2012-05-23 / Obituaries

The Rev. John G. Mills


The late Father John G. Mills celebrating his 92nd birthday. The late Father John G. Mills celebrating his 92nd birthday. The Reverend John Gladstone Mills, age 92, a longtime resident of Cold Spring, died on Tuesday, May 15, 2012, at Hudson Valley Hospital Center in Cortlandt Manor. He was born in Marlette, Michigan, on March 16, 1920, the son of John Gladstone Mills and Gladys (Woodhull) Mills.

After graduating from the Strathroy, Ontario, Collegiate Institute, he attended U.C.L.A., where he earned both a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in French and Latin.

After W.W. II, he earned a Bachelor of Divinity Degree from General Seminary in New York City. He continued graduate work at Fordham University and Oxford University in England. During W.W. II he served in the U.S. Army Anti-Aircraft Automatic Weapons Battalion, 7th Infantry, Division Headquarters.

He was a combat veteran, having been in two invasions in the Asiatic-Pacific Theatre—the battle of Leyte Gulf and Okinawa—and was also in the XXIV Corps Headquarters in the occupation of Korea.

Father Mills was Rector of St. Mary’s-in-the-Highlands Church for thirty-one years, where he led the people in worship of God, to try to teach from the church to the community, to visit to sick and console the afflicted, and was always ready to counsel anyone who needed help. Recently he was honored by the Cold Spring Fire Company for having been their Chaplain for fifty years.

The Philipstown Masonic Lodge and the Philipstown Masonic Historical Society presented Father Mills with the De Witt Clinton Award, which recognizes distinguished or outstanding voluntary community service by a non-Masonic individual for significant endeavors in the interest of their community.

Mills was also an Associate of Graymoor, where he conducted services at St. Christopher’s Inn for thirty years.

Father Mills enjoyed teaching, and had taught at Briarcliffe College, as well as Ladycliff College of Highland Falls, and the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater. Mills was also a popular substitute teacher for many years at Haldane Central School.

Father Mills served as Assistant Secretary to the House of Deputies at the General Convention of the Episcopal Church when they met at Detroit, Boston, Miami, and Honolulu.

He also conducted many memorable Matt Talbot Retreats at the Episcopal Retreat Center.

He is survived by Margaret, his loving wife of sixty-two years; two sons, Dr. John Gladstone Mills, III, patent attorney in Arlington, Va., and Dr. Charles and Ronda (Hochheiser) Mills, at the Fallon Clinic in Worcester, Mass.; three grandchildren, Aliza, Talia and Benjamin; and a brother, Dr. Frank and Marian (Anderson) Mills, of London, Ontario, Canada.

Survivors also include nieces and nephews Mrs. Karen Button, Katherine (George) Zador, Marnie Mills and Malcome Graham, Kent and Kevin Mills, all of Ontario, Canada. In addition to his parents, Father Mills was predeceased by one sister, Jean Goodwill, and five nieces and nephews, Linda, Bradley, Peggy, Kathy and Perry.

On Saturday, May 19, a magnificent Requiem Mass was celebrated at the Parish of Our Lady of Loretto, 24 Fair Street Cold Spring, by the Rev. Brian McSweeney, honoring the life and work of Father Mills.

The organist and director of music Jeffrey Lutz played one of his own original compositions and visiting organist and friend of Father Mills Gregory d’Agostino, played selections of Bach and Brahms. The tenor soloist was John Vergilli and Mr. Lutz was the soprano.

Burial with military honors was in Cold Spring Cemetery. A reception in the Parish Hall of Our Lady of Loretto Church followed.

The family received their friends at the Clinton Funeral Home, Corner of Parrott and Pine Streets (21 Parrott Street) Cold Spring, on Thursday May 17th and Friday, May 18th.

In lieu of flowers contributions have been asked for the Philipstown Volunteer Ambulance Corps or the Volunteer Fire Company #1 in Cold Spring

Funeral arrangements were under the direction of The Clinton Funeral Home Cold Spring.

A memorial service will also be held on June 10 at the Canterbury Cathedral, Kent, England.

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