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Life Story / Obituary
With a life that spanned times of war and times of peace, times of plenty and times of want, Mildred Granger was such a blessing to everyone she met. She was gracious and kind with a heart that beat to serve within the community she loved. With her warm, genuine, and outgoing personality, Mildred was the sort of woman whom everyone wanted to know, and there was no one who met her and left unchanged. Deeply devoted to her family, she treasured her roles as a wife and mother, and she was filled with unspeakable joy to witness her family tree blossom to include the grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren who were her greatest source of pride and joy. Deeply loved, Mildred will be forever missed.
Life during the 1920s was certainly exciting as innovation was taking us to new places. Cars were more affordable since they were mass produced on assembly lines, and Amelia Earhart and Charles Lindbergh took the world of flight to new heights. Motion pictures came to life in both color and sound, Broadway was at its all time peak, and baseball legends Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb made baseball America’s favorite pastime. Amidst this exciting time was a time of great celebration in the lives of Clifford and Irene (Turner) Harvey as they announced the birth of the healthy baby girl they named Mildred Lucille on July 30, 1922, in South Boardman, Michigan. She was the middle of three children in her family as she was joined by her brother, Joe, and her sister, Melma. They moved around a bit as they were farmers, which meant that they needed to move where they could find work. The Great Depression of the 1930s was an especially trying time for the agricultural industry. Mildred attended schools locally, but after the eighth grade she went to work for a doctor in town, and she also learned to keep house for her family.
As a young woman, Mildred found a job at a pharmacy in Battle Creek. This proved to be quite fateful as it was soon after taking the job there that she became smitten with the slightly older pharmacist who ran the store. His name was Gerald Priest, and they soon fell deeply in love. With a desire to establish a life together, Mildred and Gerald were married. Together they settled in Schoolcraft where they opened their own pharmacy, Priest Drug Store. Together they owned and operated the pharmacy for over 25 years. In addition, Mildred and Gerald welcomed five children including Linda, twin girls, Barbara and Marilyn, and sons, Larry and Chet into their hearts and home. In 1969, Mildred was deeply saddened with Gerald’s death. She continued running the store for a few years.
New and exciting changes were in store for Mildred when she found love again while out bowling with some friends. It was there that she met Walter Granger, and they became fast friends. They soon fell in love and were later married in September of 1972. The couple moved to Houghton Lake where Mildred opened a new fabric and craft store called Mildred’s Fabrics. She continued operating the store until she retired in the mid-nineties. This business was a natural fit for Mildred as she loved doing all kinds of crafts and was an amazing seamstress. She loved spending money on fun purchases including in inventory for the store. she had a keen eye for what would sell well in the store, and she knew that with each purchase, there was always the possibility of making a profit.
Throughout her life, Mildred was very community minded, and she had a spirit of generosity that was immeasurable as she willingly gave of her time and talents. Her selfless generosity was so greatly appreciated in a small town like Schoolcraft, especially because she was also a business owner. Mildred kept busy with the Ladies Library, the Rebeccas, and the Order of the Eastern Star. Of course she also loved spoiling her family with her amazing shopping deals.
All who knew Mildred Granger would agree that she was truly extraordinary. Although she could be a bit salty, she had a huge heart and was selfless when it came to her family, her friends, and those within her community. Mildred was a devoted wife and mother who deeply loved her family as they were her priceless treasure. She will be forever missed while her friends and loved ones treasure her memory.
Mildred L. (Priest) Granger, of Portage, died at Medilodge of Portage on December 17, 2015. Mildred’s family includes her children, Linda Rodebaugh, Barbara (James) Munson, Larry (Frankie) Priest and Chester “Chet” Priest; 9 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; 1 great-great-grandchild; and her sister, Melma Rubel as well as many nephews and nieces. Mildred was preceded in death by her first husband, Gerald Priest; second husband, Walter Granger; daughter, Marilyn Hanson; and her brother, Joe Harvey. Visit with Mildred’s family on Monday December 21, 2015 from 12:00 noon - 1:00 p.m. at Life Story Funeral Homes, Portage; 5975 Lovers Lane where a funeral service will immediately follow at 1:00 p.m. Visit Mildred’s memory page at www.lifestorynet.com were you can sign her guest book. Memorial donations may be to The Alzheimer’s Association or Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan.