In October 2011, Barack Obama, the President of the United States, invited Milly Bloomquist to the White House in Washington, D.C., where he told a large audience in the East Room, “In Penn Yan, New York if you’re out of money and need groceries, what you do is call Milly. If you need a little extra money to make the rent this month, call Milly. If you need a warm coat for the winter, call Milly.”
Mary Camilla "Milly" Bloomquist died Thursday, December 11, 2014.
A service of thanksgiving for her life will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 18, at St. Mark’s Church, corner of Main and Clinton Streets, with a reception to follow in the church hall.
Milly was born April 1, 1917, in McKeesport, Pa., the daughter of Courtney Clark and Katherine Agnes Hammitt. Personifying the phrase “above and beyond,” she led a life of generous service to others throughout her long careers as nurse administrator in public health, as a school nurse teacher, and as a 10-year member of the Penn Yan Central School Board of Education, For many years after her retirement she was the coordinator of the Yates County Food for the Needy program. She also worked tirelessly for Christmas for the Needy, and was the inspiration for the Weekend BackPack program of Milly’s Pantry.
She received numerous community service honors and, in 2011, was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal by President Obama. At that time, the President leaned down to where Milly was sitting and said, “You did wonderful work in your life.” Milly looked up at the President with just a sparkle of defiance and responded, “Tm not done yet!”
In addition to her parents, Milly was predeceased by her husband of 47 years, Earl W. “Bud” Bloomquist; brother, C. Clark Hammitt; sister, JoAnn Hartwig, and great-nephew Jack Navin. She is survived by son, John (Julie) Bloomquist, and daughter, Becky (Chris) Holder; brother, Jack (Carolyn) Hammitt; grandsons, Ben and Sam Holder; granddaughters, Molly (Becca) Holder, Meghan (Bryant) Hummer, Courtney and Sarah Bloomquist; great-granddaughter Joscelyn Hummer; and many treasured- nephews and nieces, including her namesake, Camilla Spamecht.
In memory of Milly, please consider donations to Food for the Needy c/o Penn Yan First Baptist Church, 224 Main St, Penn Yan, N.Y. 14527, Christmas for the Needy, P.O. Box 145, Penn Yan, N.Y. 14527 or Weekend BackPack Program c/o Milly’s Pantry, 19 Main St., Penn Yan, N.Y. 14527.