Obituary of Joan Elaine Milewski
I arrived June 6, 1930, at Tacoma General Hospital, Tacoma, Washington. We lived in Puyallup Gardens (like a suburb) of Puyallup, Washington. We also lived over a gas station, regular apartment, in Olympia, WA, right next to a busy railroad track. I got to ride a short way in the engine. We also lived in Ontario, Oregon, Payette and Boise, Idaho, before settling in Caldwell, Idaho – I entered fifth grade. We stayed the longest in Caldwell, ID. I graduated high school in 1948, May 28.
My growing up years were quite lonely as an only child. However, when I was with my girlfriends, we played in an empty lot next door to where I lived. We played football, softball and tag. My Father bought my Mother a huge brown and white horse called, Topper. She looked so tiny sitting on this horse. He was gentle, but she was terrified, so Topper became my horse. He was stabled about three miles out of town with Dad’s 10 other horses, all thoroughbred racehorses. Every day (summer months) I rode my bicycle out to ride Topper. School – weekends only I rode. I rode in all the parades. Dad always put this fancy expensive (for sale) saddle on Topper. After the parade we rode into and around the arena of the rodeo grounds.
After I graduated grade school I worked in my Dad’s Firestone store, as a clerk. Worked every day, but Sundays, in the summertime. Worked only Saturdays, during school times. Went to University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho 1948-1949. Came home and worked for Mountain States Telephone and Telegraph Co. Those days you got a live telephone operator. She said, “Number, please.” There weren’t any direct dialing telephones. I was a telephone operator, in Caldwell, for three years. 6 months in Spokane, WA, as an information operator. Back in 1946, my Dad and Mother took their race horses to many race tracks in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Mexico. My job was to walk the horses, after they ran a race. This took a better part of one hour, each horse. Also mucked the stalls. The horses stood on my booted feet, kicked me in the chest, scraped my legs. I don’t recall ever getting paid for these jobs.
Back at home prior to the racehorses. I had my weekly jobs, where I made 50c a week. To this day I still hate cleaning bathrooms. Movies were 25c, half my allowance. Every Saturday, if I’d been good all week, I got to go to the movies. Tom Mix, cowboy series, Lone Ranger, Roy Rogers, etc. My other chores were drying dishes Mother washed every evening, while we listened to the radio. Depending on the evening: we listened to “The Green Hornet”, “Inner Sanctum”, “Fibber McGee and Molly”, etc. Jack Benny, etc.
During World War II certain foods, tires, batteries, etc. were rationed. People brought their ration stamps, along with cash to buy products from Dad’s store. Mother and I had the job of pasting each stamp in the proper space about the size of this sheet of paper [8 ½ x 11] that had squares on it:
Nothing but squares on each paper. Dad turned in the filled sheets for $$. Probably thirty stamps per page. I got a penny a page. Life was tough for my parents when they grew up. Tougher for me and my friends. Children today are spoiled rotten compared to our times. Many of today’s adults have no respect for their own kind.
I attended Washington Grade School, Caldwell, Idaho 5TH grade thru 7TH grade 8TH grade thru 12TH grade Caldwell High School only yr to have 8th grade in the Caldwell High School. Graduated CHS May 28, 1948. Attended U. of Idaho, in Moscow, ID, 1948-1949. Attended PBS, trained for switchboard to work at May Co. Attended several adult education classes: Real Estate, Bookkeeping, advanced Typing Classes.
Worked: Firestone Store as salesclerk. Could sell auto batteries, tires, bicycles, luggage, household & sporting goods, etc. Caldwell, Idaho. Also, tele opr. when Caldwell had no direct dialing. Worked days, nights, long distance, overseas, info, rate & route, local & EMER calls. Info. opr. at Pacific T & T, Spokane, WA. Also, a waitress in Chicago. Babysitter, craft teacher to young children. Helped with race horses, mucked stalls, walked horses to “cool down” after their races. Bermite Detonator’s (flares) & Flare Co. made flares for Armed Forces – Cyn. Ctry, CA.
While living in Calif. City, CA, did surprise table favors for Seniors at Center, attended Women’s Club of Community Church monthly luncheons. Donated to P. O. employees, Fire and Police depts., Library Staff, Dr. Sri’s off (staff). Sweet treats at Holiday time.
Loved decorating her greeting cards. The cards went to members of the Washington State Pen Palers Club, Old Timer’s Club (based in Colorado), 1930 Pen Pal Club, also members of Caldwell Senior Center, many friends and relatives received Joan’s cards over the years: Birthday and most holidays.
She celebrated fifty years of marriage to John May 4, 2003, with son, Tony and friends in Salt Lake City, UT.
TO THANK YOU
From The Family Of
JOAN ELAINE (RUTLEDGE) MILEWSKI
Perhaps You Sent A Lovely Card,
Or Sat Quietly In A Chair;
Perhaps You Sent A Floral Piece,
If So, We Saw It There;
Perhaps You Spoke The Kindest Words,
That Any Friend Could Say; Perhaps You
Were Not There At All, Just Thought Of
Us That Day; Whatever You Did To
Console Our Hearts, Whatever Your Part,
We Thank You So Much
From Our Hearts.
A viewing for Joan Elaine (Rutledge) Milewski will be held from 10:00 – 10:30 A.M. on Friday, September 29, 2023 followed by a funeral service at 11:00 A.M. at Flahiff Funeral Chapels, Inc., 624 Cleveland Blvd., Caldwell, ID. Interment will be at Canyon Hill Cemetery, Caldwell, ID.
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