Mildred “Millie” Gustafson, 70, of Williston, N.D., passed away Wednesday, July 18, 2018, at her son’s residence surrounded by her family in Williston, N.D.
Mildred (Millie) Gustafson was born February 24, 1948, in Watford City, N.D., to Joseph and Pauline Freed. Mille was the seventh of eight children. She attended elementary and high school in Watford City, N.D. During her high school days and after graduation, she worked as a waitress at Mabel’s Café, where she met her future husband, Robert Gustafson.
Robert and Millie were married on August 26, 1967, at the courthouse in Williston, N.D. To this union were born two children, Richard Todd Gustafson in 1968, and Angela Kay Gustafson in 1971. During the first years of marriage the family resided in Robert’s home town of Ray, N.D., where Millie worked at the local bank and Robert owned his own business repairing grain elevators.
Throughout their time living in Ray, Millie was loved by all and fondly referred to as the “town mother” by Richard and Angie’s many friends and schoolmates. She cooked for everyone and even gave many of the high school boys perms in her home. Millie avidly attended her children’s sporting and school events, never missing a chance to show her children how proud she was of them.
In 1990, Robert and Millie moved to Southern California, to be close to Richard while he was stationed there in the Marine Corps. Millie found employment as an apartment manager, working alongside her husband who was the maintenance man.
In 1992, after his enlistment was up, Richard and his family moved back to Williston, N.D., followed closely by Robert and Millie, in 1993. It was at this time that Robert and Richard started R&R Elevator Repair Service, with Millie managing the bookkeeping.
Millie spent several years out of the workforce, but in the last years of her life found employment at Mercy Medical Center in the laundry and linen department. Millie loved working there and found many new friendships with co-workers, hospital staff, and patients.
Millie loved to dance and sing, especially to the music of Elvis and Garth Brooks. On any given day, Millie could be found in her kitchen cooking and dancing. Millie was an extraordinary cook, serving feasts that can never be replicated.
In 2017, Millie was able to fulfill a life-long dream seeing Garth Brooks live in concert. Millie brought with her a sign that read “In Remission, Garth. You Filled My Bucket List,” and Garth actually saw it and acknowledged her to the crowd during the concert.
Millie lived for her family and the proudest days of her life were the births of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She followed their sporting and academic careers just as she had her own children.
Millie Gustafson was a remarkable, extraordinary, one of a kind woman, who was very deeply loved by so many and will be greatly missed.
Millie is survived by her son, Richard (Laurie) Gustafson of Williston; 6 grandchildren, Alex Haas, Jordan (Deryl) Ditch, Randi Gustafson, Bailey Gustafson, Brittany Adams and Tyler Adams; 6 great-grandchildren; two step-grandchildren, Sarah Walz and Jocelyn Walz; she is also survived by two sisters, Winnifred Schulze and Mary Ann Stapeman.
Millie was preceded in death by her husband, Robert; daughter, Angela Adams; step-son, Mitch Gustafson; her parents, Joseph and Pauline Freed and siblings, Kenny, Freddie, Richie, Frankie and Kathy.
Cremation will take place. Her memorial mass was held at 10 a.m., Monday, July 23, 2018 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in the Gymnasium. Fr. Russell Kovash will celebrate the mass. Inurnment will be at St. Michael’s Catholic Cemetery in Ray, N.D. Vigil services were held at 5 p.m., Sunday, July 22, 2018, at the Fulkerson Stevenson Funeral Home in Williston.