Obituary: Mildred Rotter Kinbar

Obituary: Mildred Rotter Kinbar

Mildred Rotter Kinbar, “Millie,” died peacefully in Sandy Springs Ga., on April 13, 2023, at the age of 102.

Mildred Rotter Kinbar
Mildred Rotter Kinbar

Mildred Rotter Kinbar “Millie” died peacefully in Sandy Springs Ga., on April 13, 2023, at the age of 102. Millie was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Milton, who died in 2001, and by her dear friend, Cecil Swinson. She is survived by her children Philip Kinbar of Winterpark, Fla., Andrea (Harvey) Kramer of Deland Fla., Larry Kinbar, and Suzan (Gary) Saidman of Sandy Springs Ga.; by her grandsons, Erik (Carolyn) Kramer, Ari (Kelly) Kramer, Benjamin (Nicole) Saidman, and David (Natasha) Saidman, and by her great-grandchildren, Caleb, Charlize, Isaac, Leo, Sarah, and Aviva. She is also survived by nieces, Carrie Weledniger, Maddy Orenstein, Lorraine Rosen and Estelle Wiener and nephew, Carl Kinbar.

Millie was born on Feb. 24, 1921, in Zurawne, Poland, to Leon and Sarah (Lauer) Rotter. She had one older sister, Gerty, who was 20 at the time of Millie’s birth. At age 1 ½, the family immigrated to the U.S. Even at that young age, family lore has toddler Millie passing out crackers to fellow passengers on the ship who were seasick. Millie grew up living in poverty in Brooklyn, with the challenge of having parents who were not only two generations older than her, but who also only spoke Yiddish. She worked tirelessly to try to assimilate and to shift into the fabric of American life. She graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School and married her beloved, Milton, at the age of 18, in June 1939. She became a naturalized U.S. citizen that same year.

Millie and Milt spent a lifetime together traveling, initially for his work assignments with the U.S. Army, and subsequently as a civilian with the U.S. Air Force, as well as traveling the globe for pleasure. They left NY for Green Cove Springs, Fla., then back to NY, then a few years later to Monroe Mich., then Springfield, Ohio, then Perry, Ga., for work at Robins AFB. They were transferred to Clark AFB in The Philippines in 1956 with four children in tow, where they lived for three years, then to Tachibana AFB in Japan for one year, back to Macon, Ga., then back to Clark AFB, until finally returning to the states in 1969, the day before the moon walk. Their final assignment was at Nellis AFB in Las Vegas, after which they retired to Daytona Beach in the mid-1970s. During Millie’s time at Clark AFB in the ‘60s, she worked as secretary for Gen. Chuck Yeager, Commander of the 405th Fighter Wing, and as secretary for Gen. Edward McNeff, base commander.

Millie was caring, smart, soulful, spiritual, fiercely independent and a force to be reckoned with. After retiring, she received an AA degree in humanities from Daytona Beach Community College, was actively involved in leadership roles in her synagogue, Temple Israel, became a certified graph analyst (hired by a cruise line to conduct handwriting analysis sessions on board cruises in her 90’s), worked as an art critic for the Daytona Beach Art League in her 80’s, was a prolific writer of short stories and essays and poetry, played duplicate bridge. The list goes on. Millie moved to Hammond Glen retirement community in Atlanta at the age of 95, continuing to write and to lead the poetry group for many years.

Millie’s funeral was held on April 17 at Mt. Sinai Cemetery in Daytona Beach, Fla. A shiva service was held at Temple Sinai in Sandy Springs, Ga., on April 20 at 7:00 p.m. and at Hammond Glen Senior Retirement Community in Sandy Springs at the end of April (date TBD).

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Weinstein Hospice, One Good Deed, Temple Sinai/Kesher, or to the charity of your choosing. Dressler’s Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.

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