Milda June Witkins of Lake Mission Viejo, California, passed away on July 27, 2016 after a long illness.
Milda grew up in Worcester, Massachusetts on the campus of Worcester Academy (then an all-boys prep school) where her beloved father, Alexander Mason, a Scottish immigrant, taught English and coached soccer and baseball. Her loving mother, Jeannie, also of Scottish heritage, was a proud homemaker and night-owl known to bake pastries long after everyone else had gone to sleep.
After attending business trade school then trying her luck at modeling in New York City, she joined New England Bell as a switchboard operator and was soon promoted to supervisor. Shortly thereafter, she met her future husband, Joseph Robert Witkins, a on-air radio personality known professionally as Steve Douglas.
Throughout her 25 years with AT&T affiliated companies, she lived in San Antonio, Texas, as well as Burbank and Sunnyvale, California. She was a den mother with the Cub Scouts, an active member of the PTA, and a Sunday School teacher for children and teens in her church.
Once her son graduated from Stanford University and moved to New York, she and her husband took up skiing and world travel. The couple enjoyed many cruises, transcontinental train trips and adventures in Canada, France and Italy, until his death in 1988. Later – this time with her son – she continued her travels throughout Europe, North Africa and Mexico and was a familiar face for many years at international film festivals and trade shows in Berlin, Milan and Cannes.
She loved telling stories of her life and times. She adored entertaining friends and relatives in her home and was predictably the first one to break the ice in any elevator filled with strangers.
In her homeowners association, where her husband served several years as president, she cherished writing the monthly newsletter and participating on the landscaping committee. She also volunteered at a local church teaching recent immigrants to write and speak English.
She is survived by her devoted son, Douglas C. Witkins, as well as several nieces and nephews. Her dear brother, Alexander “Sonny” Mason died in 2003 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
A memorial is scheduled at O’Connor Mortuary in Laguna Hills on Monday August 8th. She will be laid to rest at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills.