Mildred Cantrell "Millie" Goodman

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Mildred "Millie" Cantrell Goodman

Aug. 26,1927

June 1, 2014

Mildred Goodman, affectionately known as Millie to her family and friends, passed away peacefully on June 1st at her daughter's ( Dr. Cathy Jo Cantrell ) home in Reno.

Millie was the third of four daughters born to Lutie and Estella Boyes in Tennant, a small logging town in northern California. Estella, an elementary school teacher, insisted their children receive a sound education. After completing 8th grade, Millie and her older sisters lived in an apartment rented by their parents in Yreka, the closest town that had a high school. The girls learned to cook and be responsible young women at an early age. Father Lutie picked them up on Friday so they could spend weekends with the family in Tennant. The family later moved to Weed, Ca where Millie attended her last two years of high school graduating in 1945 as valedictorian.

Millie attended San Jose State College and received her BA from the Dept of Education in 1950. Like her mother, she became an elementary school teacher landing her first teaching job in Modesto. There she met and married Joseph Cantrell. Their daughter, Cathy Jo, was born in 1952. They later divorced and Millie and Cathy moved to Reno in 1958. Millie spent most of her career teaching 6th grade at Veteran's Memorial elementary school. Her last few years as an educator were spent at Trainer Middle School until she retired. Fellow teachers many of whom became lifelong friends remember her as an excellent and inspirational teacher.

She met her second husband, Sam Goodman, an industrial arts teacher, on a blind date arranged by mutual friends. Sam and Millie were married in June of 1976, enjoying 36 years together until Sam's death in April 2012.

Mildred was a wonderful, devoted and supportive mother. As a single mom she taught summer school for many years to help put her daughter through college and medical school. Family was of upmost importance to her. She felt very fortunate that all of her sisters and their husbands eventually ended up living in Reno. Every birthday, anniversary and holiday was an occasion to get together. Millie loved to cook and throw dinner parties. Friends and family thought she was a great hostess. She was fun loving and had a great sense of humor. She liked to play pranks especially on her sisters when they were younger.

After retirement Millie was never idle. She used her creative talents painting, sewing and developing new hobbies and crafts. She and Sam, who took up blacksmithing after he retired, made many lovely works of art that they generously gave to family and friends. She also was an avid gardener and belonged to a Bonsai club for many years.

Mildred especially loved teaching American and World history. She and Sam did extensive travelling to the east coast visiting many historic sites. Sam had no interest in travelling outside the United States because of all the countries he saw during his 20 year career in the Navy. When daughter Cathy returned to Reno in 1999 and started private practice, they took yearly vacations to Europe, China and Japan until Millie's health no longer allowed such long journeys.

Millie kept her positive outlook on life to the very end despite battling breast cancer and Parkinson's disease. She is already missed by her family and many friends.

Millie was preceded in death by her first husband Joe Cantrell, second husband Sam Goodman, youngest sister Margaret Jones and brothers-in law Stu Jones, Stuart Penrose and James Durner.

Sharing in her daughter's loss are sisters Connie Penrose and June Durner both of Reno, stepsons Mike Goodman (Mary) of San Jose and Tom Goodman (Judy) of Chico. She is also survived by nephews Gary Durner and Ron Penrose both of Reno, Dr. Jim Penrose of Bakersfield: nieces Marilyn Hall of Reno, Jan Hall of Chicago, and Karen Culver of Roatan.

Millie requested there be no formal services. A celebration of life for both Millie and Sam Goodman is planned in late August.

In lieu of flowers, donations to breast cancer or Parkinson's research would be appreciated.

Memorial Gift- or APDA. American Parkinson Disease Association, Nevada and Northern California Chapter.

Please visit the online Book of Memories at to share a memory of Millie.


Funeral Home
Walton's Sierra Chapel, Reno
875 West 2nd Street
Reno, NV 89505
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Published in Reno Gazette-Journal on June 29, 2014
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