It is with sadness as well as gratitude for a life well-lived that we acknowledge the passing of our mother, Nora (Nick) Finn Millea. Born at the family farmstead near Emmetsburg, Iowa on October 10, 1925, to Nora Leahy Finn and John Finn Sr., she died peacefully, surrounded by the love of her family on November 2nd, 2023. During WWII, Nora and her brother John supported life on the home front while brothers Joe, Pat, Dave, and sister Mary volunteered for military service. A double gold-star family, Nora’s brothers Joe and Pat were killed in the South Pacific. Joe, a pilot, was killed during a test flight in Australia. Pat was a radioman on the aircraft carrier Franklin, among more than 800 crewmen lost when the ship was attacked in March 1945. Mary served as a Navy Nurse in Hawaii and was charge nurse when President Roosevelt visited. When peace was declared in August 1945, Nora walked the short distance from the Emmetsburg newspaper where she worked, to St. Thomas Catholic Church where she rang the bell to alert the town to the end of the war, a story she never shared until the celebration of her 90th birthday.
Emmetsburg was also the home of Nora’s husband John Barry (Jack) Millea. The two dated following Jack’s return from the Navy where he had served in the South Pacific. Married on July 31, 1948, they lived in Huron South Dakota, Sioux City Iowa, Omaha Nebraska, and Denison Iowa. A devout Catholic, Nora was an exceptionally creative person, incredible seamstress and devoted parent. She was a Cub Scout leader for her sons and 4-H leader for her daughters. Jack died of cancer in 1974 when the family was still young. In addition to her husband, Nora was predeceased by her infant daughters Mary and Margaret Jo. Following her husband’s death, Nora worked for 25 years at Crawford County Memorial Hospital in Denison Iowa before retiring and moving to Omaha to be closer to her family. She was very involved at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Denison [ ]
Nora is survived by her sister Mary Finn Hancock. She is also survived by her children and their spouses David and Diane Millea, Susan Millea and Nick Siegel, Julie and Scott Cobb, Pat and Anne Millea. Her grandchildren include John (Juli) Millea, Erin (Carl) Del Santo, Megan Millea, Molly (Dewey) Kennison, Simone, Grace, Hope, and Hillary Siegel, Brianne (Brad) Ernst, Tricia, Nora, Lewis, and Sheila Cobb, Bonnie (Cody) Dienslake, Frank (Chris) Millea, Joe Millea, Margaret (Steve) Walsh, Thomas (Megan) Millea, Elizabeth (Sean) Potter, and Daniel Millea. Great grandchildren include David and Veronica Millea, Blakely and Callahan Del Santo, Margaret and Kate Kennison, Ellis and Finley Ernst, Ruth Dienslake, Penny and Charlie Millea, Philip and Eleanor Walsh. There is a large extended family.
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