Friday, April 24, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Mildred Smith Hays

By
April 11, 2011 |

March 15, 1920 — March 31, 2011

Mildred Hays of Davis passed away on March 31, 2011, shortly after her 91st birthday.

Mildred’s many friends at Covell Gardens in Davis, where she lived for the last three years of her life, will remember her for her optimistic spirit and engaging personality. Prior to moving to Davis to be close to her daughter Patty, Mildred and her husband, W.Lee Hays, focused much of their energy on keeping life active and vibrant for their friends and neighbors at the River’s Edge retirement community in Sacramento for 10 years, which Mildred continued for another five years after her husband passed in 2001.

Mildred and her twin sister Maxine were born in Hartford City, Ind., the youngest of seven children. They lived on the family farm and were affectionately known as the “Smith Twins.” Her family survived during the Depression by selling gravel to the WPA for the many projects in the Midwest. In 1918, she graduated from high school and started nurse’s training in Indianapolis. However, at the age of 19, she contracted tuberculosis from a patient and spent the next two years in a tuberculosis sanitarium recovering. Here she took it upon herself to make the best of her situation and embarked on a life-long journey of reading and self education. Mildred’s journal from this time reflects her thoughts on the classics she read and the lessons they taught her.

Upon recovery, she entered the University of Indiana and received a bachelor of arts degree in public health nursing in 1946. She worked as an industrial health nurse for Interstate Bakeries in Chicago, where she met her future husband, W. Lee Hays. They married in 1950 and moved to Kansas City, Kan., where their three daughters were born.

In January of 1961, Lee was transferred to Birmingham, Ala., where the family lived for the next nine years. This was at the height of the civil rights struggles in Birmingham, and Mildred made sure that her children were aware of the struggles for equal rights and supported this by her actions and words. During this time she was a public health nurse providing in-home support for low-income mothers and their new babies. She also worked at St Vincent’s Hospital as a nurse in charge of infection control. During a time when few women worked outside the home, she provided a positive role model for her three daughters and their future lives.

In 1969, Mildred and Lee moved to Memphis, Tenn., where again Mildred worked as an infection control nurse. Transferred once again, the couple lived in Cincinnati, Ohio, and then moved to Atlanta, Ga., where they spent 12 years in retirement. In Atlanta, Mildred was honored by the Atlanta City Council for her work on the Senior Citizens Commission.

In 1990,Mildred and Lee moved to River’s Edge Retirement Home in Sacramento to be near their daughter Patty in Davis and other California relatives. Here they were a popular couple and very active in the activities of River’s Edge. Mildred and Lee could also be seen sitting in the bleachers and on deck watching their grandchildren’s swimming meets and water polo games in Davis. She also enjoyed college sports and was a great fan of Indiana University, UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz, Stanford and the University of Alabama. Lee died in 2001 after 51 years of marriage to Mildred. Davis became Mildred’s home in 2006, and she spent her time there enjoying water aerobics, playing cards and being with her family.

Mildred is survived by her three daughters and their spouses: Patty and Eric Newman of Davis; Brenda and Gene Burnett of Dothan, Ala.; and Julie Hays and Steve Danielson of New York City. She also has five grandchildren: Christopher, Keenan and Sara Newman and Lea and Laura Burnett. Mildred was very close with her nieces and nephews, especially her twin’s children, Karen Price and Mike Hudson of Sacramento and Bill Hudson of Providence Rhode Island.

Mildred lived through huge transitions in her life: the Depression, WWII, tuberculosis, civil rights, senior issues and many moves all over the country. Throughout this, she lived her life with great optimism, integrity and a great interest in the worked around her. She was a firm believer in equal rights for all and the power of public education. She was a great lady who will be missed by all.

There will be a private family remembrance in Davis. Donations in Mildred’s name may be made to the American Red Cross or the Davis Schools Foundation.

Comments

comments

Special to The Enterprise

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    New design submitted for conference center

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Water and power have a troubling interdependency

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Bob Dunning: Fairness is an afterthought for them

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

    Los Angeles march to commemorate Armenian killings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Hostage deaths a reminder of risk of ‘deadly mistakes’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Walkers head out three times weekly

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4Comments are off for this post

     
    Got bikes? Donate ‘em!

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Need a new best friend?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Beginning tai chi classes start May 5

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    College Night set April 30 at DHS

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    School board hears report on health services

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A5

     
    Tour of co-ops precedes Sacramento conference

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Mamajowali will perform at benefit house concert

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6 | Gallery

     
    Explorit: Celebrate International Astronomy Day

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Learn basics of composting in Woodland

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Raptor Center welcomes visitors at May 2 open house

    By Trina Wood | From Page: A8 | Gallery

    Take a peek at region’s past at Tremont Mite Society’s social

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8 | Gallery

     
    BeerFest expands to include cider

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

    Winkler Dinner raises funds for enology, viticulture activities

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8 | Gallery

     
    Mapping where human action is causing earthquakes

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A9

    Hummingbird health: Appreciating the little things

    By Kat Kerlin | From Page: A12 | Gallery

     
    .

    Forum

    Thanks for supporting the arts

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

     
    Bike Swap another success

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    Drink is a tasteless insult

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: B4

    The fight for gender pay equity

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

     
    It’s a depressing beat

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    .

    Sports

    Lehner talks about the UCD student-athlete experience

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

     
    Reeling Blue Devils stop skid against Sheldon

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Aggie Spring Game environment will up the gridiron fun factor

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Rare DHS track loss still full of highlights

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    DYSA roundup: Lester, Osborne lead Storm over Dixon

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    Lady Demons’ fundraiser a smash hit

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Pro baseball roundup: River Cats lose their fourth straight

    By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B12

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

     
    ‘Ex Machina': The perils of playing God

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    Ceramicist works will be featured at The Artery

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    Chamber expands Korean sister-city opportunities

    By Felicia Alvarez | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Car Care: Tips for buying your first ATV

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B6

    Subaru goes rear-wheel drive with sporty BRZ coupe

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: B7 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Whitney Joy Engler

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Valente Forrest Dolcini

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, April 24, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B5