Mildred A. Kirkland
Mildred A. Kirkland, 81, passed away peacefully with her five daughters by her side, Saturday, November 15, 2014 at The Greens in Wilton, CT. She suffered with Alzheimer’s for the last three years and is now at peace. She was preceded by her loving husband, Richard Kirkland. They were happily married for 55 years.
Mildred left high school early to help financially support her family and care for her ailing father who suffered from Parkinson’s disease. She worked at The Five and Ten Store in Norwalk for 8 years where she was in charge of five departments and enjoyed traveling to other cities and states for training and demonstrations.
Mildred met the love of her life through family and soon after married on May 19, 1956. Together they moved to Maryland where Richard was stationed with the U.S. Navy. While living in Maryland they had their first two children Karen (Kirkland) Fallo and Gail (Kirkland) Renzulli. Mildred moved back to Norwalk to be closer to her family while Richard was out at sea. Once together in Norwalk they had three more daughters: Kathy Kirkland, Doreen Kirkland-Green and Lisa (Kirkland) Faroni. They bought their first family home at 4 Cobblers Court in Norwalk where they lived out their life together. Together they opened a coffee shop named Little Richards in East Norwalk on First Street.
She was the second to youngest of 12 children. She is survived by two siblings: John Kozar and Mary Horvath. She was preceded by 5 brothers: Lawrence Kozar, Jacob Kozar, Frank Kozar, Joseph Kozar and Louis Kozar. She was also preceded by 4 sisters: Anna Ticar, Sophie Withall, Ella Stachelczyk and Gloria Gagstetter. She had 44 nieces and nephews who lovingly referred to her as “Aunt Millie”.
Mildred enjoyed watching Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, listening to Engelbert Humperdinck, Tom Jones, Josh Groban and Andrea Bocelli. She was her happiest when she was cooking in her kitchen with all her family over for Sunday dinner eating her favorite recipes like swedish meatballs, chicken and rice and “slop” (her meat sauce over pasta). And for dessert there was always her delicious chocolate cake with home-made chocolate icing. Her food was filled with love and take out was always available. One of her favorite traditions was making her chicken soup and dumplings for the first day of school every year. She especially enjoyed looking out her kitchen window and admiring all the birds in her beautiful backyard. Another one of her hobbies was flowering arranging. She could turn a handful of backyard flowers into a beautiful professional looking bouquet. Every Saturday night you knew where to find Mildred and Richard, out to dinner and then playing cards with their beloved friends Bob and Carol Prescott or a day trip up to the casino.
Her grandchildren were the love of her life, always spoiling them with little gifts and candy. She was always there cheering them on at their various sporting events, dance recitals, school concerts and graduations. She was so proud of her 9 grandchildren:Matthew Renzulli, Kimberly (Fallo) Viesto, and her husband David Viesto, Kristen Fallo, Jennifer Renzulli, Russell Fallo, Michael Renzulli, Teddy Faroni, Marissa Faroni and Emily Faroni. She also had two foster grandchildren, Derek and Kyle. Mildred was blessed to be able to spend time with her first Great-Grandchild, Audrey Viesto. She was very proud of her 4 son-in-laws who she thought of as her sons: Chuck Fallo, Ricky Renzulli, Peter Green and Dean Faroni.
She was a loving mother who always put her children’s needs before her own. She was a devoted wife that was dedicated to her entire family. She was greatly loved and will remain in our hearts and at our table forever. We will always break bread and think of her.
Friends and family may call Tuesday, November 18th from 5 – 8:00 PM at Collins Funeral Home, 92 East Avenue, Norwalk. A Mass and Christian Burial will be celebrated Wednesday, November 19th at 10:00 AM at St. Jerome Church, 23 Half Mile Road, Norwalk. Memorial donations may be made to The Alzheimer’s Association, Southwest Regional Office, 670 Main Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06851.