In Memoriam – Betty Lucille Milne – May 1, 1921 – January 9, 2017

Betty Milne, Circa 1950

Betty Milne, Circa 1950

Betty Lucille Milne, 95, was well and truly beloved by friends and family.

Her son, Douglas Milne, said he received an email from a great friend shortly after learning of Betty’s death, who said she was the kind of mother anyone would love to have.

“That sums it up. Indeed, she was,” said Milne. “All of us are better for her having been our mother/grandmother/great-grandmother. We have a million stories of how she was the poster child for putting the interest of everyone else ahead of hers and living by the golden rule.”

Some of those stories were shared by Betty’s grandsons, Douglas J., Joey and William Milne.

“For so many of us, my grandmother was here to make a life. She added the perfect combination of style, grace, discipline and humor,” said her grandson Doug. “She gave solid ground to well-rounded living. She transcended time so much that her great grandchildren called her Grandma, but maintained closer relationships with her than do many young kids with grandparents. I recently reminded her that, as a baby, my oldest daughter first learned to roll from her back to her stomach on her living room floor. She reminded me that I had, too.”

For William, his grandmother, who lived in Avondale in the same house since 1946, was an inspiration in how to treat others.

“Every time we were together, she would always end our visits with ‘I love you and I like you.’ To me and so many others, her genuine and personable nature made everyone feel welcome and special,” he said. “When around her, you always felt at home and welcome. Never afraid to correct us grandchildren when we were out of line, she made me a better person by putting others first and keeping me focused on what’s truly important in life – family and friends.” 

Joey Milne recalled when he was young he asked his grandmother why she looked so tired. She said she didn’t sleep well because Joey’s grandfather was snoring so much. “It was more important to her that he got a good night’s sleep than to wake him so she could sleep, too,” said Joey. He also recounted that she never attended his Lee High football games because she was so nervous – not about him getting hurt, but about the team losing.

Raised in the Northwest, Betty’s roots were those of hard, honest work.

“Her parents were Norwegian immigrants and they lived in a small country town north of Seattle,” said her son Douglas. “My mother’s father worked in the mill at night, and she was the last of eight children, raised in very modest circumstances. All of the children lived to ripe old ages.”

Betty and her husband, Doug, were married in 1941, then after Pearl Harbor Doug was called into the Army. After his discharge, they moved to Jacksonville in 1946 with a three-year-old son and infant daughter.

Eleven years later, Milne became a paper boy for the Times-Union and recalled his mother’s involvement in his part-time job. “Many was the cold and rainy morning she would get up and drive me around at 4 a.m. to deliver papers,” he recalled. “There was never an event or any matter that affected her children or grandchildren that she was not involved in one way or the other through participation, support or advice.”

During his last visit with his grandmother, Doug said he found himself scouring the hundreds of pictures which surrounded her on the walls and shelves. Some were black and white, many were color, covering the span of her life and everyone in it, he said.

“I remember thinking that, soon, everyone in those pictures would be without her loving grace on earth, but took great comfort in the knowledge that she would be taking each of us on with her when she goes,” he said. “And, that goes both ways. Though she isn’t here with us today, she will forever remain with us as we grow ourselves and decide what’s meaningful and important in life before taking the resulting next steps.”

By Kate A. Hallock
Resident Community News

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