Millie Dalrymple Feb. 14, 1920 ~ Nov. 14, 2012
November 09, 2012, 9:06 am by Staff Reports
She grew up in Llano, Texas, where she enjoyed a good life learning, among other things, how to play tennis with an unorthodox serve and many improvised self-taught shots. However, the Great Depression, the early death of her father, and World War II changed things dramatically. She graduated from the University of Texas, took an editing job with the state legislature, and married a B-17 bomber pilot. After his plane was shot down and he was listed as missing in action in Europe, she applied to train to become a "WASP” (Women Air Force Service Pilots). She and other courageous women flew military airplanes stateside, putting in break-in hours, towing targets, transporting military people, and so on. Her logbook showed many hours piloting our heaviest bombers – B-17’s and B-24’s. She had many adventures and close calls, but defied the odds again and made it through. In the meantime, her brother, Jim Moss Inks, was also shot down and missing in action. Her brother eventually returned home alive. Her husband did not.
After the war Millie married Edwin Dalrymple, a friend from Llano who had been a Spitfire fighter pilot in the war. During their first 20 years of marriage they raised three children while Edwin was an FBI agent, first in Washington DC and later in Houston. They moved to Austin in 1967 and were married for 60 years before his death in 2006.
Millie worked part time as a substitute teacher while the kids were growing up in Houston. In Austin, she worked full-time to help earn money and channel her energy. In those jobs, she again showed her pioneering spirit, including setting up and managing the first word processing center in Austin. She also took up tennis again, winning dozens of tournaments and eventually achieving a national ranking as a senior doubles player. Later in life, she became a sought after speaker, describing her adventures as a WASP. In 2010, she was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for her service as a WASP which she received in a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol in Washington DC.
Throughout her life she was known not only for taking charge and tackling problems head-on, but also for taking care of many family members and others. At one point when the family lived in Houston, she cared for a household that included her mother, her husband, her three children, and her brother’s children Roy and Suzanne Inks. The last few years of her life, she became the one needing care, which she sometimes accepted with grace and sometimes fought with a rebellious streak. She will be missed.
She is survived by son Dennis Dalrymple and wife Billie; daughter Gail Dalrymple and husband Tom Richardson; son Tom Dalrymple and wife Elisa; grandchildren Neil Dalrymple, Holly Dalrymple, Travis Dalrymple, Scott Richter, Tracy Eldridge, and Peter Richter; step-grandchildren David and Laura Richardson; great-grandchildren Austin Dalrymple, Reese Dalrymple, Katherine Eldridge, and Millie Eldridge; and Gail Botello, her caretaker, who gave her unconditional love and care for the last few years of her life, for which the family is very grateful.
Visitation was held Monday, Nov. 19 from 7-8 p.m. at Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home on North Lamar. Memorial services will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 20 at 10 a.m. at Covenant Presbyterian Church, 3003 Northland Drive, Austin. A reception will follow at the church. A graveside service and burial will follow later that day at the City Cemetery in Llano. Those who wish to commemorate her passing with a donation may contribute in her memory to either the Llano Library, 102 E. Haynie, Llano, Texas 78643 or the National WASP WWII Museum, 210 Avenger Field Road, Sweetwater, TX 79556.
Obituary and memorial guestbook available online at www.wcfish.com. Arrangements made by Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home, 3125 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, Texas 78705.
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