Kathleen Stiso Mullins
July 21, 1948 – October 15, 2019
Dr. Kathleen Stiso Mullins (Kathy), Williamsburg, Virginia, passed away Tuesday, October 15, 2019, after having been diagnosed, nearly four years ago, with ovarian cancer.
She was born on July 21, 1948 in Lansing, Michigan, to Warren and Bernadine (Waite) Stolicker. She began her academic career at Michigan State University, and completed her Bachelor’s degree in History at Indiana University South Bend. She earned an MBA degree from the University of Notre Dame and a PhD in American Studies from Purdue University.
She had an outstanding professional life as a museum professional including executive director/president positions at the Northern Indiana Center for History, South Bend, Indiana; James Madison’s Montpelier, Orange, Virginia; Strawberry Banke Museum, Portsmouth, New Hampshire; and the Historic Ford Estates, Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan.
She was active in local, state and national professional associations committed to advancing the humanities and arts. She served on the Boards of the Indiana Historical Society and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. In 1995, she was named a Sagamore of the Wabash, the highest honor given in the State of Indiana, by Governor Evan Bayh, in recognition of her commitment and contributions to the state.
She retired from the Historic Ford Estates in May 2018. Along with her husband, Jim, found a new and chosen home in Williamsburg, Virginia. In Williamsburg, her outstanding attributes were immediately recognized when she was asked to join the James City County School Foundation Board, and, recently, was asked to serve as its President. In addition, she was a member of the Williamsburg Symphony board.
Her can-do attitude and determination may have come to her from her forebears including Governor William Bradford of Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts; Reverend Thomas Hooker, founder of Connecticut; and Michel Campeau, one of the French founders of Detroit. And, of course, their wives.
She is survived by son Dr. Michael Edward Stiso (Dr. Agnes Pysz) of Oslo, Norway, her husband Dr. James L. Mullins, Williamsburg, and her sister, Kris Defore, and nieces: Melissa, Jennifer and Heather Defore, all of Holt, Michigan.
A private graveside service will occur on October 26, 2019 in the Memory Garden, Cedar Grove Cemetery, Williamsburg. A Celebration of Life Service is planned. The date, time and place will be announced.
Kathy was an exceptional person. The old adage that states “To know her, was to love her” isn’t quite enough to convey the impact she had on the many people with whom she came into contact. It really must be: “To know her, was to respect, admire and love her.” She will be greatly missed by her family, friends, and colleagues.
- Private Graveside Saturday, October 26, 2019
Kathleen Stiso Mullins
October 18, 2019
October 17, 2019
I only met Kathy a couple of months ago and we had so much in common and we really enjoyed each other's company along with our friend, Sara Fogarty. Kathy was a beautiful person and will be missed in the Williamsburg Community.