Born on August 11, 1942, in Pontiac, Michigan, Millie Melzer (Mildred Anne) Collier Brown was the daughter of loving parents. She spent her early years on a farm in Lapeer, Michigan, with her mother, father, and older brother, Mel. Later, her younger sister, Margaret Alice, joined the family. Millie’s earliest memory was peering over her mother’s shoulder at her new baby sister while standing in the back seat of a car, just as she turned 2 years old.
At the age of five, her family returned to their hometown of Pontiac, Michigan. Millie’s educational journey was remarkable. She excelled academically and graduated from Pontiac Central High School at the young age of 16. Her thirst for knowledge led her to begin working for THQ in Chicago at 18, and she continued to work at various THQ locations across the United States, including Manhattan and Verona, New Jersey.
In Chicago, Millie met Major Philip E. Collier, and their love story blossomed into marriage. Together, they moved to San Francisco, New Jersey, and finally settled in Atlanta. Their love story was blessed with one child, Philip Anthony Collier. Millie’s dedication to her work with The Salvation Army was unwavering. She held several positions within the organization, including her final role as the Missing Person’s Director for the Southern Territory.
She found deep fulfillment in her work, leaving a positive impact on those she assisted during their search for missing loved ones. In 2001, after 37 years of dedicated service, Millie decided to retire, coinciding with The Salvation Army ending its Missing Persons services. Aside from her professional achievements, Millie had a passion for music.
She played the violin in the Pontiac Symphony Orchestra during high school and excelled on the second violin. Her musical talents extended to playing the alto trumpet in various Army bands, marking her as a trailblazer in the San Francisco Band, becoming one of the first women to serve in the band. Millie shared her musical talents with her sister, Margie, often performing duets at various events, including radio appearances.
She also won first place in a territorial music competition as the first soprano of a Chicago trio. Millie was known for her dry sense of humor, her love for the outdoors, and her affinity for animals. She enjoyed cooking and had a knack for finding humor in life’s moments, including those involving herself. She was married to Phil for 24 years until his passing in 1993, and in 1995, she married Morris G. Brown.
Through this union, Millie gained two step-daughters, Carmen Ham and Kimberly Holland. Together, with Morris, she became a loving grandmother to Sky and River Collier, Jacob, Joshua, and Jessica Ham, and great-grandmother to seven precious souls. Millie’s legacy lives on through her loving family and the memories she created with them