Mildred Wilma Katherine Ralls (Heftie)
4-3-1914 to 3-30-2016
Mildred was raised on a family farm in Stockham, Nebraska. She was the youngest child of Martin and Katherine Heftie. She had 4 older brothers, Leon, Arthur, Edwin, and Herbert and an older sister Elenora.
She came to Imperial Valley in her early 20s and settled in Brawley. While working as a waitress at the Asia Cafe, she met Ace J. Ralls. Ace took one look at Millie and told his friend, “I’m going to marry that little girl!” And so he did!
Millie and Ace resided in Brawley working for John Elmore, first on Elmore’s East Ranch and then Ace was appointed as Foreman of the Elmore Desert Ranch, west of Westmorland. While living on the Desert Ranch, Millie and Ace often entertained guests for Mr. Elmore. As hostess for Mr. Elmore’s guests, Millie would plan and cook for hunting parties that included dignitaries such as then Governor Edmund (Pat) Brown, entertainers Bing Crosby, Phil Harris, Tex Ritter, Rex Allen and Jockeys Willie Shoemaker and Johnny Longden Millie and Ace resided on the ranch with their family until Ace passed away in 1968.
After Ace’s passing, Millie moved into Brawley. She worked as an instructional aide for Brawley Elementary School District. She worked at the school district while building her home on Terrace Drive. When her home was completed, she opened the doors to her daycare called Nana’s Nursery. Nana was the name she was called by all her grandchildren. For years she drove a Ford with a license plate that read “MYNANA2” . Millie ran her nursery until she was into her 90s, touching the lives of many young children and their parents.
Millie was a faithful Christian. When she met Ace, he was a deacon of the First Baptist Church of Brawley, then located on 3rd and IStreets. She became a member and served the Lord and the congregation there faithfully as Youth Advisor, Sunday School teacher, Baptismal Committee member, and various other responsibilities. She and her family were actively involved with the construction of the new church on Legion Road, which is currently named Gateway Church. In her latter years, she became a member of Imperial First Southern Baptist Church, Imperial.
Millie was proceeded in death by her parents, Martin and Katherine Heftie, her brothers and sister, her husband, Ace J. Ralls and her children Richard J. Ralls and Carol Lee Ralls Renfro.
She is survived by her sons David Ace Ralls and wife Sheryll of Turner, Oregon and Thomas James Ralls and wife Judith of Imperial.
She also leaves behind 8 grandchildren: Randall (Buddy) McDaniel (Lupe); David (Sam) Beljean (Valerie); Michael Ralls (Carmen); Lisa Ralls-Sotelo (Benny); Rhonda Seabolt (Stephen); Cynthia May (Donald); John Silva (Carol); Jennifer White (Randy).
She is also survived by 16 great grandchildren: Beau Beljean, Randy McDaniel,Tyler McDaniel , Dylan Beljean, Alicia Ralls, Stephanie Rush, Chase Rush, Analia Sotelo, Taylor White, Elena Ralls, Megan White, Ace Sotelo, Madeleine Seabolt, Jacqueline Seabolt, Joshua Silva, and Noah Silva.