The Catholic faith was very important to Mildred “Millie” Giordano and, her family members say, she had a generosity of heart that surpassed monetary giving. “She gave her heart and love to others, through kindness and attention,” six of her nieces and nephews wrote in a letter to the Catholic Community Foundation for Eastern South Dakota after her death. Millie left a large portion of her estate to charities, including a donation to the Catholic Community Foundation for Eastern South Dakota that established an endowment for the education of future priests.
Mark Conzemius, president of the CCFESD, said the foundation uses Catholic values screening in the investment and distribution of funds. That helps match faith-filled donors like Millie Giardano with charities that reflect her values. Millie was born Nov. 17, 1917 in Kansas, the oldest of five children. The family moved to South Dakota in 1921, and farmed at Gregory. She attended Nettleton Business College and worked for the USDA in Huron, SD, for many years. She married Felix Giordano in 1955. He died in 1963. She had no children of her own, but her nieces and nephews wrote that she treated them as if they were her children.
“Love is perhaps the best word to describe Aunt Mildred,” the letter explained. “She loved unconditionally. Her laughter would fill a room and laughter came easily to Millie, as did joy.” Rev. Terry Anderson, who was pastor of Holy Trinity Parish in Huron for many years called her “a very faithful person.” “She spent a lot of time in prayer. When she did come to Mass, she was a front-row Catholic,” he said. Her nieces and nephews said they were not surprised to learn that their aunt had bequeathed a large part of her estate to charities including Holy Trinity parish and cemetery as well as the Catholic Community Foundation for Eastern South Dakota. “We wanted you to know that we and many others have always held her in the highest regard. She was our classy, kind, loving, fun and generous Aunt Millie!”