Mildred B. Gutschenritter

mildred gutschenritter

From August 16, 1925 until June 27, 2023, Eula Mildred “Millie” Gutschenritter (nee Barham) lit our sky.

Millie worked all her life. As a child picking cotton, and all the way through school (eventually earning a master’s degree & buying a house for her parents) as a Bell Telephone operator in Indiana, where she met her husband, Earl J Gutschenritter, then of the 28th Infantry. He knew instantly she was the one, but she made him wait a few years before they married June 25, 1955, eventually settling in 1974, in Vienna, Virginia.

Millie worked as a soldier’s wife, living all over the U.S. and in Taiwan and Japan. She worked as a single mom while he was in Vietnam; as a caretaker for her disabled sister, and for her husband in his final years. She even worked at the Pentagon (her grandkids say she was a spy, but we can neither confirm nor deny this).

She hated retirement, and kept herself as busy as possible, mostly taking care of generations of babies (ages 1-63), knitting, sewing for charity, and singing in St Mark’s choir for decades. Just last week, she was pruning the rose bushes.

Millie was the most devoted, constant, selfless, loving, brilliant, tenacious, understanding woman – both hard as nails & sweet as “sugar” [kisses]. She was a painter, a chef, a voracious reader (mysteries & spy novels), crossword wizard (probably the ciphers), advisor, a cake-maker, great/grand/mother, advocate, teacher, a soldier’s wife, The Matriarch, and whatever we needed her to be.

She leaves behind her daughter, Patricia & son, Michael; granddaughters, Gia  & Cristel; grandsons Kenny & Quentin; & great grandchildren: Aiden, Avrie, Lukas, Henri, Amelie, Grace, Jack, Ellie & Oakly; & the many people she loved from Mississippi to Okinawa (& especially in Wisconsin); to return to her beloved husband, Earl; her parents Kennie & Lessie (Aline); and siblings Pauline, James, Ethel Mae & Willard Dean.

She survived 97 years & thrived through drought, the Depression, wars, and a pandemic entirely on her own terms, fully marbled & mobile until her last day.

Her family is comforted by her light, legacy of service, their faith, & writerly interpretations of physics in that nothing that matters can be created nor destroyed – least of all, a star.

In lieu of flowers, Millie would like you to buy yourself some roses, give your “sugar” away, & have some cheesecake. Millie said it’s ok – even before bed.

Or, if you prefer, a donation in her honor can be made to the American Cancer Society she supported.


Mass of Christian Burial : July 15, 2023 11:00 am

St. Mark Catholic Church.
9970 Vale Rd
Vienna, Va 22181


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  1. Millie was so special and so glad we met when she joined the Resurrection Choir. We had some wonderful conversations when I drove her to St Mark’s for our choir activities. We were both Army wives and had many other things in common. During Covid I called her and we had nice long chats over the phone. Our choir (Sisters In Song) has another angel watching down on us.

    Peggy Kelly

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