Edward “Okie” Millard, 88, died peacefully Wednesday (Nov. 1, 2017) at his home at Grand Living in Hernando, Fla. He was a much loved father, husband, and grandfather.

Those left to mourn his passing are his children, Kathi (Dennis, deceased) Harms, Karol (James) Kusmaul, Janet (Holt) Olson and Jeffrey (Dawn) Millard; grandchildren, Jennifer (Nick) Klose, Jon (Tracie) Harms, Laurie and John Kusmaul, Rachel and Chad Olson, and Beth (Josh) LaCombe; and great-grandchildren, Jacob and Mackenzie Harms, Addison Klose, Harper and Adeline LaCombe, and Decklyn Olson.

Edward was preceded in death by his wife Anne; sister, Betty; son-in-law, Dennis Harms; and grandson, Drew Olson.

Born on Nov. 10, 1928, in Waterloo, Iowa, to Esther Anna Kauffman and Charles Orr Millard, Edward, who was orphaned at age 7, grew up at Victory Hall Orphanage in Normal. At the age of 18, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he proudly served as an M.P. in the Korean Conflict, earning a Korean Service Medal with three Bronze Stars. After his military service, he went on to work at State Farm Insurance Co. and Firestone Tire and Rubber in Bloomington.

On Nov. 26, 1952, Edward married Martha “Anne” Jefferson, with whom he shared 60 wonderful years of marriage until her passing on Dec. 7, 2012. Anne was an excellent cook, and Ed thoroughly enjoyed her culinary expertise! The early years of their marriage were spent raising four children in Media, Pa. After relocating back to Bloomington, he and Anne finished their careers and enjoyed travel and camping.

Edward was known for his warmth, kindness and generosity. He was an excellent card player and had a fantastic memory, which made him a wonderful and colorful storyteller. Ed’s tools and duct tape were precious to him. He was a maker, building decks, furniture, a playhouse and an octagonal bench around a tree, which served as home base for his children's games. He loved little ones and always found some small gift to give whenever any children visited.

Following a private family birthday party for Edward on Nov. 4, a celebration of his life will be in Bloomington at a later date. Those wishing to attend should contact the family for more information. Cremation care is being provided by Charles Davis Funeral Home, Inverness, Fla. His urn will be laid to rest alongside his wife at Evergreen Cemetery in El Paso.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to any hospice organization. The family is indebted to the staff of Hospice of Citrus/Nature Coast and the employees of Grand Living for their exceptional care and compassion during his final days.

Night City Editor

Night City Editor for The Pantagraph.

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