Willard Mills


December 27, 2010 - 12:00 AM

Willard Everett Mills, 89, Moran, died at his home Thursday, Dec. 23, 2010.
He was born May 18, 1921, the son of Raymond Guy and Lydia Louella (Miller) Mills on a farm near Alexander.
He graduated from McCracken High School in 1939 and worked for area farmers before he enlisted in the Army Air Corps in Pueblo, Colo., in June 1942. During the next year, he trained in radio, radar, and diesel mechanics in Missouri, Florida, Texas and California before being sent to Alaska for two years where he served in Anchorage and Shemya. He received an honorable discharge from the 2528th Army Air Force Base Unit in Amarillo, Texas, on Oct. 31, 1945, after receiving the Asiatic-Pacific Service Medal, the American Theatre Service Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, and four Overseas Service Bars. Following his military service, he managed the McCracken Farmers’ Co-op grain elevator his grandfather helped establish in 1916 or 1917.
He married Mildred Glee Temple, daughter of Basil and Esda Temple of McCracken, on Jan. 7, 1947. They had four children: James Robert, Linda Marlene, Peggy Jo and David Lee.
In 1951, he purchased a farm southeast of Moran. Along with farming, he worked as a carpenter while building beef and dairy herds. He retired from the dairy in the 1980s but continued to farm and kept the beef herd until about a year ago.
He was baptized in McCracken in 1939. He later became a member of Elsmore Methodist Church where he was a trustee and Sunday School teacher. He helped build and maintain the current building. He served on the Elsmore Grade School Board, was a member of the Gideon Society, and helped distribute Bibles on several campuses. He dearly loved his family and friends and enjoyed being a part of Happy Antiques, the Savonburg Senior Citizens group, and the local Community Club.
Mills was preceded in death by three brothers, Raymond, Cecil and Leonard.
He is survived by his wife, Mildred, of the home; two sons, James and his wife, Susan, Arkansas City, and David and his wife, Brenda, Elsmore; two daughters, Linda Shirk and her husband, Fred, Lawrence, and Peggy Bacon and her husband, Wesley, Chillicothe, Mo.; 16 grandchildren and 55 great-grandchildren; and one brother, Kenneth Mills and his wife, Opal Jean, Auburn, Calif.
Funeral services were this morning at Elsmore Methodist Church with Pastor Connie Cox and Pastor David Brundage, Willard’s grandson, officiating. Burial followed in Moran Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be given to Hospice Care of Kansas or Elsmore Methodist Church and sent in care of the Feuerborn Family Funeral Service.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.feuerbornfuneral.com.

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