Mildred Grace Southworth Bihr went to meet her Lord Jesus Christ on Feb. 21, 2012, after a long illness. She was 85 years of age.
Grace was born Sept. 2, 1926, in Mexico, N.Y., daughter of Admiral Harrison Belknap Southworth and Mildred Badger Southworth. Grace was predeceased by her loving husband, Richard Allen Bihr, Captain, USN-retired, on Nov. 21, 1995, and her brother, Harrison Badger Southworth, Captain, USN-retired, on Nov. 27, 2003.
Grace is survived by her only daughter, Marilla Bihr Sargent; granddaughter, Sara Nicole Shiveley; grandson, Richard Randall Crist, and great-grandson, Harrison Pierce Shiveley, all from the Puget Sound region of Washington State, and 12 nieces and nephews and their children and grandchildren.
Grace graduated from Emma Willard High School in 1944 and continued her studies at Russell Sage College in Troy, N.Y. She and Richard married on Sept. 21, 1947, and shared 48 years of wedded bliss. Grace traveled throughout her life, as a daughter of a military family and then as a military bride. Her favorite port of call was from 1958-1962 when Richard was stationed in Paris, France, with SHAPE, a division of NATO. This experience honed her creative skills as an accomplished cook, milliner, seamstress and artist.
Grace was very active throughout her life with her local Garden Club, priding herself on her award-winning Ikebana floral arrangements; her volunteerism at her local hospital gift shop; and mentoring of young navy wives during her husband’s military career. Grace was accomplished in the art of entertaining, hosting many a wonderful event for family and friends.
In retirement years, Grace and Richard moved to Cobbs Creek, Va., where they built their dream home. Grace was active with Christ Church, Kingston Parish in Mathews, Va., where she served on the Altar Guild and also volunteered at the Riverside Hospital gift shop in Gloucester, Va. Grace’s final years were spent at Sanders Nursing Home in Gloucester, where she was loved for her pleasant personality and her gracious manners.
Grace lived her life as she was named, with warmth, graciousness and a welcoming smile for all with whom she came in contact.
A memorial service will be held at Christ Church, Kingston Parish in Mathews, on Sunday, April 22, 2012, at 2 p.m. There will be a reception following the service and interment at Kingston Parish.