February 27, 1921 - July 3rd, 2020
Mildred Alyce (Mitzie) Wisler, age 99 years, 4 months and 6 days, passed away on July 3rd, 2020 in Elk Grove after a valiant and courageous battle with old age. She slipped away peacefully with several of her family giving her comfort at her bedside.
Mitzie, as she was known by all her family and friends was born in Sacramento, California on February 27th, 1921 to Theodore Seaside Lages and Alice Helen Lages. She lived her youth and school years in Sacramento with her sister Dorothy and her parents. Mitzie was a gregarious girl and served as the Captain of the Girls ROTC Auxiliary while attending McClatchy High School. She married Glenn F. Engle Jr. in 1941 and gave birth to her first four children Carol (1941), Glenn III (1943), John (1947) and Eric (1951). Subsequently divorced, she married Paul Penney in 1958 and welcomed son James (Alex) into the world on Mothers Day 1960.
Mitzie had an adventurous spirit and loved spending getaways and summers at the Lages family cabin at Silver Lake up in the Sierras. She relished packing a lunch and having father Ted allow her to light off on her own and hike the hills and meadows above and around Silver Lake. He would row along beside her when she would swim from Silver Lake's shore out to “Treasure Island” in the middle of the lake. She self declared that she was something of a “tomboy”. After she became a single parent, Mitzie would still pack up supplies and all four kids and motor up to Silver Lake for summer vacations. Silver Lake held some of her happiest memories.
A day after settling in Elk Grove in 1949, Mitzie was introduced to Olga Batey who in her own right became a historical figure in shaping the educational and governmental systems in Elk Grove. The two became fast and life long best friends for nearly seven decades and shared with their many friends tomato growing contests, “Thirsty Thursday”, “Bunco” and always New Years Eve. Mitzie was an active and engaged member of the League of Women Voters, Friends of the Library, Patrons Club, Consumnes River College Book Club and a campaigner for the Hon John Garamendi. As a member of the Mother's Club, she helped launch the very first Elk Grove Western Festival. Mitzie never remained idle after her move to Elk Grove and worked as a secretary at the Gibson winery, Elk Grove Elementary and High School, but the majority of her employ was as the executive assistant to the Hon Judge Godfrey Mix at the old Elk Grove Judicial Court House on “Main Street”. After her retirement, she and friends traveled extensively.
Years after Paul Penney passed away in 1991, Mitzie was courted by and subsequently married her “boyfriend”, Tom Wisler at age 84! After Tom passed in 2009, Mitzie, declaring that she was done taking care of old men, remained single until her passing.
Mitzie was predeceased by her parents, sister Dorothy, husbands Paul Penney and Tom Wisler, Grandson Kendall Penney in 2015 and daughter Carol (Engle) Murphy in 2018. She is survived by her four sons, Glenn Engle III (Edna), John Penney (Stephanie), Eric Penney (Sue) and Alex Penney (Amy). She also laid claim to 14 grandchildren, 21 great grandchildren and 5 great, great grandchildren.
Mitzie's Spirit soars……..
Her ashes will be interred in the Lages family plot at the Sacramento Historic City Cemetery in a private family ceremony, and a remembrance and celebration of her life will be at a future and appropriate date. Donations may be made in her name to Friends of the Library.