Mildred Willoughby, 100, of Mitchell died, Friday, June 8, 2018 at Avera Brady Health in Mitchell. Funeral services will be 10:30 AM Wednesday, June 13 at Holy Family Catholic Church in Mitchell. Burial will be in Servicemen’s Memorial Cemetery in Mitchell. Visitation will be from 5-7:00 PM Tuesday at the Bittner Funeral Chapel with a prayer service at 6:30 PM.
Mildred Rose Feldhaus was born December 30th, 1917 on the family farm near Winfred South Dakota to Theodore and Magdalena (Neises) Feldhaus. She was the sixth of eleven children. When she was two they moved to a farm near Howard, South Dakota.
She attended Reeves country school, graduated from Howard High School, and received her teaching certificate at Notre Dame Junior College in Mitchell. She received her B.A. in education from DWU in Mitchell and her Master's from USD Vermillion,
Mildred was united in marriage to Thad Willoughby Aug 3rd, 1942, at the Cathedral Chapel, Los Angeles, California. They celebrated 59 years of marriage. Thad preceded her in death April 1St, 2001.
She met Thad while on summer break from teaching school on July 7th, 1941 when he hired her for a job with Adams & Sheets Drive-In, North Hollywood. They were engaged July 21St and she returned to teach school another year at Reeves Independent School, Miner County.
After marriage they lived in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego, California. After Thad's discharge from the Navy they lived in Milwaukee Wisconsin, then Central City Nebraska before living the remainder of their lives in Mitchell.
Mildred taught school at Reeves for four years before marriage. She returned to teaching 20 years later, after raising five children. She taught country schools Garfield, Rome, and Betts before entering the Mitchell public school system district where she taught in the learning disabilities capacity. Her teaching career spanned 21 years. After retirement at age 70, she continued tutoring several more years. She had a special place in her heart for all children especially those most struggling.
She served as president of Holy Spirit Altar Society and Grand Regent of Court Margaret Mary, Catholic Daughters. She was active in several community activities and organizations.
With her husband they organized the first Right to Life Chapter in Mitchell, and organized 40 other chapters in Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Missouri. They were weekend and vacation parents for South Dakota Children's Aid at the Abbott House.
She enjoyed golfing, crafts, painting in oils and acrylics, writing poetry, and compiling her family biography.
Grateful for sharing her life are her children: Richard (Judy), Kenosha, WI, Robert, Hot Springs, SD, Duane (Nancy), Mitchell, SD, William, Douglasville, GA, and Mary (Rodney)Titze, Mitchell, SD, 13 grandchildren: Richard Michael Willoughby, David Willoughby, Heather Karls, Christopher Willoughby, Adam Willoughby, Heather Heinzelman, Karina Puepke,Matthew Willoughby, Brian Willoughby, Frank Anthony Nunez, Troy Nunez, Nicole Kuzmicic, 3 step-grandchildren: Bryan Titze, Davyd Titze, Carin McManus, 21 great-grandchildren, and 4 great-great-grandchildren.
Also survived by one brother Leo (Leona) and sisters-in-law Joann and Carol Feldhaus, and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by four brothers, five sisters, five brothers-in-law, and two sisters-in-law.