"Go forth without fear, for your ancestors are near. I look forward to the times when your whispers ride the winds that kiss my cheek and let me know you're there. Go forth without fear, for now you are free, and an ancestor to me." ~J.G.~ Our sweet mother of the lake Mary Patricia Mills "Pattie" passed away in her home on Thursday January 21st 2016 and has gone to be with her heavenly family and creator at the age of 92. Pat was born in Everett, WA to Clem and Garnet Ford, on December 6th 1923. She married Howard O. Mills Sr., on May 23rd of 1943 and lived most of her life on lake Whatcom in her house for over seventy years. She raised her two children Howard O. Mills Jr. and Stephanie Mills in that home which soon became an open revolving door to all the kids on the lake. She often spoke about how much fun everyone had growing up on this lake and that brought her great joy. In addition to two great children she gained a wonderful Daughter-in-law whom she loved dearly, Barbara Mills. Pat also had a big hand in helping raise her 5 grandchildren living on the point, Doug (Kuni) Grant, Jaime (David) Gradt, Howard (Amber) Mills, Lauren Mills, and Angela (Brian) Mills-Watson, and soon even had the chance to be a great grandmother of 4. Howie Mills, Jaiden Nichols-Gradt, Iris Mills, and Colton Mills. All of her kids and grandkids brought her much happiness and joy throughout her long life. She also leaves behind many loved nephews and nieces and extended family. She was preceded in death by her parents, Clem and Garnet Ford, Sister Yvonne Sheline, Brothers Clem and Stanley Ford. Her husband Howard O. Mills Sr., and her son Howard O. Mills Jr. Patricia was an extremely talented woman. She saw art in everything she looked at. She enjoyed painting whether in her art studio or outdoors with her girlfriends Helen Follis and Lilli Mathews. On road trips in the motorhome with her husband, he would take pictures and she would sketch and paint. They both enjoyed covering the country together and capturing the beauty they saw. Pat's love for her family and friends showed in everything she did. Many people who have sat at her kitchen table and shared in conversation know that her family and their accomplishments made her proud. Mount Baker Ski Area, Mills Electric, and her family roots were deep in who she was. Thank you Pattie for being such a rock to many, a roll model of grace, strength and beauty. Helping us see the beauty around us. The lake will not be the same without you there. You have been the beacon of "Mills Point" for a very long time. A private family ceremony will be held at her home. In lieu of flowers please consider donating to Whatcom Hospice Foundation per her request.
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Published in Bellingham Herald on Jan. 23, 2016