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Millicent Evelyn "Milli" Mayer Edwards

January 20, 1925 April 23, 2018
Millicent Evelyn "Milli" Mayer Edwards
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Obituary for Millicent Evelyn "Milli" Mayer Edwards

Millicent Evelyn "Milli" Mayer Edwards, 93, of Bridgewater, VA, passed away peacefully at her home on Monday, April 23, 2018.She was born in Seattle, Washington on January 20, 1925, and was the middle daughter of the late George and Mildred (Miller) Mayer.

Milli’s life is a challenge to encapsulate—her 93 years spanned so many historic and personal events and she was a complex, multifaceted person. Growing up through the Great Depression, World War II, the Berlin airlift shaped her; among other things, she was conservation-minded, passionately patriotic, and had already developed a taste for world travel by her twenties.

Living near the ocean in a temperate rainforest environment, she loved daily light rains and longed for time at the beach. Clamming was a treasured childhood memory. Musically gifted and an accomplished thespian as a young adult, she sang in operettas and performed in both comedies and dramatic plays, often alongside her sister and lifelong friend, Georgie. She was a bona fide “Rosie the Riveter” in Seattle, to support the war effort.

Milli was one of the earliest commercial airline stewardesses on United Airlines and her love of airplanes and flying remained her entire life, always excited to see another contrail in the sky. One of the older college students when she attended the University of Washington to obtain a BS in Psychology, she met her husband-to-be, Bill Edwards, in Russian class.

Bill and Milli were united in marriage on December 22, 1950 and this marriage kicked off a demanding and exciting life for her—the life of a Foreign Service officer’s wife. They moved to Washington, DC soon after their wedding and from there lived in many overseas posts--Bangkok, Honolulu, Jakarta; Seoul, and Okinawa (while Bill was assigned to Saigon). She juggled her two, more than full-time jobs with finesse—that of mother of three rambunctious children and of diplomat’s wife—even while living through a myriad of tropical illnesses, threats of political coups and the everyday challenges of living as a foreigner in a developing country with limited resources. To say she was resourceful, flexible, resilient and persevering is an understatement.

An accomplished cook and impeccable seamstress, possessing an expansive vocabulary and an ear for grammatical precision, she provided her children with wholesome nourishment, beautiful clothing and an appreciation of their native tongue. A gracious hostess and tireless worker, she supported her husband’s role in each embassy. She often compared her home to Grand Central, frequently bustling with activity as it was used for so much entertaining of the diplomatic corps.

Life overseas was also thrilling because she traveled the world, visited places like Ankor Wat, Bali, Prambanan, Borobudur, Krakatoa volcano, Australia’s eastern coast, Hong Kong, Fiji, Japan and more.

When Bill retired from the Foreign Service, once again Milli supported him as he launched a real estate career in the metropolitan DC area. She served as the company accountant, managing all the books for their various investment properties. During this time, she and Bill took many cross-country trips and fishing excursions together and she fell in love with this marvelous, beautiful country known as the United States.

Clarence, “Bill” Edwards preceded her in death on December 29, 2008. Then, unexpectedly and mysteriously, her son, Kevin T. Edwards died around August 31, 2009. Needless to say, she was heartbroken.

She courageously moved from McLean, Virginia to Bridgewater in April of 2016, where she lived for her last two years.

She is survived by two daughters, Stephanie L. Detwiler and husband Kenneth “Rodney”, of Lakeridge, VA and Melanie B. Gray and husband Bart Balint, of Weyers Cave, VA ; two sisters, Mary Agnes Heath, of Linwood, WA; Georgiana “Georgie” Lentsch, of Marysville, WA. She is also survived by five grandchildren, Bryce “Cody”, Danielle, Casey, Lindsey, and Niklas, three great grandchildren, Grace, Bryce, and Samantha and numerous nieces and nephews as well as her son-in-law, Jeremy Small.

Of all the roles Milli filled in her lifetime, she would probably want to be seen as a devoted daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. Family was everything to her. She was a very loving mother who cared wholeheartedly for her children, always there for them. She will be deeply missed.

A Celebration of Life service will be held on Saturday, May 19th, 2018 at 2 PM at the at Johnson’s Funeral Home in Bridgewater, VA.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Salvation Army or The Carpenter’s Shelter in Alexandria, VA, or a charity of your choice.

Previous Events

memorial service




2:00 PM 5/19/2018 2:00:00 PM - 3:00 PM 5/19/2018 3:00:00 PM
Johnson Funeral Service in Bridgewater

208 South Main Street
Bridgewater, VA 22812

Rev. Larry Jent officiating

Johnson Funeral Service in Bridgewater
208 South Main Street Bridgewater 22812 VA

Memorial Contribution

Carpenter's Shelter

930 N Henry Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

Salvation Army

185 Ashby Avenue
Harrisonburg, VA 22801

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