There are two photos on this page.

On March 17, 2010, a reporter named Edna C. McCall wrote an article about Millie Gieseke. Here is the story she wrote:

Iconic Crystal Lake Entrepreneur Retires … at 92!

Seventy-one years ago, a young couple moved into an apartment above the husband’s family’s business in Downtown Crystal Lake.

Across the hall from their apartment, they created a space where the young wife could open her own business; and practice her newly acquired skills as a beautician.

These two had met while they were attending Crystal Lake High School. Millie Smida Gieseke’s parent were merchants in fox River Grove, and Lester’s parents owned Gieseke’s Department Store at 83 N. Williams St. in Crystal Lake (where the Public House is today).

Time went on … Les worked in retail his whole life. He eventually opened The New Era store, which was a the corner of Williams and Brink streets (where Dalzell Jewelry is now).

Millie and Les became parents to two beautiful girls, Leslie and Lisa. They lived in various locations in Crystal Lake, and eventually settled into a beautiful home on the lake.

Somewhere along the way, Millie decided to give retail a try. She had a gift store at the time.

Then she opened The Fabric Shop. If you couldn’t find what you were looking for – you could probably find something you liked even better. Millie had it all.

Millie was also a good neighbor to other downtown merchants. You could see her making the rounds, to check up on other merchants and to just say, “Hello.”

Kids loved Millie! She had the greatest collection of puppets and she enjoyed sharing them with the little ones.

Millie kept her own books and kept up on the latest fabrics to bring into the store. She was very good at details. But there is one thing she forgot to do. She forgot to retire! Then, she realized she was almost 92.

With a little encouragement from her daughters, Millie recently sold The Fabric Shop. She gathered up her puppets and other valuables, and turned the store over to a new owner.

Millie is confident that the sore is in good hands. She is ready to try something new.

We would still like to see Millie making the rounds, to check up on all of her friends downtown. We aren’t ready to give that up, Millie.

Lester and Millie have been an important part of Crystal Lake history. Thanks for being there, Millie. You have been a real asset to the community. you did good!

The first photo shows Millie Geiske with her employees in her fabric store at around the time of her retirement.

Millie Geiske with her employees in her fabric store

This photo shows Millie at work in her office.

Mille Geiske at her desk

Millie was the wife of Lester Geiske. Lester is granddson of Fred and Ella Henjes, and son of Martha and Herman Gieseke.

These images have lower resolution than most in this album.

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