Mildred Cave Siedenburg, 97, died August 23 at Good Samaritan Home in Mt Carroll. She was born at the family home in Leaf River Township, Ogle County, Illinois, on June 30, 1915, to John M. and Maren Johnson Cave. She graduated from Leaf River High School as valedictorian of the class of 1933. After a year of college at North Central College Naperville, she transferred to Huntington College, Huntington, Ind. Her typing skills earned her 25 cents an hour in the library before her 1937 graduation with a double major in English and history, with a minor in French.
Her teaching career began at Silver Creek, a one-room school in Rockvale Township in Ogle County, where her own school years had begun. She also taught at Excelsior school near Savanna for one year and in Savanna City Schools for 25, with 19 of those in art. After retiring, she taught three years at Carroll County Christian School, Mt. Carroll, which brought her back to a love of the one-room-school teaching environment.
On Oct. 12, 1940, she married Loyal G. Siedenburg of Savanna, and they raised five children on their farm northwest of Mt. Carroll. Mildred was a long-time member of Woodland United Brethren Church and then Center Hill United Brethren Church, both near Mt. Carroll. She remained affiliated with the U.B. Church through the Rockford Kilburn Ave Church following her husband’s death in 2008 but was more easily able to attend First Baptist Church in Mt. Carroll.
Mildred began and led the Echo Valley 4-H Club for 25 years, pioneered the first joint ag/home economics club in Illinois, and was recently named to the Illinois 4-H Hall of Fame. She was a member of the Freedom Unit of Home and Community Education or HCE, which began as Home Bureau, and to which she was committed for over 70 years. Mildred was a Master Gardener, with expertise in Illinois wildflowers. Her favorite activities included camping, reading, gardening, mowing, and editing Loyal’s weekly Comin’ thru the Rye column for the Northwest Illinois Farmer.
She was preceded in death by her husband Loyal, her parents, sister Marie Van Brocklin, brothers-in-law Leo Van Brocklin, Alvin Siedenburg, and Paul Siedenburg, and sisters-in-law Virginia Siedenburg and Gladys Siedenburg.
Survivors include children Delight Howes and husband Dave, Wabash, Ind.; Robert Siedenburg and wife Mary, Champaign; Richard Siedenburg and wife Cathy, Savanna; Joy Schafer and husband Randy, Haxtun, Colo.; and Merry Epperly and husband Roger, Unionville, Mo.; grandchildren Joe Siedenburg, St. Joseph, Ill.; Amy Hanon and husband Bruce, Lake Havasu City, Ariz.; Jolene Friedmann, Mt. Carroll; Naomi Schafer, Holyoke, Colo.; and Joshua Schafer and wife Brechen, Aurora, Colo.; great-grandchildren Diana and James Siedenburg, St. Joseph, Ill.; Nate Hanon, Lake Havasu City, Ariz.; and Colby and Bella Friedmann, Mt. Carroll; brother-in-law George Siedenburg and wife Marion, Savanna; sister-in-law Minnette Siedenburg, Des Moines IA; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
The funeral will be held on Tuesday, August 28th, at 11:00 a.m. at the Mt Carroll Church of God. Visitation is set for 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Monday, August 27th, at the Frank-Law-Jones Funeral Home, Mt Carroll.
Memorials may be given in Mildred’s honor to the Caroline Mark Home of Mt. Carroll.