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Elected: April 10, 1997
Inducted: September 27, 1997
Born: June 1, 1931, Mildred was born to Edmond & Bessie Prue, and shares the love of seven brothers and four sisters in the small town Orange, Massachusetts where she lived until she was nine years old. The family moved to Worcester, Massachusetts where the younger five grew up.
In 1947, during her high school years she met Dick Stearns, who became her husband on September 1, 1951. They have celebrated 46 years of marriage. They have five sons Paul, Wayne, Larry, Steven and Russell. Daughter-in-laws are Brenda married to Paul, Joan married to Wayne, Cheryl married to Russell and Maria married to Larry. Paul and Brenda have two daughters, Amanda and Jessica.
Millie was just one of the guys over the years. She played all kinds of sports, did the boy scout things and was involved in church activities. She spent many summer days at Uncle Ralph’s camp on the water where we did boating and swimming.
When the youngest started school, she began helping out at the garage by doing the bookkeeping. Then answering the phones, dispatching calls and running for parts or coffee or whatever returning home to be with the boys. As each boy became old enough to do small jobs at the station they began working Saturday’s.
Millie became involved in tow shows in 1984. Dick, Peter and Roger took on the Statewide Towing Association’s trade show in 1987. Millie again did the accounting in 1988-1989. Millie along with Dick did all of the show planning and layouts.
Millie and Dick both retired in 1987 and did some traveling to places they had never been before. One day in 1992 they went out for coffee and returned 70 days later.
In October, 1994, Millie was asked to become the administrator of Friends of Towing. This became a full time job as she worked with the group to open the only tow truck museum in the world. With the help of the women of the Friends of Towing they organized the gift shop with many unique things and prepared for the official opening day of September 22, 1995. Over 1,000 visitors came that day. CNN was on hand in June 1997 for the celebration to record come of the history for the industry.
In 1995, Statewide Towing Association’s President, John Borowski, presented Mille with an award for unselfish devotion and distinguished service as “Tow Woman of the Year” at the tow show in Springfield, Massachusetts. In 1996, she was also presented WTRAA’s “Tow Woman of the Year” at the TRAA banquet in Dearborn, Michigan.
For questions or comments about the museum, contact us
Admission and Hours
Adults - $10.00
Seniors (55 or older)/Military - $9.00
AAA - $8.50
Children 6 - 14 - $6.00
Children under 5 are free.
Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Summer Hours (March. 1-Oct.31)
Monday - Saturday 9 - 5
Sunday 11 - 5
Winter Hours (Nov 1-Feb.28)
Monday - Saturday 10 - 4:30
Sunday 11 - 5
Closed Major Holidays
The International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame & Museum, Inc.
3315 Broad Street
Chattanooga, TN 37408