Mildred Lucille Davis, 98, of Sioux City, Iowa departed this earth on June 13, 2022. Home Going Services will be 1:00 p.m., Tuesday, June 21, 2022 at the Mayflower Congregational Church in Sioux City. Visitation will be 11:00 a.m. until the time of service. Internment will be at Logan Park Cemetery. Online condolences may be sent to www.meyerbroschapels.com.
She was the tenth child of Eugene and Emma Lee (Mattie) Ollison. She spent her early years in and around the Rosston, Waterloo, and Willisville Arkansas. She attended the Nevada County Training School System from elementary to her high school graduation in 1942. Mildred was briefly married to her high school Beau. From that union, her daughter Gwendolyn was born. She later, met, married, and moved to Sioux City, with the love of her life, Cecil Davis. To that union, her daughter Jacqueline was born.
Mildred accepted Christ at an early age and she became a member of Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church. After moving to Sioux City she retained long fellowships/memberships at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church and Mayflower Congregational UCC. While at Mt. Zion she served as the advisor to the young people’s choir. At Mayflower she was a mentor, greeter, usher, life-time deaconess, etc. She loved Mayflower and cherished the friendships and relationships she developed there.
Mildred was a real support to her husband as they navigated through post-war Sioux City In the late forties, early fifties. She held various jobs from cooking at the day nursery (child care center), to being a worker at the Goodwill, a poultry plant worker, a cleaning lady for Younkers’ Department, etc. Mildred had a passion for sewing. She took tailoring classes, and advanced sewing classes. She crafted dresses, skirts, blouses, and even men’s suits. Her daughters, didn’t value “her gift’ because they never had a “store bought” garment until they were in their teens and could buy their own. In the early days of Western Iowa Tech, Mildred taught basic sewing. She also ran her own home-based sewing business as well as at the end of her career, she did tailoring for Davenport Cleaners. When most people were retiring, Mildred took a job at the Salvation Army Thrift Store. She worked there until it closed.
Mildred was an original board member of the Sioux City Soup Kitchen. She has a passion for the less fortunate which reminded her of the hardships she encountered growing up in rural Arkansas during the depression. She was never hungry (her widowed mother grew their own food) but Mildred only had one dress when she was a senior in high school. She washed and ironed that dress every night so it was fresh for the next day. Anyone who knew Mildred knew she loved to dress well, especially in vibrant colors.
For over 40 years, Mildred served as an active election precinct poll worker and then precinct supervisor. In 2018 the Governor of Iowa presented her with a citation commending her work with the Board of Elections for both longevity and excellence.
Mildred was president of the Red Hat Society Chapter at Mayflower. She was a strict taskmaster, strictly adhering to the letter of the law. Although she was fun-loving, she wouldn’t hesitate to administer a fine, she thought was appropriate. I’m sure her fellow “Red Hats” can concur.
In the seventies, after her sister Gladia passed away, her brother, John, challenged her with putting together a reunion. He said he was tired of only seeing his family at funerals when one person was missing. Mildred took up that mantel and the Ollison/Ellis Family Reunions began. The first four reunions were held in Arkansas, until we realized that we were a mobile society and reunions could be held in any part of the continental USA where a host family member lived. Mildred personally addressed and mailed invitations, coordinated the activities, collected funds due, paid bills, ordered tee shirts, etc. for over twenty-five years when she passed the mantle to her daughter, niece, and grand-nephew. She chose them because she said they represented three spokes in the family wheel, but really, she selected them so she could still have her say. She was instrumental in reunions held in Houston, Denver, Cincinnati, Los Angeles, Portland, New York, Ashdown, Camden, Hot Springs, and of course, Sioux City. She was not computer literate, all her records were manual and they were impeccable. She and her daughter Gwen were the only family members to attend all of the reunions.
Mildred was a positive influence to many young people, especially to her children’s friends. Even after they moved away, they would make it their business to come and see her when they visited. She had a warming smile that invited you to trust her, and before you knew it, you were “spilling the beans”. Be assured, Mildred was a trusted confidant.
Preceding her in death, were her parents Eugene and Emma Lee Ollison; her siblings; Belton Ollison, Vira Tidwell, Verla Beasley, Coy Ollison, Roland Curtiss Ollison, John Ollison, Gladia Davis, Christine Elliott, and Andrew Ollison; her husband Cecil Davis; her daughter Jacqueline Millet; and her grandson Todd R. Warren. Left to mourn is her daughter, Gwendolyn Warren; two grandsons, William Shawn and Marcus; great-grandchildren Todd William Warren (Rosemary), Jacqueline Davis, Orlando Davis, Jamal Davis, Malachi Warren, and Joshua Ortiz (Savina); Great-great grandchildren Caiden Davis, Isabella Ortiz, and Kalliopi Ortiz; and a host of nieces, nephews, and extended family.