Millard Franklin Biddle

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DOVER - Millard Franklin Biddle, whose many roles in his long and productive life included Kent County property assessor, Dover City Councilman, grocery store owner and milkman, died in Dover on March 31, 2014 at the age of 98. Biddle was born on Sept. 26, 1915 in Wilmington, Del. His first jobs were with Diamond State and Frear dairies in Dover, delivering milk via horse and buggy. Near the end of World War II, he volunteered for the Merchant Marine and traveled the world, including stops in Calcutta, India and Shanghai, and China. Upon his return, he sold individual insurance policies for Prudential and then purchased Biddle's Market, a downtown grocery store which he managed for six years with his wife, Hattye Mae (Betts) Biddle. After the closing of the market, Biddle became a salesman for Delaware Candy and Tobacco Company, traveling to restaurants, retail stores and shops throughout Delaware. He served on the Dover City Council from 1953 to 1957, on the leadership board of People's Church, and, before his retirement, as county property assessor for 20 years for Kent County. Biddle also played a key role at The Little School in Dover, which Hattye Mae co-founded with Penny Layton. With his wife as co-owner and director, Millard helped out as the school's handyman and maintenance provider. In 1975 the Little School changed ownership, but has continued to provide pre-school and kindergarten education to generations of children. Biddle served as a tour guide at Dover's Johnson Museum for several years, and he and Hattye Mae were a familiar presence at the annual Christmas party at the Woodburn Governor's Mansion, where they dressed as Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus. He was a ceaseless promoter of Delaware tourism, over the years offering thousands of people lapel pins of the Delaware seal and flag. Survivors include son, Lawrence Joseph Biddle; and son-in-law, David Warner of St. Petersburg, Florida; daughter, Nancy Jo Lambertson and son-in-law Albert Lambertson of Dover; daughter-in-law, Connie Biddle; nine grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren with another on the way. Biddle's oldest son, Grover Allen Biddle, died in 2006. Hattye Mae Biddle died in April, 2012. Hattye Mae and Millard Biddle were married for 79 years. A celebration of Millard Biddle's life will be held at Torbert Funeral Chapel, 1145 Lebanon Rd., Dover on May 17, 2014 at 2 p.m. Mr. and Mrs. Biddle's ashes will be interred together at a later date at a Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, send donations to the Hattye Mae Biddle Fund benefiting Delaware's children, c/o Delaware Community Foundation, 100 West Tenth St., Wilmington, DE 19899. Letters of condolences may be sent and guest book signed at www.torbertfuneral.com.

Funeral Home
Torbert Funeral Chapels - Lebanon Road
1145 Lebanon Road
Dover, DE 19904
(302) 734-3341
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Published in NewsZapDE on Apr. 4, 2014
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