Mildred D. Pierce, 101, died Wednesday, November 16, 2011, at the Western Home, Cedar Falls. She was born in Sanborn to Dale and Alice Frame Dick. She graduated from Sanborn High School in 1927 and worked in the telephone office by day and played for the silent movies at night to obtain money for college. She attended Iowa State Teachers College for two years and taught one year in an O'Brien County school prior to her marriage to Robert Pierce on August 17, 1930.
During World War II, Mrs. Pierce worked at many jobs ranging from clerking at J. C. Penney Company to cleaning dorm rooms for the WAVES stationed at ISTC. In 1952, when her son and daughter were both attending ISTC, she enrolled and completed work on her B. A. She then accepted a teaching position and later was a teaching principal at Humbert Elementary School, Cedar Falls. During her tenure in the Cedar Falls schools, she spent three summers at Stanford University working with the National Science Foundation, developing curriculum for primary teachers.
After completing an M.A. and a Specialist in Education degree, Mrs. Pierce was offered a position on the faculty at UNI, where she taught until her retirement in 1972. In retirement, she and her husband traveled widely in the United States and Canada, camping in their VW bus.
Mrs. Pierce was preceded in death by her husband, Robert, in 1987. She is survived by her son, Robert Pierce and his wife Joan of Houlton, Wisconsin; her daughter, Patricia Briggs and her husband Donald of Hancock, New Hampshire; six grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren.
At a date to be determined, the family will gather in Wisconsin to hold a celebration of Mrs. Pierce's life. Memorial gifts may be made in her memory to the Cedar Falls Public Library or the Friends of Western Home Communities in Cedar Falls. Richardson Funeral Service is assisting the family. Condolences may be left at www.richardsonftmeralservice.com.
The family would like to thank all those friends who visited and assisted Mrs. Pierce while she was living in her home. Without their help, she would have been unable to remain there as long as she did. She continued to enjoy their help and companionship when she moved to the Western Home. Her family would also like to thank the staff at the Western Home and Martin Center for the vigilant and loving care that they offered in her final years.
Copyright Waterloo Courier on-line edition; downloaded November 28, 2011.