Monday, August 29, 2016
MILDRED B. NELSON
THE LIFE OF MILDRED FRISCHMANN KENNEY NELSON
Mildred was born on March 22, 1921 in the town of Greenwood in Taylor County, Wisconsin to Frieda Theresa Peche and Robert Martin Frischmann. A brother, Arnold Gottlieb Frischmann, was born on July 4, 1922 and a sister, Verna Marcella was born on June 22, 1924. All have preceded her in her death on June 28, 2016 in Medford Memorial & Rehab Center where she had resided for 7 years.
Memorial services will take place at 11:00 A.M. Friday, September 16, 2016 at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Medford with visitation to take place from 10:30 A.M. until time of services at 11:00 A.M. on Friday, September 16, 2016 also at the church. Cremainal inurnment will take place at Holy Rosary Catholic Cemetery in Medford.
Her father was a logger and her mother worked as the logging camp cook. The family lived in the logging camps near Rib Lake, Wisconsin until 1930 when they moved to an 80 acre farm in Goodrich finally purchasing it in 1937. She attended elementary school in Rib Lake and Medford High School from 1936 to 1939. While living on the farm just off County Road C she remembers walking through the woods to her uncle Gottlieb Peche’s farm to help slaughter his pigs and take the blood home to make blood sausage. Peche Road did not exist in those days so through the woods was the fastest way to get there. After graduating there wasn’t much work around Medford so she went to work for a family named Trecker in Milwaukee as housekeeper and nanny which gave her the experience for doing the same thing in later years.
Mildred met Wilmer Charles Kenney from Medford at a dancehall in Chelsea, Wisconsin and continued to see him while he worked as a movie usher in Milwaukee. They were married in June 1941 and moved into an upstairs apartment across the street from Holy Rosary Church in Medford. Wilmer found work at the Medford Creamery and on October 2, 1942 a daughter Kathleen Marie was born in the front bedroom of his parent’s farmhouse on Highway 13. Mildred remembered her husband “Bill” playing the piano in the next room and singing the song “I’ll Take You Back Home Again, Kathleen” incessantly. Not long afterwards he was drafted and had to leave for the service. After basic training he was stationed at Fort White near Medford, Oregon and Mildred took their 10 month old on the train to be closer to him. She remembered the soldiers on the “troop train” being so happy to help her take care of the baby even sharing their milk rations for her. Then Bill was sent to Fort Adair near Portland, Oregon and she went back to Medford, Wisconsin to live in their house on Park Ave. that they had purchased and fixed up before he had left. He came home for a short visit before he shipped out to Africa. She wrote letters to him every day and waited for their baby to be born. Sometimes there was a long time between receiving his letters but then they would come in a bunch. Her letter announcing his son was born on September 22, 1944 came back unopened. Bill was killed in Italy on October 9, 1944 and is buried in the Florence American National Cemetery. Mildred named their son Wilmer in his honor.
Mildred lived in Medford raising her two children and working as housekeeper for many different families over the years. Eventually both children went off to school and started their own families. One day she decided to drive herself west on an adventure. She ended up staying 2 years in Idaho near her daughter and family who had settled in Idaho. When they moved to California she returned to Medford and married Archie Nelson on June 25, 1972. They lived with his daughter Dawn in a house on Gibson Street in Medford. After Dawn married William Gumz, Archie and Mildred moved to an apartment on Broadway Avenue. Archie died on January 5, 1994 and once again Mildred was a widow. She kept herself busy driving her friends to church, visiting the many dogs she befriended because she couldn’t have her own pets, growing flowers in pots outside her apartment, picking wild berries, and canning. She also fed the ducks on the millpond and grew especially attached to “Goosey”, a white goose that somehow survived the winter. She traveled to Milwaukee to visit her son and family and out west see her daughter and family, but never made the trip to Italy to see her first husband’s grave like she always intended.
Mildred finally decided to move to the Cedar Lane Apartments and enjoyed all the social activities like bingo, keeping up on the Star News, attending church services, visiting with her friends, reading her dog books, and sitting outside when the weather was nice. She is survived by her children, nine grandchildren, and twelve great-grandchildren. She had 95 candles on her last birthday cake and a twinkle in her eyes when she blew them out.