Dorothy “Sissy” Mayree Gaines Milnor

Alton | Saturday, August 15 2015

Dorothy “Sissy” Mayree Gaines Milnor, 95, died at 1:32 p.m. Saturday, August 15, 2015 at her home in Alton, Illinois. Born February 20, 1920 in Alton, Illinois, Sissy was the daughter of Earl Lee and Myrtle Hortense Bates Gaines. She was an accomplished mother and homemaker, avid bridge player, gardener, and steadfast friend and confidante to many. She was dedicated to the River Bend community and volunteered with many organizations including the Salvation Army, American Red Cross, Alton Memorial Hospital White Cross Auxiliary, Anna D. Sparks Alliance of the First Unitarian Church, and Community and Junior Service Leagues. Dorothy graduated from Alton High School and attended Mills College and University of California at Berkeley.

On February 12, 1942 Dorothy married Magnus Ryrie Milnor in Alton. He preceded her in death on April 26, 1993. Surviving are two daughters, Alice Gaines Milnor Norton of Boulder, CO and Sarah “Sally” Bates Milnor Zyfers of Seattle, WA; a son, George Sparks Milnor II and daughter-in-law, Laurie Clemente Milnor of Alton. Dorothy also cherished her eight grandchildren (Dolly Norton Schaub, James “Jake” Ryrie Norton; Ashley, Evan, Kendall and Reed Milnor; and Natalie and Claire Zyfers), as well as four great grandchildren (Lila, Ryrie, Sonya and Gunnar), all of whom survive her. Along with her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by three brothers, Robert, William and Thomas Gaines; two sisters, Ruth Ann Gaines (Stewart) Hall and Earleen “Dolly” Gaines Pinson; and beloved friend, Helen Ann Rhea (Frison). A visitation will be held at Gent Funeral Home on Friday, September 4, 2015 from 4:30-7:30 p.m. There will be a memorial celebration at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 5, 2015 at First Unitarian Church, followed by a reception at the church and interment at Alton City Cemetery. Reverend Josette Jackson from Unity Church of Peace in St. Louis will officiate. Memorials may be made to The Salvation Army, Alton Memorial Hospital Health Services Foundation, or EmBOLDen Alliances (Nepal Relief Effort) in Dorothy’s name. An online guestbook and information may be found at

Obit Provided By:
Gent Funeral Home

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