RAPID RIVER - Mildred E. (Artley) Lund-Thornton, 98, formerly of Rapid River, passed away June 27, 2012, at Independence Village in Oxford, Mich. She had been a resident there since October 2011 in order to be near her daughter.
Mildred was born Jan. 7, 1914. She was the daughter of Frank and Anna (Gagnon) Artley. Mildred was preceded in death by her parents and six siblings; her husband, J. Oliver Lund; and her second husband, Ron Thornton.
She was the loving mother of Patricia (the late Chet) Pietrzak, and John (Barbara) Lund; the beloved grandmother of Susan (Bill) Rohrer, Barbara (David) Gunn, Deborah Anderson and John III (Cathy) Lund; and dear grandmother of six great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
Mildred E. (Artley) Lund-Thornton
Mildred grew up in Gladstone and attended All Saints Grade School and Gladstone High School. She married J. Oliver Lund on June 7, 1932, and they were married for 51 years. Everyone knew them as Millie and Ollie. They moved to Escanaba in 1934.
Millie was a businesswoman most of her life. In 1940, she and Ollie bought their first business, the Cash Way Meat Market at the corner of Ludington and 17th Street. Millie worked in the store and would also deliver smoked fish to smaller stores in the Delta County area. That business flourished until 1947 when the Red Owl Store acquired the market. In 1949, Millie and Ollie bought the Penny Wilford Grocery Store in Rapid River and opened it as a Red Owl Agency Store. They then moved their family to Rapid River. One of Millie's fondest memories was at noon time in the store when the kids from the old Rapid River School would come with their pennies and nickels to buy candy. She knew all the kids and they knew her. Millie and Ollie sold the store in 1957 and moved to Whitefish Hill.
Shortly before selling the store they purchased the property on the Whitefish Hill and began building their dream home. They moved into their home in the spring of 1958. After that they spent their winters in Fort Meyers, Fla. In 1971, they became business owners once again, purchasing the Tice Mobile Home Court in Fort Myers. Millie managed the business until 1985. She remained in Florida and began spending her summers in Rapid River once again. It was in 1989 that she met and married Ron Thornton in Fort Myers. The two of them divided their time between Rapid River and Fort Myers. Ron passed away in 1997. Shortly after that Millie moved back to her home on the hill in Rapid River.
During her lifetime, Millie enjoyed many activities including square dancing, painting, knitting and crocheting, gardening, traveling and watching beautiful sunsets from the Whitefish Hill. She loved the outdoors and animals, especially her dog, Sushi. However, her greatest joy was spending time with her family.
A memorial Mass will be held on July 12, 2012, at 6 p.m. at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Rapid River. Inurnment will be at the Garden of Rest Memorial Park in Escanaba.