Mildred Catherine Danielson Skeen was born in Huntley MT, September 6, 1912. Her parents Ernest and Hilma Danielson, came from Sweden when they were young. They attended a Swedish Covenant Church where they met and accepted the Lord.
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After marrying, her parents moved to a homestead in North Dakota, where Mildred’s older sister, Evelyn, was born. Soon after, they moved to Huntley, where Mildred was born. When Mildred was 6 months old, the family moved to live on a dry land farm, ten miles North of Custer Montana, Where her brother Art and sister Ethel were both born.
About four or five families attended church in the school house. From her earliest memories, Mildred remembers attending Sunday school and Church each Sunday. She won a Bible for attending every Sunday for a year. Looking back, she is thankful she was born and raised in a Christian family.
The community was a very good fundamental Church but Mildred did not make a decision for Christ, until the age sixteen. At that time, she and her family attended a tent revival meeting in Billings, where she, her brother Art and sister Evelyn all went forward to accept the Lord.
Mildred’s younger sister, Ethel, was in the hospital with polio at the time. Mildred responded because this was the first time she had ever heard an invitation given to accept the Lord. In the small school church, she had heard only that she was a sinner but didn’t know what to do about it since an invitation was never given.
Shortly after this, while Ethel was still recovering from Polio, Mildred’s mother had surgery and it was discovered that she had terminal cancer. She passed away in 1932 when Mildred was twenty.
During the summer after the revival, Mildred’s father decided to start family devotions, where he read the Bible and family members prayed.
Once in a while, the community church in Custer would have a visiting minister. On one of those occasions, the Nazarene preacher from Billings came to speak and a young man name Russell Skeen accompanied him to lead the singing. This was the first time Mildred saw her future husband. She was impressed with this nice, clean – cut young man because she had never known any other young Christian men. She didn’t have any occasion to see him again until she went out with him on a double date arranged by Russell’s friend John while she attended and graduated from Townsend Beauty School, in Billings Montana.
Mildred and Russell dated for about six months and then were married in October, 1933, in Russell’s grandmother’s house, with a few friends and relatives in attendance.
Russell worked as a book keeper for an Insurance company while Mildred stayed home as a house wife and mother to their daughter, Roselyn, born June 28, 1934. When Roselyn was fifteen months old, because of the depression, Mildred opened Broadwater Beauty Shop at 515 Broadwater Avenue.
In 1941, Russell now worked for the railroad and the family built their own home at 426 Broadwater Ave. where Mildred had her beauty shop and lived until November 2010, at this time she moved to the Vista at St. Johns campus., and the Last year at Hansen Cottage. Mildred was blessed with quality, loving care at both the Vista and Hansen Cottage, and each and every person who enriched her life while there was very appreciated by Mildred and Bobbie.
For the first few years of their marriage, Russell and Mildred attended the Nazarene Church, where Russell often sang solos. Later, Mildred attended the Church of the Air, now known as Billings Bible Church. Next she attended Grace Bible Chapel, and then she moved to First Covenant Church, with Pastor Steele, which is now known as Cornerstone Community Church, where she attended the rest of her life, many years with her beloved Pastor Ken at the pulpit.
In 1961, it was discovered that Russell had Pancreatic Cancer. During his illness, Russell came back to the Lord and rededicated his life to him. The Steele’s were very faithful in supporting Mildred and Russell during this difficult time. Through Russell’s ten months of illness, Mildred was sustained and comforted in knowing that Russell had come back to the Lord and was ready to go to be with him. Mildred said concerning this time, “When you reach the bottom, there’s no other place to run but the Lord. Then you put everything in His hands.”
On August, 27, 1962, Russell went to be with the Lord and Mildred became a widow at age 49. She continued working in her beauty shop until retirement in 1978 after 43 years as a beautician. Mildred’s daughter Roselyn lived in California and passed away in 2002, at the age of 69. Roselyn had never married or had children, although she dedicated her life to children, having been a retired teacher.
Mildred was a talented seamstress, and made many of the clothes she and her daughter wore, she loved to quilt, knit and croquet, she spent many hours making hats and gloves for the community. While living at the Vista she made mountains of dish cloths and pot holders. She loved to work in her yard and did until she moved to the Vista, only in the last 2 years at home at the age of 97, did she turn over the mowing of her grass to someone else. She was a gifted baker and cook, and enjoyed cooking her own meals, this was something she greatly missed when she moved out of her home. Mildred attributes her unusual energy and good health to keeping active and most of all, to the Lord’s blessing in her life.
A favorite verse from the Bible of Mildred’s during her life has been: Proverbs 3: 5-6 “Trust in the lord with all thine heart; and lean not to thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.”
She has touched the lives of many, for many years, and is a testament of a beautiful, frugal, hardworking woman, a caring friend, and a follower of the Lord, her savior.
She will be greatly missed, by all those who were apart of her life, and were blessed to be in her life.
The Britton’s would love to publicly thank Mildred, for the blessing of being a true part of their lives, and the joy her presence gave to us all, especially to Levi and Bobbie, Taylor, Gage, Jaycee, Kase and Lane. It was once asked by a very young Taylor, as she was researching family genealogy… with report in hand, she sought an answer, “ Nana, how is it exactly that we are related to Mildred????… Nana answered: because we choose to be. Taylor asked: what does that exactly mean? Nana answered: Because I saw that this beautiful little lady was on her “own”, and in some ways mostly unattended with daily, weekly, monthly and even yearly visits and my heart knew that I needed her. So our hearts adopted her and she BECAME family to us all. “ …And what a family member she was to us all. Taylor agreed, and reminisced on all the holidays and birthday parties Mildred joined us on… and the Birthday Bashes of Mildred’s milestone years that she so loved having.
I love you Mildred, Bobbie … thank you for saying “Bobbie is my very best friend” …you likewise sweet thing. I am so happy you are with Jesus, your Lord and Savior and with your Momma and Rosie, Russell and your Siblings. I hope you and Art are not up to as much mischief in heaven as you were here on earth.