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Carol Mills

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Carol Mills Obituary
February 18, 1930 - April 14, 2014 Carol passed away April 14, 2014 at her home in Idyllwild, California. She was 84. Born in Hollywood to Dr. Nathaniel and Esther Roe, her direction in life was influenced by her parents' eclectic circle of friends including pillars of the liberal political and artistic community such as Norman Corwin, Earl Robinson, E.Y. "Yip" Harburg, and Julius Schulman. During World War II, her family lived in a simple cabin right on the sand at Corral Beach (just north of Malibu). She received a BA in painting from UCLA, and an MFA from UC Berkeley, deeply inspired by Hans Hoffman. She also studied at La Esmeralda Art Academy in Mexico City, and spent a year living in Paris. As an illustrator at Disney studios, she worked on Lady and the Tramp and then at the LA architectural firm of Ragnar C. Qvale, producing watercolor renderings. An abstract expressionist at heart, she painted and sketched for the next 60 years in oils, acrylics, watercolor, and pen-and-ink. In 1955, she married Roy (Minsk) Mills, a CPA in LA. They designed and built their first home-in "mid-century" style-in Laurel Canyon, where they raised two children. An avid guitar player and singer, she was inspired by Pete Seeger, Odetta, and Woody Guthrie. She sang at The Renaissance Pleasure Faire, for children at Head Start in Watts, and Hootenannies at Will Geer's place in Topanga Canyon. She also sang in her children's school, drawing on American folk songs about social and political struggles, successfully resisting the principal's attempts at censorship. In the late 1970s, Carol became a Hatha yoga instructor. Her lifelong interest in eastern philosophy led her to Transcendental Meditation, Tai Chi, and Zen Buddhism. In the early 1970s, Carol and Roy designed and built a home in Idyllwild, California, moving there in 1975 so their children could attend an innovative alternative school. Carol was an early supporter of Zen Mountain Center, opening her studio to weekly meditation sittings for over a decade. She helped launch the Idyllwild Art Alliance and was founder and benefactor of the collective Courtyard Gallery where her work is still displayed. Her family has been involved in the Idyllwild Arts school (formerly ISOMATA) for four generations. Carol and Roy have been world travelers and collectors of folk art. On these journeys Carol always kept exquisite journals with images and narrative. She is survived by her husband Roy, her daughter Robin, her son Evan, his wife Erika, and children Nathaniel, Sasha and Francesca; brother-in-law Stanley Minsk, his wife Rosalie, and his children Alan and Jana; sister-in-law Eliane Roe and children David and Cathy, and cousin Susan Klenner, husband Ed, and children John and Michael. Her life and work are memorialized at carolmillsartist.com, where information on the June 21st memorial may also be found.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from May 15 to May 17, 2014
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