Letter to Mom:
To Our Dear Mom,
Though we are numb with grief at losing you, we are so very grateful that you are no longer suffering and that you are at peace. In a few weeks we would have been celebrating your 90th birthday. Instead, today we are celebrating your life on earth and your life in eternity! You always loved life, and you were a fighter, able to live in your own house and be active until the end. On October 14, 2019, you finally surrendered to what you only recently defined as “old age”. This is your story.
On November 20, 1929, named Mildred Arlene Netland, you were born to Gladys and William Taylor, in Fort Dodge, Iowa. You lived through some tough times in our country, but you flourished. You always told us that you were a tough kid who loved to play ball and tease your sisters, Norma (Mickelson) and Helen (Miklo).
As a young teen you enjoyed roller skating, music and all the things young girls do. Apparently you had your eye on a handsome “older boy’ who pretty much ignored you. He went off to serve in WWII, but after he returned a few years later, things changed. You ended up marrying Robert Netland and making a life in Fort Dodge. You were a great couple, raising four children, and working very hard to build a wonderful life together. You loved being a mom, wife, and homemaker. Eventually you and dad started your own business, Netland’s Auto and Truck Salvage. Together you shaped it into a successful enterprise. You did the book-keeping, parts delivery, marketing, many tasks most women might not tackle.
As if you weren’t busy enough, you got involved in all sorts of community service, church activities, clubs and organizations. Over the years you were very active in the leadership of groups like Women’s Club, PEO, Questers, Does of the Elks Club. Moose, Boat Club, and Red Hats. You loved modeling for local style shows and working to raise money for scholarships and good causes.
We all enjoyed and admired your artistic and creative side! You were a talented cook, seamstress, painter, and crafter, often making small favors or gifts, costumes, quilts, baby blankets, and jewelry. You took classes and became a wonderful painter. You loved to entertain kids with face painting and crafts. You and Dad took ballroom dancing lessons and loved to go out to a dance, dressed in finery!
You taught us to enjoy nature and the outdoors. We camped, hunted, and fished together as a family. We enjoyed boating and swimming, relaxing by the pool. We went to many ball games and participated in activities such as bike riding and back yard games.
You never seemed to run out of energy and enthusiasm. After you retired from running the business, you volunteered as a teacher’s assistant at Butler School for at least 13 years. You loved helping the children with their skill development and giving them lots of hugs and encouragement. The kids gave you love back, many inviting you to their graduations years later.
After Dad passed away you continued to focus on sharing life with your family. You went on many outings to share in the fun on the houseboat, at Cubs games, and birthday parties. You loved to follow your grandkids and great grandkids as they built their own lives. How you enjoyed the many dance recitals, ballgames, concerts, showers and school activities that you attended! You just loved to go and stay the weekend and hang out with your kids.
Throughout your life, you found ways to profess and grow your faith in God. You belonged to St. Olaf’s Lutheran Church. You participated in services by helping with communion or serving at funerals. You knew you had eternal life in Heaven.
We will miss your sweet smile and your never ending concern for us!
The Netland Kids!
Milly is survived by her three daughters and a son: Renee Rockow (Dan) , Robin Bircher, Mark (Lesa) Netland, and Rachell Swanson-Holm. Grandchildren – Amie Rockow-Nelson (Jeff); Brandon Rockow; Aaron (Heather) Bircher; Ryan Bircher; Megan Netland; Dain (Katie) Netland; Jason Netland; Ursula (Evan) Diehl; Evan (Josie Visser) Swanson; Hannah Swanson. Great Grandchildren – Riley Nelson, Gabriel Nelson, Miles Bircher, Sunny Netland, Collin Netland, Lydia Netland, and Theo Diehl. Milly is preceded in death by her loving husband, Robert Netland; son-in-law, Bradley Swanson; a great grandson, Keaton Netland; sister, Norma Mickelson and parents, Gladys and William Taylor.
Funeral services will be held on Monday, October 21, at 10:30 a.m., St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Fort Dodge. A luncheon at St. Olaf will follow the burial service at North Lawn Cemetery, both immediate to the funeral service. The family will greet friends and relatives from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m., on Sunday, October 20 at Gunderson Funeral Home in Fort Dodge.
The Netland Family would like to extend our gratitude to caregivers, relatives, and friends for their attentive and loving care. Memorials may be given to the family in Milly’s name for a memorial to be decided at a later date.