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 Mildred Mae “Millie” <I>Cooper</I> Gadzalinski

Mildred Mae “Millie” Cooper Gadzalinski

New Berlin, Waukesha County, Wisconsin, USA
Death 2 Dec 2004 (aged 70)
Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, USA
Burial Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, USA
Plot Section 2, Block 27, Row 1a, Grave 9
Memorial ID 18535910 · View Source
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My mother was the third child (of six) born to Milton and Neoda (Gross) Cooper. She was born at home in New Berlin, Waukesha County, WI

Mom had pretty green eyes. She completed formal schooling to the age of 16 (June 1950). Then she helped take care of the family farm and also worked as a housekeeper for another family.

Millie Cooper, 20, met George Gadzalinski, 23, in May 1954 at the White Dove Cafe in Muskego and they became engaged on Feb. 14, 1955.

After converting from Lutheran to Catholicism, she married George R. Gadzalinski (b. 27 Aug 1930) on Oct. 6, 1956 at St. John Kanty Church in Milwaukee. She gave birth to eight children:

Linda Marie (b. July 1957)
Diane Frances (born prematurely in Apr. 1958; lived one day)
Ronald George (b. April 1959)
Susan Louise (b. May 1960)
Nancy Joann (b. May 1962)
Richard Michael (b. July 1963)
Janet Mary (b. August 1964)
Lorie Jean (b. July 1972)

In Dec. 1958, with a $1000 inheritance from the estate of her grandfather (Edward Gross), my parents put a down payment on a newly built house in a new subdivision at 3261 S. 98th Street, Milwaukee. This modest ranch home, with a big hickory nut tree in the backyard, is where their family was raised. It was a great suburban-like neighborhood to grow up in despite the house being small for the large family. A much needed fourth bedroom was built in the basement (for my brother and I) in 1973.

Postscipt: Sadly, the beautiful, memorable hickory tree was chopped down in 2012 by the current owner.

My mother packed many school lunches and prepared many meals in her lifetime. My recipe favorites were her potato pancakes (from her mother), savory beef stew, baked macaroni and cheese, chili, goulash, and, of course, her delicious blueberry torte pie. Mom also enjoyed baking Christmas cookies every year.

Mostly a full-time wife and mother, several part-time jobs were hers. In the 1960's and 70's my mother was a cashier (Sentry grocery; then Treasure Island Dept. store). She was even a bartender at Burnham Bowl for a short time in the late 70's. In the 80's and 90's she earned extra money as a housekeeper in private homes. Her interests included reading (mostly true-life crime), jigsaw puzzles, birds (especially cardinals) and animals (especially dogs & cats), music (especially country music), record collecting, houseplants and astrology. She also enjoyed live theater (the Fireside in Fort Atkinson) and restaurant dining (her favorite entree was prime rib). She also liked the George Webb restaurant chain for their hamburgers (with fried onions), chicken soup and a good bowl of chili. My mom had a kind and generous heart but she was often outspoken, direct, critical, and sometimes even harsh with others. She was slow to forgive if she felt hurt by someone (this happened with her daughter-in-law Suzette and others).

My parents had their 25th wedding anniversary in Oct. 1981.

Widowed in June 1988, my mother moved into a tri-level condo on Nov. 30, 1995. Because of health problems she developed (emphysema), she quit smoking in 1996 and also, on May 29, 1999, moved into a trailer home park in Oak Creek.

In 2000 (age 66), mom was told she had Type I diabetes (insulin injections required). Then in March 2003, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer (detected too late). She had her left breast removed by surgery (May 2003) but the cancer spread. The chemo treatments went reasonably well at first but by Autumn 2004 her health was deteriorating. I got divorced in Sept. 2004 and, with no where else to go, moved in with my mother and was able to help her; something I am very thankful about. Mom's cancer then spread to her liver and eventually her brain. Her health abruptly got worse around Nov. 1, 2004 and she started to require home nursing care and then around-the-clock care.

Mom loved her family dearly and especially loved Christmas when the whole family gathered together. Knowing her time left with us was growing short, we celebrated Christmas on Thanksgiving Day in 2004. The day after Thanksgiving (Nov. 26th), mom was transported to the caring Milwaukee Hospice Residence. She died there peacefully in the early morning hours of Thursday, Dec. 2nd (around 4:30am) at the age of 70. Everyone was able to see her in her bed one last time that morning before she went to the funeral home. I remember putting the radio on as I was driving home (I didn't go to work) and the first song I heard was "The Christmas Shoes" by NewSong. My emotions came to the surface and I had to stop the car because I broke down crying. Her funeral service and burial were held on Monday, Dec. 6th at St. Adalbert Catholic Cemetery. She was buried to the left of my dad's grave.

My mother was survived by her seven children, Linda Spear, Ronald, Susan (Rod) Bochek, Nancy Floyd, Rick (Diane), Janet (Frank Bekteshi) and Lorie. Also, She was grandma to 11 grandchildren (Ryan & Diane Spear; Nicole, Kevin, Brian & Sarah Gadzalinski; Renee, Jason, Joseph & Robyn Bochek; Carly Floyd). Also survived by her siblings: Herb, Frances Wettengel, Ronald, Glenn (Karen), and Nancy (Curt) Johnstone. She was a loving aunt to many nieces and nephews. Survived also by her best friend Wanda Pulvermacher,

Her first great-grandchild, Jin Holland, was born in July 2005.

Note: youngest daughter, Lorie Gadzalinski, became a mother of four children (three girls and a boy) that were born between 2008 and 2011. Sadly, these are grandchildren mom will never know.

Family Members






  • Created by: Ronald G. Gadzalinski
  • Added: 20 Mar 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 18535910
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Mildred Mae “Millie” Cooper Gadzalinski (9 Apr 1934–2 Dec 2004), Find A Grave Memorial no. 18535910, citing Saint Adalberts Cemetery, Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, USA ; Maintained by Ronald G. Gadzalinski (contributor 46539654) .