Our beloved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother Mildred passed away early in the morning of October 9th in Murray, Utah. She was at peace and surrounded by her family when she unexpectedly departed this life from complications after cancer surgery.
Mildred was born December 17, 1937 to Alfred Tennyson and Annie Naylor Smurthwaite in Salt Lake City, UT. She grew up in the family's pioneer era home on First South with her older siblings Alfred Jr. and Bessie. She graduated from East High School in 1956 where she sang in the acapella choir.
She married Ronald Dennis Miller in the Salt Lake LDS Temple on August 14, 1957. Together they raised 7 children, built an addition onto their Canyon Rim home, and drove the family van (aka Boo's Bus) on many memorable trips to Lava Hot Springs, Lake Powell, and Disneyland with their children and grandchildren. Mildred’s house was a home to all. Everyone knew they could walk right through the back door and be greeted with a smile and food, especially buttered noodles and Creamies. She loved to feed people and was always the last to sit down to eat. There was never enough salt for Mildred, who kept a salt shaker in her purse at all times, just in case!
She never stopped thinking about how she could help others feel loved and comfortable. This was particularly evident during Christmas—a very special time for Mildred. Christmas music would start playing as soon as any hint of snow fell, even if it was September. Her Christmas Eve Open House was a destination event attended by family and friends, and her home (and heart) expanded to accommodate all who wanted to come. That is what she cared about the most—being together.
In her many church callings, including ward & stake Relief Society President, Mildred always served the Lord by showing love to all those around her. She made many beautiful wedding cakes, often without pay, and was also a co-owner of Bridal Image in Bountiful, UT, where she loved helping brides find the perfect dress.
After Ron passed away in 2004, Mildred married longtime family friend Ray Evans in 2007, with whom she served an LDS mission to Nauvoo and Carthage from 2007-2008. She also served as a Conference Center usher and Salt Lake Temple worker. Her last few years were spent as a patient and tireless caregiver as Ray struggled with dementia, just as she had been to Ron during his battle with cancer.
She approached every situation with compassion and understanding, even when a mistake had been made. She could spot the silver lining in every cloud and laugh through her tears. Her empathy and concern for others drowned out her own struggles and heartbreaks. Although it seems our world will be empty without her, if each person could strive to be just a little more like Mildred, what a wonderful world we would live in.
Mildred was preceded in death by husband Ron, son Dennis, son-in-law Guy Evans, and husband Ray. She is survived by children Cheri (Dave) Muir, Lori Evans, Steven Miller, Matt (Lou) Miller, Chris (Rebekah) Miller, Mark (Cristina) Miller, Gordy (Pam) Evans, 22 grandchildren, and 25 great-grandchildren.
The funeral will be held on Tuesday, October 20 at 11 am. Due to the pandemic, in-person attendance is by invitation only. The funeral can be watched live online at https://youtu.be/kgir2gBz2lg and will remain available to watch for a short time thereafter. Burial will be in the Salt Lake City Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Huntsman Cancer Center.
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