Traverse City Record-Eagle

February 3, 2013

John Gordon Mills


LOWELL — "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." — II Timothy 4:7

John Gordon Mills passed away peacefully Jan. 29, 2013, in Grand Rapids, at the age of 80 years. He was born on March 30, 1932, in Detroit, to the late Arthur and Violet Mills, and baptized into the Christian faith in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

He is survived by his wife, Shirley Joan (Lemke), whom he met while attending Western Michigan University. The couple married on Aug. 18, 1956. They have two sons, Paul (Margaret), of Munger, and Neil (Lisa), of Lowell.

The family moved from Utica to Antrim County in 1968, where John was employed by Bellaire Log Homes. He went on to teach industrial arts for Charlevoix Public Schools for 18 years.

A gifted builder, he was always working on projects that ranged from houses and boats, to furniture and wooden toys for his 15 grandchildren.

An active member of St. Matthews Lutheran Church of Mancelona, John served as an Elder and leader for many years. He also served with the Boy Scouts and as a volunteer on mission journeys to the Canadian interior.

In addition to his wife and sons, John is survived by his sister, Joan Brunett, of Lake Orion; a brother, Norman (Dorothy) Mills, of Davisburg; grandchildren, Calina, Ian, Aja, Forrest, Nigel, Matteus, Kateri, Isaac, Malachi, Laurine, Kolbe, Lucia, Levi, Sarah and Mercedes; and two sisters-in-law, Claudia (Carl) Arko, of Port Huron, and Lorna Phillips, of Pewaukee, Wis.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, Feb. 9, at 11:30 a.m., at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, located on M-21 halfway between Lowell and Saranac. Pastor Joe Fremer will officiate. One hour visitation will take place prior to the service.

Memorials can be made to Lutheran Indian Ministries (

Arrangements are by Roth-Gerst Funeral Home, Lowell;