Mildred Birkmose Hardin, age 90, longtime resident of Hudson, Wis., died on Dec. 19, 2009, at Hudson Hospital.
Mildred was born on Jan. 30, 1919, in Hudson's Swede Hollow to Rudolf and Lillian (Johnson) Birkmose. Her family has a long history in Hudson with Rudolf having been a Hudson city councilman for many years. Her grand-uncle, Christian Birkmose, was the first City of Hudson Parks Commissioner and donated the land that is now Birkmose Park to the City of Hudson. She attended Hudson Elementary School and Hudson High School, where she graduated with honors in the class of 1937. Mildred then attended UW-River Falls and earned a degree in mathematics. Upon graduation she became a teacher, but after the start of WWII, she joined the Army Air Corps as a civilian employee in support of the war effort, designing and testing advanced radio communication equipment at Wright Patterson Field in Dayton, Ohio. While working there she met Harvey H. Hardin Jr., an air serviceman who had been stationed in England during the war.
Mildred and Harvey were joined in marriage on Dec. 19, 1946, and took residence near Harvey's hometown of Keithsburg, Ill. The newly formed Hardin family would be blessed with five children: Maren, Richard, David, Joelyn (Jody), and Janelle (Tunie). Sadly, Harvey passed away in 1957. Shortly afterwards, Mildred and her children moved to Hudson to be near her family. There, as a single parent, she raised her five children while also becoming an involved member of her community, especially as a Girl Scout Leader.
Mildred maintained an active lifestyle with her friends, family and community. She enjoyed being a part of the Hudson Presbyterian Church where she participated in women's circles and for a time taught Sunday school. She spent over 25 years as a Hudson Girl Scout leader and trainer and was one of the founding members of the Hudson chapter of the American Association of University Women (AAUW.)
She loved the outdoors and, with her friends and family, was an avid camper. She enjoyed sewing, knitting and crocheting as creative activities, was a great all-around cook, and also was an avid stamp collector. Up until the end she was never too far from a good read, particularly enjoying poetry and mysteries, or the crossword puzzle in the daily newspaper.
Mildred is survived by her children, Maren (James) Gebhard of River Falls, Richard (Cheryl) Hardin of Athens, Ga., David (Carol) Hardin of Hudson, Joelyn (Terry) Van Domelen of Appleton, Wis., and Janelle (Daniel) Lemke of Cokato, Minn. She is also survived by her sister, Frances Birkmose of Hudson; two nieces and a nephew; 10 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her husband, Harvey Hardin Jr.; parents, Rudolf and Lillian (Johnson) Birkmose; brother, Chester; and an infant niece.
Services for Mildred will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, Dec. 21, at the First Presbyterian Church of Hudson on Vine Street. Pastor Stephanie Anthony will officiate. Burial will follow at the Willow River Cemetery. Visitation will take place at the church for one hour before the service. Memorials given in lieu of flowers will be donated to a charity in Mildred's honor.
Services are in the care of the O'Connell Family Funeral Home and the Countryside Crematory in Hudson.