Around Town by Don Eubank
Millie Filarski’s 91st Birthday Party
We all like to go to birthday parties, they are a lot of fun. This past Sunday, Nov. 15 I and many more were invited to Cuddy Hall for Millie’s party. When I got there with my camera and sound system I was asked to be the MC. I said “I don’t know how to do that! But I’ll try.” If you weren’t there, you missed out on a lot of ice cream, cake and coffee. This party went on for two hours.
Millie was celebrating the age of 91 and we were hoping for 91 people to show up. I think that we made it. I counted 70 and there were a lot of children that I forgot to count. So just maybe we did reach the 91 goal. Anyway, we are looking forward to 92 next year. And don’t forget that in December Merrill “Curly” Baughman will meet up with the age of 94, so let’s plan a big party for him too, OK?
When I was handed the short history of Millie’s life I was just amazed to read about her living in Pasadena. Wow, I lived there too from 1940 to 1945 and she was there from 1929, for a long time. We both knew the streets, schools and I found out that “It’s A Small World After All.”
Read Mildred Virginia Johnson Filarski’s 91st Birthday Bio
Mildred Virginia Johnson was born in Concord, Nebraska on November 27, 1918.
After she graduated from high school in 1934, she began working as a mother’s helper for a family with three children. Washing and ironing clothes, housecleaning, some cooking and caring for the children was definitely a full-time job.
She moved on to another family position that paid better at $3.50 per week with Thursdays and every other Sunday off.
In 1937 she moved to Pasadena with her parents. She once again worked for a family but pay was getting better. This time, $25 per month.
In 1940 she met Len Filarski who was a Merchant Marine and they were married in 1941.
In 1954 they were in Frazier Park where she worked as a door-to-door salesperson representing Real Silk Hosiery Company. She sold men’s and women’s clothing and accessories. In the early ‘60s, she and Len were caretakers for the Girl Scout camp. Somewhere in the timeline she also worked as a Harvey Girl with Santa Fe Railroad as a newsstand attendant.
Millie did a number of other jobs as working for Frazier Park Market where she saved up $100 to open her own newsstand across from the market that Len handled while she still worked at the market.
In 1968 she and Len bought the house that she is still living in today.
In the early ‘70s she made 150 handmade quilts in a period of two years. She never had the time to make one for herself.
In 1992 after Len passed away, she knew too well that the Mountain Communities needed a source for seniors in need of care, so in 1993 she began her leadership with the “Friends of Seniors” in which she is still very active, along with the AARP group.
The lady that we all know affectionately as “Millie” has quite a story, so much more than could possibly have been included in this brief writing.
If you would like to know more, just ask her—she has lots of stories to tell.
Happy Birthday, Millie. We love you.
Read more about Millie’s birthday in Around Town: Millie Filarski’s 91st Birthday Party
This is part of the November 20, 2009 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
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