November 19, 1930 - June 3, 2019
Mildred (“Millie”) Arehart, nee Gray, 88, of Plano, Texas died in hospice on Monday, June 3, 2019, shortly after suffering a severe injury to her spine during a fall.
Millie was born November 19, 1930 in Oil City, Pennsylvania to Allen and Ina Gray. She had two older sisters, Eleanor and Ruth, and two older brothers, Allen and Jack. Family legend has it that a need for adventure was stamped upon Millie’s personality while she was still in the womb, when her family drove to the distant Yellowstone National Park the summer before she was born. Millie studied speech and library science in college, receiving her bachelor’s degree from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1952. It was at Ohio Wesleyan that she met Robert Arehart, whom she married on December 29, 1951 in Delaware, Ohio.
Besides being an avid reader all her life, Millie enjoyed playing cards and games, sewing, and cooking, as well as outdoor activities including camping, boating, and waterskiing. As Robert and Millie’s family grew, she shared her exuberant love of life with her three children, her siblings, and her nieces and nephews. Already a wonderful cook and baker (ah, that fresh bread!), in midlife she took up gourmet cooking to accompany the wine she and her husband had learned to make. They became members of the International Wine and Food Society, and at one point served as head of the Columbus, Ohio chapter.
After Millie and Robert were divorced, when she was 65, Millie took up competitively racing miniature Indy cars at the Malibu Grand Prix racetrack in Columbus for several years. She began traveling to all parts of the world, from photo safaris in Africa to cruises in Alaska, touring Iceland, Brazil, Russia, China, New Zealand, and more, including an expedition to see tigers in India. Nothing seemed too daunting, even rafting down the Grand Canyon. Once, in Costa Rica with a group of fellow travelers, when the guide asked if anyone was interested in going on a zip line, Millie – then 78 years old – was the first to raise her hand. Her daring and her playful sense of humor made her a joy to travel with and an inspiration to the rest of us.
At times during her adult life Millie worked as a librarian, and she enjoyed volunteer work, helping out at places such as the Ohio Historical Society, the historic Ohio Village, and Inniswood Metro Gardens, near Columbus. After Millie moved from Columbus and settled at The Plaza at Chase Oaks in Plano, Texas, to be near her son Kevin, she volunteered to teach water aerobics and, with friends, helped host game days for the residents.
Millie is survived by her three children, Greg (and Julia) Arehart, Kevin (and Lois) Arehart, Sheri (and Tyler) Mosely, her grandson, Emerson Arehart, and her nieces and nephews. Her parents and four siblings have already passed away.
At her request there will be no services.
Millie will be missed by her family and friends, but she did leave behind countless memories, of food shared and stories told, and of her happy, often mischievous, little smile.
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