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Mildred Dennis

August 11, 1931 ~ June 17, 2019 (age 87)

Mildred Dennis, 87, of Indianapolis, IN. peacefully passed away on Monday, June 17th, 2019, around 9:45am in the Lakeview Manor Home in Indianapolis, IN. She formerly resided in Indianapolis, IN, Terre Haute IN, Highland Park, NJ, and Somerset, NJ.

Mildred was predeceased by her father Clement Dennis, stepfather Wilburt “Gus” White, mother Pinky White, and 4 brothers, Wilburt “Fee Fee” White, Floyd Dennis, Clement Dennis, and James “Monkey” White. 

She was born in New Brunswick, NJ. on a Tuesday (August 11th, 1931) to Clement and Pinky Dennis, as the first born of three children from her mother’s first marriage.

Mildred spent her early years being raised in her parents’ home on 15 New Street in New Brunswick, NJ with her two brothers Clement Jr. and Floyd where she attended the Lord Stirling Elementary School before later moving to Port Chester, NY. in the early 1940’s, where she later attended Port Chester High School.

During the early years of the Second World War (before moving to Port Chester) Mildred, along with her friends would entertain the troops at the Elks Club in New Brunswick before they shipped out by singing & dancing on the tables.

While living in Port Chester Mildred was blessed with 4 new siblings from her mother’s second marriage to Mr. Wilburt White.

One of Mildred’s fondest memories from her childhood was spending time listening to 1940’s radio shows like “The Shadow” with her siblings all piled around her, and later spending time with her girlfriends in Greenwich, CT after school watching images on a new piece of technology called a “television”.

After high school Mildred attended the prestigious “New York School of Interior Design” and graduated with a degree in interior design.

During her 20’s Mildred briefly had a career singing in NY nightclubs, sometimes accompanied by her father, Clement Dennis.

Later in life after moving back & forth between New Brunswick & Port Chester so she could spend time with her siblings: Clement, Floyd, Sandra, Atkins, Wilburt, and James, she settled in Port Chester, NY where she met & married Alphonso Jackson in 1962.

Shortly thereafter Mildred and her husband purchased a home in the Blue Hills section of Hartford CT where Mildred was heavily involved in both local & national politics, as well as the Hartford Arts Council.

She also worked for the Bell Telephone Company in Hartford, and took great pride in the fact that she was the individual that “connected people” as she loved to communicate with people and had a very “soothing” speaking voice.

It was during this time that she had conversations with Robert F. Kennedy’s staff regarding his travel arrangements through Connecticut and became active in his campaign.

Mildred volunteered her services as an organizer for the Civil Rights Marches that were happening throughout the 1960’s, and attended the March to Washington.

Mildred also attended the University of Connecticut (UCONN) for a few semesters where she majored in English, so that she could use that skill-set to become a part time English teacher in her local district.

In 1971 Mildred relocated to Springfield Massachusetts and met her second husband Mr. David Kilson.

In 1974 Mildred and her husband David moved to New Jersey where they purchased a home in Somerset NJ where their house became the central focal point for all family get-togethers for years to come.

Later in the mid-to-late 1970’s Mildred was involved with the Somerset Community Action Program (SCAP) where she organized the annual “Week of the People” events, which were held to celebrate African American heritage within her local community.

She was also actively involved with Habitat for Humanity as an administrator at their local office in Somerset NJ.

Simultaneously while she was involved in all of these organizations she owned a small clothing store called “The Staircase Boutique” where she sold fine & specialized clothing purchased from the garment district of New York.

She leaves behind her sister Sandra Kenney, sister-in-law Davea White, brother Atkins White, and many cousins including their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren - Children: Stephanie Anderson, Dennis Jackson, Leslie Jackson, and Davea Aderonmu – Stepchildren: David Stephen Kilson, Yvette Kilson, Silvia “Dee Dee” Hoose - Grandchildren: Jadalyne Richiez, Tiffany Jackson, Nathaniel Rowell, Eboni Robinson, Jade Anderson, India Anderson, Ryan Anderson - Great Grandchildren: James Dye, Mason Jones, Tre’Vaugn Jackson, Samya Churchill, Cattaleya Lewis, Ja’Niya Lewis, Kayden Bell - Nephews: Maurice White, Kareem Kenney, Adrian White, Kevie White, and their spouses & children - Nieces: Yolanda White, Tracy Watkins, Trenay White-Hill, Natasha L. Williams, and their spouses, children, and grandchildren.

Mildred Dennis’s life was a true tapestry of the American dream being a twice home owner and business owner. She actively supported the troops during the Second World War as she actively supported the Civil Rights Movement in later decades.

Mildred was a staunch Democrat with a firm belief in justice for all, and that of inclusion for all people.

She treated dignitaries, statesmen, politicians, local community leaders, service workers, and military personnel all with the same level of respect & decency, and she left a lasting impression on everyone she came into contact with – with her voracious appetite for life.

In her early years she spent time with comedian: Jackie "Moms" Mabley, the famous Jazz Composer Stan Kenton from the NY Birdland era, her famous cousin - Jazz singer Bobby Short and countless other notables but never forgot where she came from.

Mildred Dennis will be - and is remembered by her family & friends - as simply………one of the world’s greatest human beings to ever grace our planet.

Her warmth, kindness, and generosity knew no bounds, as well as her sacrifices to her children & loved ones.

Her home was open to everyone as was her heart, and one of her greatest attribute’s besides these was that she “never” complained, not even in the face of adversity.

Mildred’s other attributes & strengths in life were her positive attitude toward life and her ability to make people feel at ease, while simultaneously leaving a lasting impression upon them.

Mildred’s three favorite sayings that she repeated all throughout her life were:

“This Too, Shall Pass”

“On a Clear Day, You Can See Forever”

“Kill People with Kindness”

Those three things say everything anybody ever needs to know about Mildred Dennis…….. 

 

Poem Written by Sandra Kenney:

I thought of you today, but that is nothing new.

I thought about you yesterday and days before that too.

I think of you in silence and often call your name.

All I have are memories and your picture frame.

Your memory is a keepsake from which I’ll never part.

God has you in his arms, I have you in my heart.

 

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