Gomes, Mildred Gladys Baptist, – 100, of Las Vegas, NV, passed away on Tuesday September 28, 2021 at the Tender Loving Care retirement home. Mildred was born on June 6, 1921 to Louis Baptist and Eva Seabury in Oakland, California. She grew up in San Francisco and raised in the Castro Street and Noe Valley area. She loved the school where she always excelled. She attended Douglas Grammar School and then went to McKinley where she was class president. Then she went to Everett Junior High and Mission High where she was class president again. After graduating from San Jose High in 1939 (where she was also president), she went on to study business administration at San Jose State and, after two years, planned to attend Stanford University. . While attending San Jose State, she met the love of her life at a Portuguese community hall in Santa Clara. In 1939, Mildred started dating Stephen Gomes who took her to his favorite spot, the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. They were in love with each other and got married only 2 years later in 1941. She was a beautiful bride. Her wedding photo was so well received that it remains on display to this day in most of the homes of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Stephen and Mildred first settled in Sunnyvale, California in 1941, but soon moved to Santa Clara, California, to their first home built by her husband. They had their first child, Stephen Laurence in 1942 (named after his father and pilot brother Laurence Baptist shot down in Germany in 1944), followed by twins Douglas and Dennis Charles in 1944, their son Ronald James in 1946 and Geoffrey John in 1954. When Mildred had Stephen, she decided to dedicate her life to being a fantastic and wonderful mother. Mildred was very good at supporting her children in school and making sure they all went to college. Stephen L. Gomes received a doctorate. in International Management from the University of Pittsburgh in 1976 on a NASA Doctoral Fellowship and had a long and successful international career including as Vice President of Airways Engineering in Washington DC, Project Manager at Bechtel in San Francisco, CEO of AmTech in Silicon Valley, and has worked in 104 countries to date. His son, Dennis, rose to fame as the Nevada Gaming Control Board’s chief auditor for unearthing crowd-skimming operations at major crowd-controlled hotels on the Las Vegas Strip in 1975. The Books Casino (later made into a movie of the same name) and Hit Me told about his role in bringing the mob to justice. He then became president of 10 different casinos. He eventually purchased the Resorts International Hotel in Atlantic City with his business partner, Morris Bailey. Due to this successful role in all aspects of the gaming industry, he was inducted into the National Gaming Hall of Fame. Ronald James Gomes was a lawyer with a practice in estate planning. He later entered Harvard where he obtained a master’s degree in architecture. Towards the end of his career, he changed careers again and served as a webmaster at Nellis Air Force Base as the officer in charge of 4,000 Air Force websites. Geoffrey John owns Adobe Communications, which he runs with his son, Stephen Gomes. Adobe Communications is a well-respected and successful business enterprise in Las Vegas. Mildred was also a deeply spiritual seeker. She was able to heal with her special “kahuna” prayers and did so several times with various people including one of her own children. She was an avid reader of New Age thought that was stimulated by her Baptist family ties with Paramahansa Yogananda and yoga’s connection with her brother Walt Baptiste. She often spoke to her children about the power of thought to manifest your highest and best purpose in this world. And would ask them to be aware of the thoughts they were carrying with them because those thoughts would create their world. Among her many talents, Mildred was also a gifted musician and singer. For years, she was a lead vocalist for the Las Vegas ukulele group Hawaiian Legends Serenaders (Madeline Makalina Yamada – director) which has given free concerts of Hawaiian music to seniors’ homes in Las Vegas. We always joked that she was older than the people she serenaded. We moved her beloved piano with her to her senior care facility. There, even at age 99, she played her favorite tunes for the enjoyment of residents and staff. In 1985, her beloved husband Stephen, a WWII navy veteran and an inspiration to all of her boys, suddenly left this world. Mildred stepped in, sold the family home, and moved to The Lakes where she quickly indulged in two of her other passions, gardening and travel. When she was not filling her house with warmth and kindness, she was found tending to her vast garden of flowers, vegetables and herbs. She was always a walking sunshine and had words of support and praise for all who were lucky enough to cross her path. Her many trips included London, Paris (she liked and spoke French fluently and frequented the Sorbonne), Israel, Egypt, Spain, Portugal, the Azores, the Madeira Islands, Ireland and Rome. She constantly told her son Stephen that she wished she could travel a lot more to experience the greatness and wonders of the world. And she said she was so happy that at least one of her kids was able to do it. From 1985, she lived alone in her house as a widow with little outside help. Over the years, she made many dear friends with whom she enjoyed hiking in the Red Rocks and Mount Charleston area. In mid-2020, at the age of 99, when she was finally unable to safely take care of herself and fulfill all of her responsibilities as a landlord, she said reluctantly goodbye to her beloved Lacs home and moved into an assisted living facility where she died in her sleep. She will be sorely missed. Mildred was predeceased by her father, Louis Baptist, mother, Eva Seabury Baptist, her husband, Stephen, sons Douglas, Dennis and Ronald, and grandson Douglas. She is survived by two of her five children Stephen (Dr Sheila Spain) and Geoffrey (Debra Gomes), her stepdaughter Barbara Gomes, nine grandchildren and thirteen great grandchildren. A memorial service will be held to honor her memory during the period February to March 2022. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Mildred’s name to Médecins Sans Frontières. Cards and letters can be sent to: Stephen Gomes, 20 N. Kokanee Park Court, Hoodsport, WA 98548.
Published by The Press of Atlantic City on October 31, 2021.