Born May 17, 1935 in Madera, CA to Cordelia Smith Hancock and Bennie Texas, Mildred died at home in Big Pine, CA on January 27, 2021. She was 85 years old and a member of the Lone Pine Paiute Shoshone Tribe.
Mildred spent her formative years in Lone Pine where she lived with her mother, stepfather James Hancock and brothers Ronald J. Hancock and Darrell Hancock. As a young girl she spent summertime in the Tollhouse area of Fresno County where she spoke happily about running through the tall trees to take lunch to her stepfather where he was falling trees in the nearby areas of Shaver and Huntington Lakes.
Mildred attended Lone Pine schools where she made many life-long friends with whom she kept in close contact. She enjoyed traveling with her daughters when they attended out-of-town trainings and conferences and continued the same when her granddaughter Tawny started her own working career.
Accompanied by her Granddaughter, Mildred also enjoyed traveling to the Hawaiian Islands to visit her brother Ron and his family. Mildred, along with her granddaughter, Great Grandchildren Genevieve Lewis and John Salaiz, Jr. traveled to Wisconsin and stayed at the famed Ho-Chunk Nation Casino Hotel while attending a training. Traveling gave Mildred a chance to meet other Native Americans across the nation.
Mildred was honored in 2004 when she was selected by her Tribe to serve as their honoree for American Indian Women’s History Month sponsored by Toiyabe Indian Health Project, Inc. Mildred enjoyed going to Southern Inyo Hospital where she spent time visiting friends and family members (who resided there) up until her own health issues made it difficult for her to travel to and from Lone Pine. Mildred and her husband Lee, Sr. raised their family of six in Lone Pine, Bishop, and Beatty, Nevada before finally settling in Big Pine.
Mildred enjoyed reading Native American history books (which took her to visit the Little Big Horn), journaling, collecting antiques and bottles, telling silly stories and attending her grandchildren and great grandchildren’s sporting events.
Mildred is survived by her husband, Lee Howard, Sr. of Big Pine; daughters Joanne Howard (the late Eugene Button) of Lone Pine; Loretta Leora Howard of Lone Pine; Cheryl Howard (Dan Linkletter) of Big Pine; and son Lee Howard, Jr. of Big Pine; brother Ronald J. Hancock and sister-in-law Patsy Hancock of Lone Pine; Granddaughters Tawny Tashina Williams (Bryce Williams), Mariah Cline Howard; Grandsons Jordan, Phoenix, Dakota and Zachary Howard; Great Granddaughters Genevieve Lewis, Misty Williams; Great Grandsons John Salaiz, Jr., Westin Dondero, Levi Williams; Cousins Sandra Jefferson Yonge and Bradford Yonge and family; Arthur J. Maillet; and her dearest friend Theresa A. Mike of Salem, OR; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews and life-time friends.
Mildred was preceded in death by her beloved Grandmothers Annie Bellas Jefferson and Maude Hancock; Parents Cordelia and James Hancock; brother Darrell Hancock; daughter Charlotte Ann Howard; sons, Roger James Howard, Darrell Stanley Howard; and Great Granddaughter Millee Williams. Mildred lost an infant son at birth.
Because of Covid-19 considerations, a private interment will be held.