Mildred Pretzer

October 9, 2018

Mildred ‘Millie’ Pretzer died age 104 on September 21, 2018, days after a major stroke . Second child of Avis and Harry Hopkins, Millie graduated high school with honors, and earned a Bachelors Degree, cum laude from The University of Pittsburgh. She was a teacher with the Pittsburgh city high schools. During WWII, Millie Hopkins enlisted in the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC), and re-enlisted in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC). She advanced through Officer Training Corps in Des Moines and promoted to Company Commander of WAC Units in the Third Air Force (South Dakota, Florida). She separated from the Army with the rank of Lieutenant.

After WWII, Miss Hopkins was employed in Dallas, TX by Geophysical Services Inc. , and in Jackson, MS by Delta Exploration Company. At Delta she met her future husband, Dwayne Pretzer of Gage County, NE. They married in December, 1949; their honeymoon was a wintertime trek from Jackson to Edmonton, Alberta for Dwayne’s work. Millie Pretzer was daughter-in-law to Mary Cornelius Pretzer and William Pretzer of Clatonia and Lincoln, Nebraska. Millie and Dwayne were parents of two sons (James and Donald) and two daughters (Linda Gail and Janice Lee).

The Pretzers moved as oil exploration shifted, back to Mississippi, then Cuba, Louisiana, and Texas. With retirement in 1985 they settled in Charlottesville, VA. Millie and Dwayne became expert researchers in genealogy, co-authoring thirteen books on family history and lore (Nebraska family names: Cornelius, Pretzer). They attended United Methodist churches, continued as avid gardeners and hikers, and became highly competitive in advanced dominos, bocce and Wii bowling. Only at the start of this year, when Millie was 104, they moved to Assisted Living.

Millie is survived by Dwayne Pretzer of Virginia, Drs. James Pretzer & Barbara Fleming of Ohio, Donald Pretzer & Gardner Phillips Jr. of Virginia, Xavid & Sarah Pretzer (grandson and wife) of Massachusetts, Susanna Pretzer (granddaughter) of Maryland, and two sisters, three brothers, two sisters-in-law of Pennsylvania. Her body was donated to science, so there will be no funeral. Memorials will be held in Virginia and Pennsylvania.

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