Mildred Louise Keys was born on December 12, 1925 to James Evarts and Elsie Chappell Keys in Louisville, Kentucky. During the Great Depression, the Keys family moved to Montgomery County where they made their home. Mildred was ushered into heaven to be with her Savior on the morning of July 12, 2017.
Mildred’s childhood sweetheart was Leland Thompson. When Leland enlisted in the US Navy during World War II, Mildred left high school and sold his bicycle to buy a train ticket. She then travelled to Gulfport, Mississippi so that she and Leland could wed before he was deployed to the Pacific. That adventure began a marriage of 56 years.
Leland preceded Mildred to glory on July 26th, 2000. Her parents, brother James Evarts Jr., sister Dottie Kincaid and great granddaughter Olivia Burge also met her in heaven. What a wonderful reunion!
She is survived by five children, John (Mickie), Chris (Terri), Becky Ford, Dale (Cindy) and Tina (Tom) Bellendir. She leaves twelve grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her youngest brother, Bill Keys of Fairmount, IN, sister-in-law Jean Keys along with several nieces and nephews whom she loved dearly.
After babysitting children in her home in the late 1950’s, Mildred started day care businesses under the names of the Tiny Tot Nursery and Pixie Playhouse. Many local children were a part of her life for those 13 years. She was also the property manager at Cloverdale Heights for 18 years and once again worked in day care after retirement where the kids knew her as “Grandma”.
She accepted Jesus Christ as her savior as a 12-year-old girl and faithfully served the Lord. She grew up in the Browns Valley Baptist Church and was a member of First Baptist Church of Crawfordsville for many years, later moving her membership to Rock Point Church to worship with her family. For many years she was a teacher, Sunday School Superintendent and Financial Secretary at FBC. She loved to practice her gift of hospitality and often hosted bible studies as well as singles and young adult groups in her home. More recently she was a regular fixture on Saturdays at HUB ministries where she enjoyed helping people feel the love of Jesus. In the early 1980’s she became concerned that many people were spending Christmas alone so she organized the Community Christmas Dinner, an annual event that still occurs each Christmas season.
Known by her love for the Lord, hard-working spirit and generous heart, she will be greatly missed by her family, which includes her church family and community at large. Because of the sacrifice of Jesus, we can boldly say that we will not “grieve as others do who have no hope” (1 Thess 4:13) but look forward to being with her again.
Services for Mildred Thompson will be Saturday, July 15th at Rock Point Church 429 West 150 South, Crawfordsville, IN 47933 with calling from 1-4:30PM and funeral at 5PM with Pastor Terry Thompson officiating. Burial will be at Freedom Baptist Church cemetery. In lieu flowers the family requests donations in Mildred’s honor be sent to Hub Ministries, 406 S Mill St, Crawfordsville, IN 47933.