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Margaret Vance Mills


1922 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Margaret Vance Mills Obituary
Mills, Margaret Vance
93, of Tempe Arizona passed away on February 16, 2016. Margaret was born in a humble home on the outskirts of Tempe in Guadalupe, AZ on April 26, 1922 to Leonard Absalom and Josephine Spilsbury Vance. She was delivered by her grandmother, Sarah Vance, a well-known mid-wife in the valley. Margaret was the only girl and the youngest of four children. Her three older brothers were Leonard Chauncey, Virgil, and Marion. Growing up during the depression the family moved often between Phoenix and Tempe. She attended Adams (Grace Court) School and Tempe Union High School, lettering in Softball and Tennis. She was a cheer leader and the first drum major of the Tempe High School marching band. She excelled in business classes, and was active in sports, especially softball, tennis and swimming. During her teens she belonged to the all-female Arizona softball teams of the Ramblers and Cantaloupe Queens. She made two tours to Chicago and New York, playing alongside her close friend, former Arizona Governor Rose Mofford, playing at Soldiers Field in Chicago and New York's Madison Square Garden. After graduating from Tempe Union High School in 1939, she attended Arizona State Teachers College (now Arizona State University). She was encouraged to transfer to Tucson's University of Arizona on a tennis scholarship, but she decided to attend Brigham Young University in the fall of 1940. At BYU she was active in sports, made drum majorette, continued her business studies, and met her future husband, Gayland Ranson "Mike" Mills, a star player with BYU football. They were married on May 29, 1941. World War II was on the horizon and following the Pearl Harbor attack Mike joined the Army Reserves and was called to active duty in 1943. During his three year deployment Margaret and their daughter Sherry Ann lived with her parents in Tempe, and Margaret worked for Garrett AiResearch in Phoenix. Over the years Margaret worked in other secretarial and administrative positions in Arizona, Utah and Idaho - Westvaco Packaging, Geneva Steel, Phoenix's KOY radio station, and the Arizona House of Representatives. She was dedicated in genealogical research and writing family history. Through her research she recorded and documented scores of family records. She was active in her ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was diligent as wife and mother, raising four children. Margaret is survived by her four children and their spouses, Sherry Ann Phair (Gary) and Charlene Ashworth (Brent) of Provo, Utah, Scott Ranson Mills (Michael) of Salt Lake City, Utah and LeRoy Mills (Charmiene), of South Jordan, Utah; 14 grand-children, 38 great-grand-children; nephews, nieces, and numerous grand nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her husband of 69 years, Gayland Ranson "Mike" Mills, her parents and three brothers, her grandson Samuel Ashworth and great-great-grandson Jon Gabriel Bowen. The viewing and funeral services were held at Sundberg-Olpin Funeral Home, 495 S State Street, Orem, Utah, on Monday, February 22, 2016. With viewings from 10:00 - 10:45 AM, followed by the funeral at 11:00 AM. The burial ceremony was held at 1:00 PM at Provo City Cemetery, 610 South State Street, Provo, Utah. The family wishes to express their gratitude for the loving and tender care Margaret received at Stonehenge Care Facility in American Fork, Utah. Her wish is that instead of sending flowers; please send a donation to the LDS Humanitarian Aid Fund through your Ward or to a Humanitarian . Condolences may be sent to the family at www.SundbergOlpinMortuary.com
Published in The Arizona Republic on Mar. 6, 2016
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