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Marilyn Keach Milota


1930 - 2019
Marilyn Keach Milota

March 8, 1930 - May 20, 2019

"I thought I would have the last word & write my own obit. My father Clifford Keach was raised in N Dakota. He joined the Navy in 1903. My mother Vivian was born in Michigan. She weighed 2 lbs when she was born & fit in her father's hand. If she wouldn't have survived, I wouldn't be here! Both died in their 50s. They married May 4, 1929 & I arrived 10 mos later, not long after the Great Depression. My birth didn't depress them much as my father was serving in the US Navy as a diver & torpedo man and at the time had a regular income. At 3 mos of age, my mother & I sailed on the USS Lurline to Honolulu, Hawaii where my father was stationed & saw me for the 1st time. He couldn't have been too disappointed as a year later my sister Jean was born. We later lived in Roseburg, OR, Paulsbo, WA & finally here in Eureka, arriving in May 1945. As I always planned on going to college after graduating from Eureka High in June 1947, I started at Humboldt State College, but I only went until Dec 1947 when I quit & started working at Arcata Branch of Bank of America as a bookkeeper & teller.
Ray W. Milota & I were married May 7, 1950. He had been an Infantryman & hand to hand combat in the Army. When I met him, he worked for PG&E in construction putting in rural power lines & later becoming a trouble man. Our marriage produced 3 fine children. Dana 1953, Douglas 1955 & David 1960. They in turn gave us 7 Grandchildren & 13 Great-grandchildren.
My delight & enjoyment in life included my family, traveling to 88 countries & Antarctica, sometimes with a group & sometimes on my own, such as the Milford Track in New Zealand age 63, Trekking the Himalayas in Nepal (hiked 16,000 ft on Anapurna) age 68 & West Africa age 79. Also, tracing my ancestors who came to Jamestown, VA in 1619 from England.
When not traveling, many of my hours were spent copying county records, indexing them to be put into books & reading through old Humboldt Co newspapers abstracting obits & articles. By doing this, I thought I could leave something behind for future generations. I decided to retire from Bank of America in 1985 in order to pursue the things I enjoyed in life.
As for fear of dying, this never bothered me in the least as I thought it would be an interesting experience. I'll finally find out the answer to the question, "Is there a God?" While alive, I found it hard to believe this could be true when I saw how innocent people suffered so much & so many babies who were suppose to be sent down from Heaven went to the wrong people. Religion never made much sense to me but I admire those who devoutly believe in the hereafter.
During my life, I felt thankful for my family who treated me very well, especially in my later years when I developed Parkinson's in 2007. I never was much of a joiner but did belong to the Humboldt Genealogical Society, the Redwood Genealogical Society, Friends of the Library,
Sequoia Park Zoo & the Parkinson's group.
I especially appreciated the friendships over the years of Herb & Agnes Wall, Jack & Ellie Doolittle, Jeanette MacMillen & many others.
So please don't grieve for me now that I am gone. Just think of me now & then. After all, think what chaos there would be if we all lived forever?"
Children, Dana (Danny) Shreeve Kalispell MT, Doug (Sylvia) Milota Roanoke VA, David Milota Los Osos, CA Grandchildren, Sarah (Reggie) Gauthier Kalispell MT, Suzy (Chris) Stetson Middleton, ID, Stacie (Jason) Baugh Cookeville TN, Jeff (Rachel) Milota Suffolk, VA, Stephen Milota Roanoke, VA, Jennifer (Nick) Boehm Henrico, VA, Edward (Claudia) Milota Portland OR. Great-Grandchildren Hailey & Grant Gauthier Kalispell, MT, Tevyn & Alexa Stetson Middleton, ID, Jordon Stetson San Antonio, Texas (USAF), Mackenzie & Callie Baugh Cookeville, TN, Naomi, Malachi & Asher Milota Suffolk, VA, Lilly Milota & Emerson Boehm Henrico VA, Gabriel Milota Portland, OR. Her husband Ray passed away in 2005.
Mom was an incredible, amazing woman! So patient, humble, smart , funny & giving! She got her first SS card at 11, worked at a newspaper office for $1 a week. As a child in Hawaii, she went swimming at Waikiki, watched the ocean liners come into port & friends would take them all over the island in their touring car. Played Monopoly & Old Maid. Paulsbo, went swimming in Puget Sound, went to teen club, listened to juke box & danced. Military would send up balloons attached to the ground, hit low flying Japanese planes. During World War II they told them they might have to evacuate, they were given a #. They had to keep their lights off at night so the Japanese wouldn't attack. Age 14, she took the bus to the ferry in Seattle, then took the train to Sumner to pick berries. She stayed with her Grandma for 2 weeks. In high school she lived at Elk River on a farm, had chickens, cows, goats & a garden, sold eggs. She then moved to the city in Arcata. Worked at a restaurant for 75¢ an hour.
She loved to read, flower garden, news programs, crossword puzzles, entertaining friends, pinochle, vacations with family to Iowa, Washington & Disneyland, Hawaii & the Caribbean with friends. She was a die hard Republican & loved Fox news. She loved her mail each day & music. One of the highlights of her life was an invitation to go on the George HW Bush aircraft carrier (Nuclear) that her Grandson Jeff was stationed on with the US Navy in Norfolk, Virginia, 50 miles out to sea.
She received many awards & recognition for all of her work on the county records, compiling 30 books dating back to 1854. She has a room named after her at the Humboldt Historical Society.
In 2014 she could no longer live alone due to progression of her Parkinson's so she went to live at Timber Ridge assisted living. In 2015 her daughter Dana took her to live in Kalispell Montana where she passed away 3 ½ years later. Mom was always doing for others. She donated her body to research to further help others & got her final trip to Portland OR!
A memorial service to honor her life will be August 12th at 2 pm at Grace Baptist Church at Buhne & C in Eureka.
Donations may be made to: Humboldt Historical Society 703 8th St Eureka CA 95501 or the Humboldt Library Foundation PO Box 440 Eureka CA 95502-0440.
Published in Eureka Times-Standard on July 31, 2019
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