Mildred Francis McWil-liams passed away peacefully in Oak Harbor on Tuesday, May 17, 2020. Throughout her life, she was fondly known as Milly.
She was born June 22, 1926 to parents Glenn and Besse Stone in Huntington Park, Calif. Her childhood was spent in the rural hills above La Habra, Calif. She had two brothers, George and Robert Stone.
In 1945, she married her high school sweetheart, Leigh McWilliams. He was the love of Milly’s life for 72 years of marriage. They settled in Whittier, Calif. where two sons and a daughter joined their family.
On a 1967 visit to Whidbey Island, Wash., Milly and Leigh fell in love with a small farm on the shore of Penn Cove with an expansive view of the Sound. Shortly after, they moved their family from California to that farm. It was their home for the next 50 years.
Milly worked at Whidbey News-Times in Oak Harbor, where she ran their office products store. When the News-Time’s sold, she and Leigh opened Whidbey Stationers in Oak Harbor, where they became well known in the community.
In 1990, they retired to an active life of boating in the San Juans, snow birding in Parker, Ariz. and swimming in the warm waters of Hawaii. At home on Whidbey Island, Milly enjoyed flower gardening, spending time with her beloved grandchildren, creating photo memory books of she and Leigh’s travels and relishing the magnificent view from her front porch.
As an original member of the Irish Wildlife Society, Milly was one of the founders of Oak Harbor’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration and parade. She and Leigh enjoyed planning and participating in the festivities. Into their early 90s, they still rode in the parade every year.
Milly was a long time member of the Oak Harbor Methodist Church, active in the church’s support of Help House and other organizations serving the community.
Preceding Milly in death were her husband, Leigh, and son, Don.
She is survived by daughter, Jan McWilliams; son, Larry McWilliams; daughter, Kim McWill-iams; granddaughters Shannon Bly and Laura McWilliams; grandson, Peter McWilliams; and great granddaughter, Lily Rose Bly.
There will be a private family service on Wednesday, May 27, 2020.