Millie Jean Simonick
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Sept. 27, 1917 - Nov. 6, 2013
Millie Jean Simonick, 96, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, November 6, 2013 in Merced, California. Millie was born on September 27, 1917 in Eveleth, Minnesota to parents, Catherine and Frank Prebeg.
Millie was raised in Eveleth in a family of six sisters and four brothers and graduated from high school, while taking care of her father and three younger siblings, after her mother's early death. She attended junior college until she wed in 1939, to John Simonick of Ely, Minnesota. As a young bride in Ely, she worked at the theater and, also, began to hone her sewing and tailoring skills. With the birth of daughters, Sandee and Ginger, Millie continued her seamstress work for herself and her daughters, throughout their college years. She, then, followed the natural progression into the clothing retail business. She became an expert on the latest trends and fashions and enjoyed selling to the abundance of tourists who flooded the city in the summer months. While working fulltime, Millie became an active volunteer and officer in the Business and Professional Women's Club. As a fundraiser for the Catholic Church Bazaars, she designed and auctioned off complete wardrobes for 'Barbie like dolls'. As president of the Women of the Moose Lodge, she was bestowed, by the national organization, the distinguished honor of Senior Regent for her outstanding contributions.
After learning the game of golf on a vacation trip, Millie and John became active in the sport and worked in the development of the Ely Golf Course and Clubhouse. They continued their love of golf throughout the years. Eager for a new challenge, Millie started to work for the local newspaper, The Ely Echo, and helped with all aspects of the paper resulting in the publication of her own column.
Perhaps, the biggest adventure was the combined effort of both, in building a home on White Iron Lake near Ely. Not only did Millie design the home, she also became a gardener, planting an array of beautiful flowers that blanketed the yard. It became the perfect vacation site for the daughters, son-in-laws and grandchildren to visit and enjoy the summer months.
As the grandchildren grew, the Simonick's would travel to see their families in Illinois and California for holidays and extended visits. Soon, they moved to Merced in 1983. Loving golf, they continued to play at the Merced Golf and Country Club where they made many friends.
Millie also began to volunteer at the Mercy Hospital Gift Shop. After a few years, she became the manager, travelling to San Francisco and Los Angeles on buying trips. When Mercy relocated to the Community Campus, she restructured a new gift shop at the Community Hospital. After years at Community, she was active in developing the gift shop in the new Mercy Medical Center. The gift shops became Millie's passion and focus in life, giving up her golfing to work at the hospitals. She often said the work gave her purpose and contributed to her excellent health and longevity. After spending almost every day, for over 23 years at the shops, she finally stopped recording her volunteer hours. Through the years, the gift shops' sales have contributed to the pledge of $250,000 to build Mercy Medical Center. For her dedication, she was presented an award of service by the Merced County Chamber of Commerce and congratulatory letters from local, state and national political leaders.
With her energy and youthfulness, she was always asked her age. Never one to tell, she would say, "Age is just a number and mine is unlisted."
She is survived by daughters, Sandee Boese and husband, Lee, of Merced, CA, and Ginger Pierron of Philadelphia, PA. Millie has four grandchildren, Lee Robert and wife, Suzanne Boese of Merced, CA, Joy and husband, Kevin Theodora of Palos Verdes Estates, CA, Jean and husband, Bob Steinke of Swarthmore, PA, and John and wife, Tracy Pierron of Martinsville, NJ. She is survived by nine great-grandchildren Alexis Boese, Kevin, Brennen and Breana Theodora, George, Lillian and Robert Steinke and Elsie Mae and Johnny Pierron. Millie has numerous nieces, nephews and extended family relatives throughout the United States.
Millie was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, brothers Joe, John, George and Sanger Prebeg; sisters, Mary Modec, Pat Majeski, Ann Akins, Marge Heino, Kay Doto and Bunny Kuzma.
Visitation will be held at Stratford Evans Merced Funeral Home, 1490 B Street, on Thursday, November 14th from 4:00pm to 7:00pm with a rosary to begin at 6:00pm. The funeral mass will be held at Our Lady of Mercy Church on Friday, November 15, 2013, at 10:00am.
The family would appreciate remembrances made to the Mercy Medical Center Foundation, 2740 M Street, Merced, CA, 95340, in memory of Millie Jean Simonick.
Published in Merced Sun Star from Nov. 9 to Nov. 14, 2013
Arrangements under the direction of:
Stratford Evans Merced Funeral Home
1490 B Street | Merced, CA 95340 | (209) 722-4191