Obit: Mills, Gary Lee (? - 2009)

Contact:: Dolores Mohr Kenyon


Surname: Mills, McEvoy, Gerber, Miller, Abbott, Abbot, Esparaz

----Source: Clark County Press (Neillsville, Clark Co. WI.) October 21, 2009

Mills, Gary Lee (? - 17 October 2009) With Flag

Gary Lee Mills, 72, of Forsyth, IL, died Oct. 17, 2009, after a courageous seven-year battle with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells in the bone marrow.

Gary grew up on a dairy farm in Neillsville, the oldest of four children born to Lee and Henrietta Mills.

Gary accepted an unexpected, last minute opportunity to attend college and, after four years at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, graduated with a degree in agricultural economics. That experience completely changed the direction of Gary’s life.

Gary completed the ROTC Program at the University of Wisconsin and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the U. S. Army upon his graduation.  He married Kaye Stanzel of Manitowoc June 27, 1959, and they were stationed in Wildflecken, Germany for four years.  During that tour their two children were born.  After serving his country, Gary joined Cargill, Inc. in Minneapolis, MN.  During his working career Gary held numerous management positions in Cargill, Inc. and with several national grain trade associations. Gary retired from Cargill, Inc. as an assistant vice president after 32 years.  Gary finished his working years as a vice president with Bartlett Grain in Kansas City, MO.

Gary enjoyed golf and cards, especially bridge.  While living in Forsyth, he and Kay joined the Commodore Duplicate Bridge Group in Decatur. After years spent moving for various work assignments, Gary was happy to settle down close to his son, daughter-in-law and three grandchildren.  Gary and Kaye attended numerous Maroa/Forsyth Trojan sporting events and school musical productions.

Two of the great joys Gary had in the past five years were attending Princeton football games to watch his oldest grandson play and taking his second grandson to Canada on remote fly-in fishing trips.  For the past 12 years, Gary and Kaye spent two weeks each summer on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and this summer he and Kaye took the whole family on a cruise to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.

Gary lived a life of service to others. He served as president of several Lutheran congregations around the country and held other volunteer positions in the Lutheran Church.  Since moving to Forsyth, he has delivered Meals on Wheels and served as an usher at Pilgrim Lutheran Church.

Gary was committed to battling multiple myeloma both personally and on behalf of others.  Gary was an active member of the Tucson, AZ Multiple Myeloma Support Group and generously supported the International Myeloma Foundation. Gary and Kaye learned more about the disease by attending informational and educational seminars in San Diego, Los Angeles and Phoenix.

He will be sadly missed by his wife, Kaye; one son, Greg (Lesa) Mills of Forsyth; one daughter, Sarah (Martin) McEvoy of Newmarket, NH; one brother, Allen (Helen) Mills of Fitchburg; two sisters, LaVonne (Merlin) Gerber of Madison and Sally (Richard) Miller of Verona; three grandchildren, Andrew Thomas Mills, Zachary David Mills and Hannah Elizabeth Mills.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Lee and Henrietta Mills.

The Mills family is grateful to Dr. Benjamin Esparaz for his compassionate care and concern during Gary’s battle with multiple myeloma.  They also wish to thank the nurses and staff at Decatur Memorial Hospital, 5100 Unit, for their patience, compassion and kindness.

Gary’s funeral service was held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2009, at Pilgrim Lutheran Church with Pastor Bill Abbott and Pastor Brock Abbot officiating.  The visitation was from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 19, 2009,  at Graceland/Fairlawn Funeral Home.  Interment was at Graceland Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made either to the Cancer Care Specialist Charitable Fund, c/o Dr. Benjamin Esparaz, 2800 N Monroe, Decatur, IL 62526 or Pilgrim Lutheran Church, 2155 N. Oakland Avenue, Decatur, IL 62526

Online condolences and memories may be shared with the family at:




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