. She always put their health and safety ahead of her own and took every opportunity to express her love for them. Alongside raising a family, she worked as the head chef and baker at Friendship Haven in Fort Dodge, specializing in pies and bread. She exhibited a natural artistic ability for music, drawing and poetry. She loved flowers and animals (especially horses). She was an active bowler, played a mean hand of Texas Hold’em and could always keep you entertained with a game of rummy. She shared her imaginative spirit, quick wit and sense of humor abundantly and never concerned herself with what she might have lacked.
Mildred lived a life that would’ve made most people hard, but she remained soft. She appreciated every flower, shared every meal and loved unconditionally. She happily gave of herself and lived life in the Lord’s image. She is survived by her brother, Leonard “Len” White; children, Karen Tabat (James Tabat) of Humboldt, Iowa, Sally Cerwick (Verlan Mensing) of Iowa Falls, Iowa, Thomas “Tom” Windler (Cynthia Windler) of San Antonio, Sandra “Sandie” Lee (Richard “Harry” Lee) of San Antonio, Norene Fields (Eric Fields) of Lake Ozark, Missouri, Julie Windler of West Bend, and William “Bill” Windler (Cheri Windler) of San Antonio; 41 grandchildren; 44 great-grandchildren; and 12 great-great-grandchildren.
Mildred is preceded in death by her husband, Russell T. Windler; brothers, Ray Johnson, Howard White, Mac White and Jerry White; sisters, Esther Johnson and Sandra “Daisy” Stevens; grandchild, Quincy Lee; great-grandchildren, James Cerwick, Jesse Cerwick and Kelsi; and great-great-grandchild, Jared Kropp.
Mildred’s family would like to extend a special thank you to the Cedar Community Staff serving “Sunrise,” namely nurse managers Laurie Erdmann (RN) and Rachel Rauwerdink (RN), Mary Mueller (NP), Home Health & Hospice, the dining staff and the Cedar Community activity department. You all made our mother’s home at Cedar Community a place of dignity, comfort and love.
Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6, at the Historic Bruce Funeral Home in Fort Dodge. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 7, at Riverside United Methodist Church in Fort Dodge. Burial will be at North Lawn Cemetery.