Admirers praise Helen Milliken at memorial service

Friends and admirers of Helen Milliken are remembering the former Michigan first lady as a quiet but impassioned supporter of the environment, equality for women and the arts.

Gov. Rick Snyder was among hundreds attending a memorial service Monday in Traverse City for Milliken, who died last November. She was the wife of former Gov. William Milliken, who held office from 1969 to 1982.

The 91-year-old former governor attended the service in an auditorium named for the couple and greeted guests afterward, but made no formal remarks.

Snyder praises Helen Milliken as a trailblazer for causes that remain important today. In a videotaped message, Sen. Debbie Stabenow says Milliken was a role model for her and many other young women who became involved in politics and public service.