Mildred “Millie” Ragains of Byron Center, Michigan passed away on Friday, April 3rd. Mildred Jane Enstam was born on April 24, 1941 in Holland, MI to the late Phillip Enstam and Elizabeth (Meyer). She graduated from Holland High School with the Class of 1959 and in her teens performed as a Dutch “wooden shoe” dancer during Tulip Time. After marriage she ultimately settled in Grand Rapids, MI and spent the bulk of the remainder of her life there. Millie didn’t enter the workforce until her two children were older. She worked at JC Penney in Woodland Mall for many years and then at Consumers Power in Grand Rapids until her retirement. There was also a brief foray into real estate sales, and she enjoyed managing her own investments. She donated her time to charitable organizations and political campaigns. She made lifelong friends at each endeavor and was known for her bright smile, great sense of humor and sparkling personality. Millie was always a very young mother both in years and attitude. The Ragains house in Forest Hills was a gathering place for many of the kids in the neighborhood and practically a second home for some of them due to her warmth, kindness and extremely accepting nature. Millie was generous, always willing to help someone in need, and she never stopped adding to her wide circle of friends. She was an avid sun worshipper and beachgoer, Lake Michigan shorelines being her favorite. She enjoyed music, dancing, traveling, and taking photos. She loved books and read the newspaper every day without fail, when she returned from trips away, she always caught up on back issues of the Grand Rapids Press. She adored babies and children and they adored her back. She was a fierce animal lover and over her life had many cherished pets including her most recent treasured cat Misty. It was fitting that we lost her on one of the first beautiful sunny days of spring. She will be deeply missed by her children, Christine (William Hogan) Ragains, Patrick (Julie) Ragains; their father, Thomas (Mary) Ragains; beloved grandsons, Matthew Ragains and Marcus Ragains; sister, Phillis Witteveen; brother, David (Joyce) Enstam; nephews, Scott (Sally) Witteveen, David (Elizabeth) Witteveen, Derek Enstam; and niece, Darcie (Andy Rohrmann) Enstam. In light of the current pandemic, a gathering to celebrate Millie’s life will be held on a date to be named later. Information for this gathering will be distributed via family, friends, Consumers Energy Facebook page, and M-live. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the following: Humane Society of West Michigan 3077 Wilson Dr NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49534, Susan G. Komen Foundation 2922 Fuller Ave NE #107b, Grand Rapids, MI 49505, or United Church Outreach Ministry (UCOM) 1311 Chicago Dr SW, Wyoming, MI 49509.
Dear Christine and Family : What a beautiful tribute to your mother, she was clearly loved by her family and friends. It would have been nice to have met and known her. Blessings to all of you during this trying time for both your family and our nation.