Gary H. Mills, age 57 of Westfield
On a subzero morning, Gary H. Mills went for his final ride on his snowmobile. Appreciating the outdoors and on his way to meet up with fellow snowmobile enthusiasts, he passed away enjoying what he loved. Gary was born on September 20, 1963 to Gene and Jonette (Ellis) Mills in Madison, Wisconsin. He grew up in Endeavor, Wisconsin identifying himself as “number five of six”. Growing up in a small town, he learned to love the outdoors and he developed a great sense of adventure with his dog “Wimpy” guiding him.
After graduating from Portage High School, he later enlisted in the Air Force. Being struck by the adventure portrayed in the movie “Top Gun,” he served his country for four years stationed in Japan. He served in the Air Force Reserves and the National Guard for the following 27 years where he traveled to Iraq, South Korea, and the Philippines. He loved the time he spent serving his country, but was very humble about his accomplishments. Becoming a history buff of WWII, he could never get enough of studying it.
Always gifted to be able to fix and repair things, he worked most of his adult life in maintenance. First at Truax Field in Madison, maintaining the planes and runways. He also worked at the Veteran’s Home at King, the Retirement home at Tivoli in Portage, and lastly he was employed by the School District of Westfield in the maintenance and custodial department. Having that sense of adventure led him to experience different areas of employment as he loved learning new systems.
Because of his love for the outdoors, he had planned to retire to the Upper Peninsula, MI someday. He loved to bow hunt, golf, all outdoor sports, and last but not least, his love of snowmobiling. For the last three years, he served as secretary to the snowmobile club, the Endeavor Freedom Riders where he was a long-standing member.
He met his soulmate on a blind date in 2010 and married Darlene Carter on September 14, 2013. His gift to her was his ability to make her laugh, which he often did. One of his favorite saying was: “Anger and worry are a choice”.
One of Gary’s wishes was to be an organ donor. This wish was fulfilled as part of his legacy. He will now live on helping others just as he always did.
Gary is survived by his wife, Darlene; two children from previous marriages, Daniel (Casey) Mills of Windsor, WI and Katherine Mills of Portage, WI; his siblings, Mark Mills of Portage, WI, Dave (Peri) Mills of Elysian, MN, Carole and Margo Mills of Viroqua, WI; many other relatives and friends. He is preceded in death by his parents, Gene and Jonette, and sister, Gail Mills.
A public visitation for Gary will be held on Thursday, February 18, 2021 from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. at Steinhaus-Holly Funeral Home in Westfield. A private family memorial service will follow with Rev. Larry Sheppard officiating. Full military honors will follow the service at the funeral home. For the safety of everyone, social distancing and masks are recommended at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorials would be appreciated to the family for a memorial that will be established in Gary’s name.
Please take a moment to view the online Tribute Wall. Send your condolences or share a memory of Gary with his family & friends.