Obituary of Mildred Elsie Sciligo
Mildred Elsie Bethard Sciligo passed away peacefully and with family by her side on February 12, 2022 at the age of 90. Mildred was born on November 7, 1931 in Clear Creek Canyon, California. She married Henry Sciligo in 1950 and had two sons, Fred and Howard Sciligo.
Mildred and Henry lived in Sacramento and Cohasset before landing in a house on 8th St. in Chico, CA. After their sons were born, they lived on Faber St. in Durham for several years before settling on their 20 acre ranch on House Ave in Durham, with almonds, chickens, and huge veggie garden. Mildred and Henry lived there together until Henry passed in 2006, and Mildred remained on the ranch until 2018.
During her time living in Durham, Mildred worked for the Durham Unified School District for a number of years, in the kitchen, and as a custodian, eventually supervising the custodial department. Mildred loved and cared for her family and community in all ways that she could. She fully embraced the phrase “love thy neighbor”and regardless of how much she had to give, she always gave what she could in service to others who were in need, particularly her family. Before and after retirement, she offered countless hours of care to her grandchildren and other children in the family as needed. She helped teach her two granddaughters, Amber and Karen, how to homestead by including them in home and garden activities, and even participated in their 4-H projects, offering space for them to raise their sheep next to her chicken coop. She loved her great grandsons fiercely.
Mildred lived off the land from her beginning until she was no longer physically able. On the ranch, while Henry tended to the almond orchard, Mildred tended to the garden (when she wasn’t also helping with the almonds). Her garden offered bounty to so many beyond her own home and her mudroom was full of jarred goods from floor to ceiling, which she used to feed the family and make fruit-filled treats all year-round.
Mildred spent a lot of time in the kitchen and loved baking for others. Beyond making basics like bread and biscuits for everyday meals, she became popular for the wedding cakes she’d bake and decorate for family and friends. She loved making these cakes and never charged for her services—she only asked that ingredients were provided and then she’d do the rest. And one could never stop by, even unannounced, without walking away fully fed with a good home cooked meal and handmade desserts.
While Mildred enjoyed a range of hobbies that kept her busy including crocheting, sewing, crafting, and baking, she mostly seemed to enjoy hosting events that brought the family together from regular game nights to elaborate family reunions. Mildred invested much time and effort into genealogy and building family trees for her and Henry’s families the hard way, before the age of computers and DNA testing. She wanted the family to come together and stay together, no matter how far people tried to disperse.
Mildred is preceded in death by her husband, Henry Sciligo and all of her siblings: Myra Grace Bethard Sciligo, Myron Grant “Bud” Bethard, Melvin Willard Bethard, Wesley Wilson Bethard, Lawrence Otis Bethard, William Wallace, “Wally” Bethard, and LeRoy Augustus Bethard.
A graveside service will be held at Clear Creek Cemetery Feb 22nd at 1 p.mTo send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mildred Sciligo, please visit Tribute Store