St. Anthony sisters posthumously donate $10,000 to city police department

Ann Mlinar Milner, "The Dayton's Lady," worked at the store for 85 years.

Catherine Mlinar was a teacher and a poet and taught all over the world.

Helen Mlinar Quady lost her husband to World War II and worked for the federal government.

They lived lives that seemingly followed the contours of the 20th Century before ending back up home; three sisters who loved St. Anthony and spent a combined 90 years living in the community recently donated $10,000 to the St. Anthony Police Department.

Roy Quady, the sisters’ sole descendent, presented a check to the city council at its May 13 meeting.

The Mlinar sisters--Ann Mlinar Milner, Catherine Mlinar and Roy Quady’s mother, Helen Mlinar Quady--who made the posthumous donation were all born in the same Northeast Minneapolis home and lived a combined 298 years; Ann for 104, Catherine for 99 and Helen for 95.

Eventually, they were all back in the same house, living in the Mlinar family home on 33rd Avenue in St. Anthony.

St. Anthony Chief of Police John Ohl said the donation of such a substantial amount was “amazing,” and that it really made him appreciate the people of St. Anthony.

“[It shows how] wonderful it is to have citizens engaged in the way that Mr. Quady and his mother are and were,” Ohl said.

He added that the donation will be used to fund a number of things, including the city’s bicycle patrol (Quady is a bike enthusiast), a survival camp the city holds for third graders, the Citizen Police Academy, ballistic shields for the city’s SWAT team and automatic external defibrillators for the police force.

Ann Mlinar Milner (1902-2007) began working at the Dayton’s flagship store on Nicollet Avenue (now Macy’s) as a teenaged gift wrapper, and worked there for 85 years--50 years full-time--most of the time selling furniture on commission, amassing a devoted following of customers. She retired when she was 101 years old.

Catherine Mlinar (1913-2012) was a teacher and a poet. She globe-trotted for many years, teaching in the U.S. Department of Defense school system with stays in Venezuela, Germany, England, Turkey, Spain, Japan and the Philippines, and was a Red Cross volunteer in Texas during World War II.

Helen Mlinar Quady (1917-2012) was widowed during World War II when her husband was killed during the Battle of Okinawa in 1945. At the time, she worked for the Navy in San Diego, California. Later, she worked as a U.S. Customs Inspector at Los Angeles International Airport; she returned home to Minnesota in 2003.

Ann Mlinar Milner left school at age 17 when she started work at Dayton’s. Catherine Mlinar and Helen Mlinar Quady both graduated from Edison High School in Northeast Minneapolis and graduated from college at the University of Minnesota and Saint Mary’s College at Notre Dame, respectively.

While presenting the check at the May 13 city council meeting, Quady said he was there to represent his mother and aunts’ love and appreciation of St. Anthony and its police department, and that their donation might act as a model for others.

“Perhaps this donation will inspire others to also leave a legacy for the people of Saint Anthony Village by partnering with the Saint Anthony Police Department,” Quady said.

The Mlinar sisters are all interred at Saint Mary’s Orthodox Cemetery, located at 31st Avenue and Stinson Boulevard NE in St. Anthony.

Mike Munzenrider can be reached at or 651-748-7824. Follow him on Twitter @mmunzenrider.


Rate this article: 
Average: 5 (4 votes)
Comment Here