It is with profound sadness, yet much gratitude for a life well lived, that we share the passing of Wally Louis Mills, a most remarkable man.
How do you capture the essence of a man in a few words? A man who kept his word, who got the job done, who had a smile and a kind word for anyone he came in contact with and who loved his family deeply.
Wally was born on June 24th, 1924 in Youngstown, Alberta. His biological mother passed away, leaving nine children, the youngest who was only one year old. In 1932, the family moved to the Hathersage, Alberta and in 1934 his father, Everett, married Martha Donahue and she became the only mother some of the children remembered. Wally was raised to appreciate rural Alberta and the importance of hard work.
Wally married Rita Johnson August 28th, 1946 and they had 3 children.
Wally served his community in so many ways. For someone with a Grade 8 education, he was a farmer, butcher, Lac Ste. Anne County School Maintenance Foreman, Custodian of Sangudo Schools, Mayor of Sangudo, Fire Chief of Sangudo, Exalted Ruler of the Elks Club, Strathcona County School Maintenance Supervisor and a man of all trades. Wally always took such pride in his work.
“Wally-isms” were always being thrown about during family and friends’ gatherings. He loved puns and one-liners. When asked, “How did you sleep last night?” He always said, “With my eyes closed.” He also said, “I went through school. In one door and out the other.” Wally enjoyed a rum press during Happy Hours but always said his son, Duane, made the best ones because he put more rum in them!
With Rita and other family members, Wally enjoyed travels across Canada, visiting every province, trips to Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Oregon, and many other states. Wally and Rita spent their fortieth wedding anniversary in Hawaii and took sea voyages through the Caribbean and the South Pacific. Never one to sit still, Wally coached hockey, attended many Grey Cups and curling bonspiels. He was a dedicated Edmonton hockey and football fan, rarely missing a game on television. Many memories were made at North Buck Lake and then Calling Lake.
The last of his generation, Wally was predeceased by his father, Everett (1964), his biological mother, Cecily (1928), the mother who raised him, Martha, (1960), his siblings Hal (2000), Pope (1985), Norma (1957), Ira (1965), Percy (2001), Horace (1977), Edna (2011), Gilbert (2000), his daughter, Carmen Nickolson (2007) and his son-in-law, Doug Eaton (2018).
Wally is survived by his dearly loved wife of 74 years, Rita. Also survived by his children, Dolores Eaton and Duane Mills (Crystal), grandchildren, Shane (Wendy), Shannon (Brett), Michael (Meredith), Blair (Tyler) and Tira (Jordy), great-grandchildren, Emily, Jakob, Sofie, Julia, Ruby, Rose, son-in-law Neil Nickolson and many nieces and nephews.
Thank you to Westlock Continuing Care for your thoughtfulness and compassion. A special thank-you to Theresa for her prayers and spiritual comfort. Wally and the family were so very grateful for the care he received over the past six and a half years.
If family or friends so desire, memorial tributes in Wally’s name may be made directly to Westlock Continuing Care Centre, (10203 96 St, Westlock, AB T7P 2R3) or the charity of the donor’s choice.
Wally once said, “Don’t say good-bye, just say good-night.” So, good-night dear Wally (Poppa).
Due to Covid19 restrictions, there will be a private function in the future for immediate family.
Inurnment will take place in South Park Cemetery, Sangudo, Alberta where “the green grass grows all around, all around, and the green grass grows all around.”
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Wally Mills, please visit our floral store.