Ortiz further said, “I think I speak for everyone when I say that we loved them very much and we knew without a doubt how much they loved each other.
“Although I was not her biological daughter, Mildred was a mom to me. My Dad was a wonderful man and they taught us all how to live life to the fullest. We will miss them terribly.”
Mildred was employed as community service director for the Limestone County Juvenile Probation Office and she was a recent Athens State University graduate, having studied Behaviorial Science.
Chief Probation Officer Robert Valls said Mildred had worked for his office for two years after having completed a 6-month internship through the ASU justice studies class.
“We’re just very, very upset – completely shocked,” said Valls on Monday. “This has hit us like a ton of bricks. Mildred did a great job, she had great relationships with the staff here and with the court system. She will be sorely missed. She had a heartfelt commitment to working with the youth of this community.”
According to Athens Art League board member Diane Lehr, the Plosses bought a home in Lester after coming to Limestone County several years ago.
“She said she loved the town of Athens,” said Lehr. “She called it a place where she felt at home … She said she'd felt more at home in Athens than anywhere … Mildred was someone who was living the dream, defying the odds and breaking free of convention to move to Athens to seek her degree in her late 50s. I hate to lose her beautiful energy. I already feel the void. My only consolation in all this is that they were together.”
Lisa Milby, community outreach coordinator for Athens Arts League and a personal friend said, “Everyone loved Mildred and Richard. They seemed like the perfect couple, always seeking to express their faith in ways that showed it rather than preached it. Richard created Holy Spirit paintings and always sought God's blessing on the paintings he created.”