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Sept. 13, 1918-Nov. 10, 2012

Mildred Finefrock Pifer, 94, passed away Nov. 10 at Willow Creek Nursing Home.

She was born Sept. 13, 1918, in Alliance, Ohio.

She moved to Goldsboro after her husband, Lewis, died in 2005.

Millie was reared with the Pennsylvania Dutch heritage from her grandmother Stofer, who instructed her to “buck up,” or “be tough; don’t cry.”

She received her degree from Kent State University, and taught first grade for five years. When she attended Duke University summer school in 1941, she and her girlfriend were picked up at the circle by her future husband, Lewis. This chance meeting developed into a 61-year marriage. Lewis worked for Wright Aeronautical in New Jersey during the war, but wanted to follow his dream of starting a metal fabricating business in Durham in 1946.

Millie enjoyed the growth of Pifer Industries into the 1970s. She supported him in the early and later lean years of the business.

Millie and Lew traveled extensively, often to Williamsburg and the mountains.

Millie is survived by her three children and their spouses, Ron (Patrice) Pifer of Stevensville, Mont., Judy (John) Haverkamp of Goldsboro and Jim Pifer of Zebulon.

They remember her school support as grade mother and PTA president. She baked numerous delicious cookies, and had lots of picnics for family and friends.

She was a loving but stern mother, and Jim remembers when his mother was mad that her eyes “sparkled like the Fourth of July fireworks.”

Neatness was next to godliness, as aides at Willow Creek noticed.

Our mother loved to raise orchids and roses, and was a “dyed in the wool” Duke and ACC athletics fan, who loved to watch basketball on TV, even in her last years.

She was an ardent member and president of the Republican Women’s Club of Durham.

Surviving Grandma Mimi are Michael Pifer, Hester (Rutledge) Davies and their boys, Brown, Ellis and Sam, Elizabeth (Auden) Kaehler, Matt (Amy) Haverkamp and their children, Emma and Nash and Aaron (Christina) Avallone.

A memorial service will be held in Durham Dec. 8.

Memorials are requested to Epworth United Methodist Church, Durham, or Sixty Uppers at St. Paul United Methodist Church, Goldsboro.


Published in Obituaries on November 14, 2012 1:50 PM