In a lifetime filled with milestones it is difficult to pinpoint in what area Bertha Milbank made the biggest impact, although she smiles and easily relates that her years with Girl Scouts were her greatest accomplishment.
"It was not just a learning and teaching process, it was being with the girls that I enjoyed so much," she reflects. While with the Girl Scouts she earned the nickname "Peanut," which has stayed with her throughout her life.
Born in New Mexico, Bertha moved to Missouri with her parents, where she graduated from Missouri Valley College with a degree in mathematics. She taught mathematics and physical education in Iowa and Missouri for eight years.
In 1938 she married George Edward Milbank, M.D. Their union was blessed with two daughters, Elizabeth Ann and Sara Evelyn. The family has now grown to include four grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
In addition to raising her children, Bertha was an active community activist. She played a crucial role in the beginning of recycling in the Wichita area. During her term as president of the Sedgwick County and Wichita Medical Association Auxiliary, she played a pivotal role in developing a car seat program. The auxiliary would loan out car seats to new mothers and when they returned them Bertha would help clean them up and loan them to others, years before car seats became a state law.
She developed many programs while serving as president of the Wichita Art Museum and Friends of the Art Museum. They recently honored her with an award recognizing her myriad contributions. She served as president of the Kansas State Association of Parliamentarians and the Wichita and national associations, was national vice president and Kansas president of the Daughters of the King, served as president of DAR, was honored by the Episcopal Bishop and served as church women's president, and belonged to the Daughters of the American Colonies and the Kansas Children's Service League.
Bertha moved to Via Christi Village on Georgetown on Dec. 23, 1999, where she continues to live a rich and full life. "You are missing the boat if you don't move to Georgetown," she says. "It fills your life."