Obituary of Mildred Bumgarner
Mildred Irene Bumgarner
Faith, Hope and Charity…. These are three words that define Milly.
Milly was born Mildred Irene Rediess on May 8 th , 1925 and passed into her eternal life on July 12, 2017.
She was the first child of Herman and Ethel Rediess who were her foundation in faith. Growing up in the
Baptist church was important to Milly, as was living life in a family who lived their faith. Milly’s family
were true pioneers living on a homestead in eastern Colorado. She was the oldest of six children and
often said that she grew up with her young parents and learned to care for her entire family. From the
homestead, they traveled to the oil fields of Oklahoma moving from town to town and school to school.
Milly was always a great help to her mother in getting the family settled. Later the family resettled in
California for the health of her sister Dorothy.
Life was not always easy but Milly always had hope. Although her plans to go to college in California
were interrupted by WW11, she went on to pursue a career in the shipbuilding industry. She learned
how to interpret the blueprints and to order the parts needed for building. Later Milly moved into
bookkeeping in the Timber industry and moved up to an office manager all in a time when women were
rare in these roles. Hope led her to the opportunity to adopt her son Jim and to begin raising him as a
single Mom. She often said that is was the best day of her life when she brought him home at 8 days old.
Life had more in store for Milly though, and her greatest blessing was when she met Ernie. She knew
right away that he was the one she would spend the rest of her life with and that would help raise, and
eventually adopt, 5-year-old Jim. In February of 1957,three months after meeting Ernie, they were
married and moved to Klamath where Ernie was a logger in the redwoods. For the next 35 years they
both worked very hard to build a life, home and family. Their commitment to each other never wavered.
They were a true love story spanning 60 years. For all her family, Milly was a living example of marriage,
motherhood, and a life of commitment and hope. She often told us that if you want something, there is
always a way.
Milly bestowed Charity upon all of us… her family. She loved to cook for us, sew for us, care for us, open
her home to us, and mostly to share herself with us in the most unselfish of ways. Milly could light up
your day with her dazzling smile and a kind word. She had many friends, many of whom she came to
know in this very church over the last 25 years. Every day of Milly’s life she shared with Ernie was a very
special gift for her and she shared that life gift with him with a full and loving heart.
Milly is preceded in death by her parents, Herman and Ethel and sisters Dorothy, Rosine and Helen. She
is survived by her husband Ernest, son Jim Bumgarner, sister Jeanie Fuller, and brother Herman (Sharon)
Rediess and sister in -law, Jeanne Bumgarner Her Grandchildren include Debbie Howland (Leroy),
Scott,and Melissa Bumgarner (Whitney) and great grandchildren Emily, Allyson, Sebastian and Abigail,
and also by her niece, and daughter of her heart, Nancy Williams (John) and many more nieces and
nephews, cousins and friends.
Milly gave all of us a wonderful example of Faith, Hope, Charity and especially Love. She will live in our
hearts and souls forever.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday, July 18th at the Appalachian Funeral Home in Sylva from 6-8PM.
Services and interment will be held on Wednesday, July 19th at Love’s Chapel United Methodist Church
in Sylva from 4-6PM.
Memorials may be offered to Love’s Chapel UMC and sent to 198 Bannack Spring Rd, Whittier, NC
28789 ℅ Janice Short, or to American Legion Post 104 Auxiliary, P.O. Box 104 Sylva, NC 28779