Obituaries » Mildred Gullickson Starr

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Mildred Gullickson Starr

January 16, 1918 - January 25, 2012

Burial Date February 3, 2012

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Starr, Mildred Gullickson, age 94, of Minneapolis, passed away peacefully on Wed., Jan. 25, with family at her side. Millie cherished her roots as an eastern South Dakota farm girl ? an upbringing which instilled in her an irrepressible “can-do” spirit of self reliance and determination. She loved baking, knitting, sewing, gardening, crossword puzzles and any type of do-it-yourself project, of which there were many. She had multiple careers ? as a teacher in a one-room country school, radio communications instructor for the Army Air Corps during WWII, stay at-home wife and mother, retail clerk, department store buyer, and self-employed custom decorator. However, she is best remembered by many for her work in the late ’70s and early ’80s as a driving force behind the development of Nokomis Square, a 200 unit cooperative apartment complex for independent senior living in south Minneapolis. For the past 22 years, Millie was an enthusiastic and engaged member of Central Lutheran Church in downtown Minneapolis. At Central, she held lay leadership roles in global mission education and promotion. She was active in efforts to help Central become more welcoming to all of God’s people, including gay and lesbian persons. Millie continued to attend worship each week with “her boys” until sidelined by a stroke this past September. Millie battled the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease for eight years, but refused to allow herself to be defined by her illness. In July of 2010, in spite of her memory loss and reliance on a walker for balance, Millie fulfilled a dream by making one final trip to her grandmother’s ancestral home on the Sognefjord in western Norway. Millie was preceded in death by her son Al and her husband, Richard, who both died in 2008. Millie is survived by Al’s life partner, Hazel Harrison; daughter, Pamela Starr; son Karl Starr and his life partner, Christopher Haug; eleven other members of the local “Haug clan”; three adult grandchildren and their life partners; and two great grandchildren. The family is grateful for the high quality care Millie received during the last months of her life from the staff at The Waters of Minnehaha assisted living residence and the Allina Hospice program. Millie’s funeral will be held at Central Lutheran Church, 333 South 12th Street, on Fri., Feb. 3 at 11:00 am, with visitation one hour before the service. A luncheon will follow. Memorials are preferred to Lutheran World Relief (