Mildred "Millie" Ruth Hoatson
May 8, 1927 – January 5, 2020
Mildred Ruth Hoatson (Millie) was born during a raging spring blizzard on May 8, 1927 at the family home near Martin, South Dakota. Daughter of Joy Julian and Minna (Tuchenhegan) Fairhead, Millie was the youngest of four children in this family who ranched in South Dakota and Northern Nebraska. She attended grade school in Merriman, Nebraska and graduated high school in 1944 from the Nebraska School of Agriculture at Curtis. Just out of high school, at the age of 15, she taught elementary school with multiple grades in a one room school house in northern Nebraska. Later, she attended the University of Nebraska (Lincoln) for a few years, studying Interior Design, during which time she met a young naval pilot just back from the duties of war. This young pilot was Earl W. Hoatson. Their first date was a Valentine’s Day Dance in February 1948. This was the beginning of a beautiful love story that crossed many paths and directions in their lives. They were married on Millie’s grandparent’s 60th anniversary, October 13, 1948, and shared a large reception at her parents and grandparents front yards in Merriman, Nebraska. As newlyweds they lived in a tiny mobile home on Earl’s family ranch/farm near Southerland, Nebraska where their first two children were born, Robert in 1949 and William in 1950. They then purchased a ranch near Stewart, Nebraska and continued expanding the family with the births of Richard in 1953 and Julia in 1954. Earl raised Angus Cattle and Millie had a large garden, sold Avon, raised chickens, and sold eggs and other farm products.
In 1959 Earl and Millie had a vision for the future, which included departing from active ranch life and purchasing a motel in McCook, Nebraska where their lives in the Motel business began. This willing change in their careers put a few wrinkles in the foreheads of both of their parents. Ranching was a way of life that generations in both of their families had known and loved. Possibly this was the impetus for the success they enjoyed as they working many long days and nights to prove they could make it work. In McCook they operated both the Chief and the Cedar Motels and additionally held half interest in a motel in Holdrege, Nebraska. In 1967 they moved the family to Nevada, Missouri and purchased the Rambler Best Western Motel. Earl and Millie worked together as a team to raise their children and build their businesses. In 1974, they sold their last motel and retired to their new home on Table Rock Lake near Branson, Missouri. They enjoyed their lovely lake home, which became a favorite family vacation spot. In the 1970’s they purchased their first motorhome and discovered their love of travel. In 1990 they decided the large lake house and property was more work than they wanted. They sold the property and purchased their home in Sun City, AZ where they spent their winters and enjoyed life to its fullest. Their travels took them the length and width of this county as well as Canada, Mexico, England, Scotland, Norway, Russia, Australia, Japan, Hawaii and the Panama Canal. They traveled with friends, family, with groups as well as by themselves. Millie loved the beauty of the country which inspired many of her paintings over the years. At a young age she showed artistic talent and worked hard to build on it. She will be remembered by many for the beautiful water color, oil and china paintings she has passed on to us.
In 2011, they decided to sell the Motorhome travel and stay home, as Earl was having knee and hip issues and Millie was having vision issues. They led a very active live in Arizona. They loved entertaining and were always hosting or enjoying a friend’s hospitality. Millie was very active in her china painting groups. She loved our Lord Jesus, and was active in their church, Willowbrook United Methodist.
Millie was proceeded in death by their son, William in 2005 and her husband, Earl in 2017. From their marriage in 1948 until Earl’s death, a span of 69 years of living and working in the same business together daily, hand in hand through days and nights, brought a strength fashioned by their love, faith and trust in each other that others could easily see and feel.
Millie moved from their home in Sun City in 2017 to the Woodmark of Sun City where she resided until her passing on January 5, 2020. She is survived by her sons Robert and his wife Pam of Shawnee OK, Richard and his wife Peggy of Kansas City MO and her daughter Julia and her husband Glenn of Sun City AZ, also four Grandchildren, Matthew, Mitchell, Adam and Benjamin, and one Great-grandchild, Jacob. Her love of life continues through their lives!
Memorial service will be 1:00 P.M. Saturday, February 1, 2020, at the Willowbrook United Methodist Church Chapel in Sun City, AZ. In lieu of flowers we would like to suggest memorials to Savior Hospice. Their team took such loving care of Mom for over a year. She responded to their care in her beautiful way, with many smiles, Thank You’s and I Love You’s. Savior Hospice 4530 E. Shea Blvd Phoenix, AZ 85028
Willowborook United Methodist Church
19390 N. 99th Avenue