Marijean Wilder Mills was born in Lakeland, Florida on August 30, 1931, to Guy and Geneva Wilder. She graduated from Lakeland High School Class of 1950. After graduation, she began working at the Lakeland telephone company as a switchboard operator. She was promoted several times throughout her career to supervisor and manager. She retired after 36 years from GTE.
Marijean was a member of the Telephone Pioneers and the GTE Ladies group. She was a member of Southside Baptist Church in Lakeland. She was a lifetime member of the Lakeland Optimist Club and was well known throughout the Florida Optimist Chapters. She crocheted prayer shawls for the Stitches Ministry at the Lakes Church in Lakeland. She loved traveling, reading, gardening, sewing, and crocheting. She was a devoted and loving mother who will remain in our hearts forever.
Marijean was preceded in death by her husband of 63 years, J.F. (Fred) Mills, Jr. She is survived by her 2 daughters, 4 grandchildren and 3 great granddaughters. Daughter Mari Kaye Cunningham of Lakeland, Florida, her sons Blake Cunningham of Jacksonville, Florida; Matthew Cunningham of St. Augustine, Florida, his wife Megan, and their daughters Melody and Madison; Daughter Michele Tidwell of Lakeland, Florida, her children Ryan Tidwell of Lakeland, Florida, his wife Abagail, and their daughter Kylee; Kendal Tidwell Miller of Winter Springs, Florida, and her husband Jeremiah. Marijean is also survived by her only sibling, Yvonne Wilder Tarr of Spokane, Washington.
Graveside services will be held on Friday, June 10th at 10:30 a.m., Oak Hill Burial Park 4620 US Highway 98 S., Lakeland, Florida 33812. Condolences may be sent to the family at Gentry-Morrison Funeral Homes.
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