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Mildred T. Wiles

1909 - 2017 Obituary Condolences Gallery
A Life Not Merely Lengthy,
But Memorably Well-Lived
Mildred T. Wiles, a Corona, CA resident since 1948, concluded her long, active, and productive life on August 28, at the distinctive age of l08 1/2.. She died peacefully, of natural causes, at her home of more than 50 years, which she shared with her son John, her companion and primary care manager since 1997.
Mildred, better known as "Mickey," was born Mildred Edith Trapp on February 13, 1909, in Salt Lake City, to Benjamin and Lena Crome Trapp. When she was four years old, her family moved to California, making their new home in Hemet, CA. She grew up there, graduating from Hemet High School in 1926. After attending UCLA for three years, she received her California teaching credential (eventually earning her B.E. degree, as well). She first taught in Ojai, followed by a short-term assignment at a migratory workers camp in Moorpark. Her next school job was in Perris, followed by positions in Lake Elsinore and Rosemead.
Although happy teaching, Mickey felt compelled to participate in the World War II victory effort, so she joined the American Red Cross and became a hospital recreation worker. She served for eighteen months in France and then Germany, where she met and married U.S. Army officer Raldon R. Wiles. After the war, the couple settled in Corona, where Raldon earned international respect as a research chemist for Sunkist's Lemon Products Division. Once their two sons had reached school age, Mickey resumed her teaching career, helping the school district inaugurate a home teaching program designed for students with health challenges severe enough to prevent them from attending school for prolonged periods of time. She also did extensive private tutoring in her own home.
Mickey delivered weekly "Meals on Wheels" for 25 years, and volunteered for fifteen years in the Medical Records Department of the Corona Regional Medical Center. She served as a Cub Scout den mother, president of the Jefferson Elementary School P.T.A., and a youth advisor and Sunday School teacher for the First Congregational Church, where she and Raldon took part in two couples clubs. She belonged to the Woman's Improvement Club of Corona for over 50 years, and was also a "golden" member of the P.E.O. Sisterhood, serving as a co-founder and two-time president of Corona's Chapter SI. She was proud that both groups award annual scholarships in her name. In 2009, she was chosen Honorary Grand Marshal of Corona's Cinco de Mayo parade.
Mickey was an avid sports fan (especially of the Dodgers and UCLA teams), and played both singles and doubles tennis until she was in her mid-80s. She also enjoyed bowling and golf. Her hobbies included collecting Hummel figurines and owls, as well as concocting special culinary treats, gardening, craftwork, reading, word puzzles, card games, Scrabble, and maintaining lively, regular correspondence with family and friends across the country and overseas. Her extensive travels covered most of the United States, as well as trips to Eastern Asia, England, France, Italy, Germany, and Scandinavia.
Mickey's greatest passion was for her family, to whom she was inspirationally devoted. Besides John, she is survived by son James (and his wife, Melissa Bemstrom), of Louisville, KY; sister Pauline (Mrs. Rollin) Sturgeon, of Rancho Palos Verdes; sister-in-law Billie (Mrs. Floyd) Lumley, of Malvern, AR; many nephews, nieces, grandnephews, and grandnieces; plus a wealth of admiring long-time friends. She was predeceased by her husband, her parents, her stepmother, Ethel Bruce Trapp, and six brothers and sisters.
Mickey loved life, generously and indelibly enhanced the lives of countless others, and will be dearly missed by her loving family and friends. Hers was a rich journey measured not simply in years, but also in quality, value, and exemplary fulfillment.
In lieu of floral tributes, memorial contributions can be donated to P.E.O. Chapter SI's Mickey Wiles Scholarships Fund (checks may be made out to P.E.O. Foundation/Mickey Wiles Scholarships Fund, and sent to John Wiles, 1321 S. Normandy Terrace, Corona, CA 92882).
Published in Press-Enterprise from Sept. 1 to Sept. 3, 2017
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