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Remembering Millie Parsons

Today, Mrs. Mildred C. Parsons, a beloved member of the FBI family, was laid to rest after passing away Sunday at the age of 99. Known to all as Millie, she was the longest continually serving employee in FBI history—she never even took a day of sick leave during the entire 62 years, nine months, and two days of her Bureau employment. She retired from the FBI in June 2002 when she was 88 years old.

Oct 25, 2012 05:00 PM

Remembering Millie Parsons

Today, Mrs. Mildred C. Parsons, a beloved member of the FBI family, was laid to rest after passing away Sunday at the age of 99.

Known to all as Millie, she was the longest continually serving employee in FBI history—she never even took a day of sick leave during the entire 62 years, nine months, and two days of her employment here.

When a 25-year-old Millie reported for her first day of work at the FBI on September 25, 1939, Nazi Germany had invaded Poland, “Joltin’ Joe” DiMaggio and the New York Yankees ruled baseball, the Glenn Miller Orchestra filled the airwaves, and the “Wizard of Oz” had premiered just weeks earlier in Hollywood.

Starting as a secretary at FBI Headquarters and then transferring shortly thereafter to the nearby Washington Field Office (WFO), Millie served for at least 30 special agents in charge and assistant directors in charge, not to mention six Directors, over the course of her nearly 63-year career. She even displayed portraits of all her bosses in the corridor leading to her office.

One of her former chiefs, Deputy Director Thomas Pickard, who retired in 2001, remembers Millie as a “consummate professional who never wavered in her work ethic.” Reflecting on this, he said, “Eighteen years after I first walked into WFO, I saw Millie and she said, ‘I remember you,’ then rattled off my Social Security number, my radio call signal, and asked how my wife, Sharon, was doing. I was stunned by her memory.”

Millie had a wonderful sense of humor and always was professional and courteous. She was a meticulous dresser and an avid ballroom dancer who won many awards for her rhythmic command of the fox trot and waltz as she traveled to several national competitions each year.

She danced into her 80s even though “most of her partners did not last as long as her,” smiled Mr. Pickard.

Millie retired in June 2002 at the age of 88—an occasion that even caught the attention of Congress. After learning of her retirement, Virginia Representative Frank R. Wolf said on the floor of the House of Representatives that Millie “stands as an outstanding role model for all in public service to emulate.” Then-Representative Albert Russell Wynn of Maryland also recognized Millie’s achievements.

Millie will be greatly missed by all who knew her.