Enveloped by the love of her family, Millie passed away peacefully on the evening of March 5, 2018 at her home in Rohnert Park, CA.
Daughter, sister, cousin, wife, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, aunt and friend to ALL, Mildred “Millie” Weir (Gere) Davis was born on June 2, 1926 in Santa Rosa, CA to Raymond and Janie Gere. The second of four children, Millie grew up with older sister Doris and younger brothers Raymond Jr. and Bobby.
The Gere family moved often between 1926-1942, living in the California towns of Hessel, Sand Canyon, Highland Park, San Gabriel and Paso Robles. Happiest in smaller groups and communities, Millie reveled in being a “big fish” in the small pond of her elementary and junior high schools.
Following in the footsteps of sister Doris, Millie began her college career at the University of California Berkeley, graduating in 1949 with a degree in Recreation. Strong, athletic and coordinated, Millie was good at many sports, especially basketball. She was an excellent dancer, the jitterbug being a favorite of hers.
While Activities Director at a Berkeley school, Millie met the love of her life, William “Bill” Davis. Married in Berkeley in 1949, the couple headed East to New York City in 1954. Bill landed an apprenticeship with celebrated muralist Dean Cornwall and Millie began using her 100 WPM typing skills as a secretary.
Returning to California, son Blake arrived in Walnut Creek, CA in 1959. He was joined by son Grant in 1962 and daughter Diane in 1963 (both born in San Francisco, CA). In 1963, the Davis family moved from San Francisco, CA to their brand new home in Mill Valley, CA (the first of two homes designed by Bill). With enormous heart and enthusiasm, Millie invested herself fully in her three growing children.
Tired of the fog, in 1971 the family moved to Larkspur, CA. There, in addition to every other “Mom” duty, Millie worked tirelessly, serving as PTA president, driving Blake and Grant to countless baseball practices and games and, when necessary, rising at dawn to edit and type the kid’s school assignments.
Above all else, Millie loved people and they loved her right back. A world-class listener, family and friends were instinctively drawn to her warmth, intelligence, empathy and good humor. Millie listened deeply and well, with full acceptance and without judgement.
While living in Novato, Millie finished her career working as the Executive Secretary to the CEO of the James Irvine Foundation. Continuing their “journey North” in 1991, (San Francisco, Mill Valley, Larkspur, San Rafael and Novato), Bill and Millie made their new and final home in Rohnert Park, CA.
Once retired and settled in Sonoma County, Millie’s insatiable interest in people led her to join an autobiographical writing class. There she wrote about all manner of interesting chapters in her own life and listened to the life stories of her classmates. She loved books and read constantly, ever curious about the world. Millie was a long-standing member of a book club with some of her oldest and dearest friends.
In 1999, Bill and Millie’s first grandchild, Grace, was born to Grant and Marci. Blake and Wendy welcomed Aaron in 2001 and Heather in 2003. Mael, the second grandson and fourth grandchild was born to Diane and Loic in 2004.
Our deepest gratitude, awe and appreciation goes out to the marriage of Bill and Millie. After 69 years, theirs was a deep, complete and lifelong bond. Always a great partner to Millie, in the last year and a half of her life, Bill redoubled his efforts and was constantly at her side, caring for her every need.
A memorial service will be held for Millie on June 2, 2018 (time and location TBD). In lieu of flowers, please make any memorial contributions to: Hospice By The Bay, 17 E. Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Larkspur, CA 94939.