Mildred “Mij” Strange died surrounded by her daughters on October 6, 2020 after a long illness. Mij was born in Marion, Indiana during the height of the great depression to Victor (a dentist) and Iris (a teacher) Chase. As a child, she loved the outdoors and enjoyed tending to goats in her family’s large country yard. She learned to drive by going backwards and forwards down their long driveway many times before her father would allow her to try the car on a road. At Marion High School, she was a member of the track team and an outstanding student, graduating in 1951 at number 2 in her class. She attended Case Western Reserve Nursing School for several years. She had to leave Case Western after she married her high school sweetheart because, at that time, married students were not allowed to attend the nursing school. For several years, she worked in a local doctor’s office while her husband attended medical school.
With her husband, Bob, a Navy doctor,and their four children, Mij traveled the world enjoying adventures in California, Japan, New Jersey and Virginia. She managed 4 active kids while helping other families through Navy Relief and the Naval Officers’ Wives’ Club. With her husband gone for over a year in Vietnam, she kept things at home running smoothly, even venturing into the California desert to camp with 4 kids ranging in age from 2-12. She was an accomplished cook with recipes from all over the world, a connoisseur of Japanese arts, and a talented seamstress making everything from school clothes to prom dresses and even wedding gowns. She supported her children from the sidelines of many fields- football, field hockey, soccer- and the seats at many orchestra and choral concerts
In 1985 at the age of 52, she decided to return to school. On May 20, 1989, she graduated from George Mason University with a bachelor's degree in Computer Science and went on to have a long, successful career as a computer programmer, ultimately a Program Manager at SRA, in Northern Virginia. She retired at the age of 79, a model for her daughters of resilience, independence and determination.
Mij loved traveling and enjoyed trips on her own and with friends to The Galapagos Islands, the glacial fjords of Patagonia, The Great Wall of China, the Amazon Rainforest and Machu Picchu in Peru. She appreciated the cultural richness of the Washington DC area and was a regular attendee at the theater, the opera, the ballet and the symphony. She was a long-time supporter of both environmental and artistic organizations such as The Nature Conservancy, The Washington Ballet, The National Symphony Orchestra, and the Washington Shakespeare Company.
She is survived by three daughters, Cindy (John), Jenny (Dan), and Stephanie (Mike), 7 grandchildren, 6 great grandchildren, two nieces and one nephew.
She is preceded in death by her son, Paul Robert Strange, and her brother, Walter William Chase.