Sophie Waite, 100, Hibbing, MN, passed peacefully on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019 in Hibbing.
Sophie was born in Carson Lake location near Hibbing on March 18, 1919, the fifth of 10 children of Milan “Mike” and Boija “Barbara” Milanovich. The family moved to Leetonia in 1934. Sophie attended Carson Lake Elementary School, Lincoln Jr. High School and graduated from Hibbing High School in 1938. She often lamented that she was unable to go on to college as money was not available, but she applied her curiosity and love of learning to lifelong growth and enrichment. Like her older sisters, she began her working life at the Androy Hotel. Sophie always found time to do many things; extra jobs, travel and recreation. In May of 1941, Sophie married Alex Waite of Pengilly, MN. He would soon join the war effort fighting in the Pacific theater. With an uncle and family in Flint, MI, Sophie, along with sisters Millie and Cecelia, left home to find work in the auto industry, which was retooling to build tanks and other equipment for the war effort. Not content with earnings from her “Rosie the Riveter” job, she added a part-time position at the local A&P grocery store. Interested in seeing more of the USA, Sophie accepted an invitation from Alex’s aunt Rose and her husband Dave in Seattle to come live with them. A&P in Seattle was delighted to have her join their team. The next two years were a time she would remember fondly for the rest of her life. Rose and Dave loved her as their own. Early spring of 1946, with the war coming to a close and Alex on his way back from the war, Sophie returned to Minnesota and they settled in Nashwauk. She accepted a job with National Food Stores where she spent the next 39 years, many as assistant manager. She truly loved her work and especially the opportunity to interact with so many people in the community. In 1948, Sophie and Alex purchased a new home at 781 Michigan St., Hibbing, her home until Oct. 2007. She enjoyed cooking and hosted many holiday and Sunday dinners for family and friends. With a great deal of enthusiasm and competitiveness, Sophie loved to play bridge, cribbage and euchre. At retirement she learned the game of golf and became quite the accomplished player. Spending 6 months each year in Florida for 28 years in a retirement community afforded the opportunity to keep all these activities going year-round. Since August 2013, Sophie has resided at Aspen Grove Senior Living in Chisholm. Our family thanks Brenda and Chuck Gargano and their exceptional staff for her loving care. Sophie loved life, lived it to the fullest, was happy and fulfilled. We will miss her dearly. Grant her eternal peace O Lord.
Sophie will be dearly missed by special niece, Gerri “Pepper” and her husband William Gardner, their children; Rachel Fenno and Paul (Suzanne) Fenno and their grandchildren; Jordan, Sophia and Emme. She is also survived by nephews Robert DeLeo, Raymond Grimes and John Lineberry and nieces; Nicki Kennedy, Georgia McMains, Billie Jo Hooper and Leanne Feher.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Alex, brothers Joe and Mike Milanovich, sisters; Mary DeLeo, Millie Caldron, Doreen Grimes, Daisy Pavelich, Cecelia Lineberry, Zorie Milanovich and infant Dana Milanovich.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday; Oct. 22, 2019 at 12 Noon in the Dougherty Funeral Home, Hibbing. The Rev. Milos Zivkovic will officiate. Visitation will be in the funeral home, Tuesday from 11 a.m. until service time. Burial will be in the Maple Hill Cemetery.
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