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Obituaries » William O. Mills Jr.

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July 14, 1933 - October 5, 2017

Cremation has taken place, and private interment will be held at a later date. The celebration of Bill’s life will be on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 11:00 am at Centre Avenue Church of God, 1917 E Centre Ave., Portage, MI 49002, followed by a light luncheon. Friends and family may visit with the family an hour before the service at the church.

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We lost our hero on October 5, 2017. Bill was born July 14, 1933 in Kalamazoo and was the son of William Otis and Ida Meacham Mills. He was a loving caregiver to his wife and daughter until he died. Bill graduated from Kalamazoo Central, class of 1951, actively participated in the class reunion planning and attended as many as possible. He retired in 1995 from Doubleday Bros and Co where he worked for 44 years, working his way through the ranks from a stock boy to the Plant Supervisor and Safety Superintendent. He was also a professional photographer and took many wedding and family photos until his retirement. He was united in marriage to Patricia Keene on March 7, 1953 and celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary together, their friendship began in kindergarten. They enjoyed their motorhome camping groups for many years; and enjoyed traveling to Europe with the PCHS Band and Hawaii and Alaska. Bill cherished his family and spent numerous hours teaching his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren magic tricks, telling jokes, building Soapbox derby cars, fishing and golfing, and personally designed greeting cards on the computer for all of them for various holidays. He could fix anything and demonstrated that throughout the years for his family, friends, and his church. Bill and Pat spent many years together with 4H students and Portage Central Band boosters and were honored for their support after having all five of their children active in the PCHS band. When he became a great-grandfather, he was Santa’s Helper on Christmas Eve for his great-grandchildren. Bill was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Bruce Mills; great-granddaughter, Lauren Elizabeth Glerum; and brothers-in-law, Donald and James Keene. He is survived by wife, Patricia Mills; children, Deborah (Kenneth) Glerum, Suzanne Mills (Richard) Storteboom, Stephanie (service dog, Sunny) Mills, Michael (Mary) Mills and Paula (James) Wheaton; grandchildren, Dan (Kristen) and Chad (Tanya) Glerum, William Parker and Leslie Storteboom, Shane (Laura), Gary (Jonelle) and Joey (Elizabeth) Richardson, Ashley Mills, Sarah (Calvin) Strombeck, seventeen great-grandchildren; and was anticipating the wedding of granddaughter, Sarah on October 14, as well as three additional great-grandchildren in 2018. He is also survived by brothers-in-law, Norman (Elaine) Keene, David (Barbara) Keene; sisters-in-law, Karen Keene, Tracee Keene and Missy Mills; and his cousins/brothers, David Richmond and Mike Peters. He was a beloved uncle to numerous nieces and nephews.