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6699 North High Street
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Luther Joseph Mills III


1951 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences
Luther Joseph Mills III Obituary
Mills III Luther Joseph Mills III, 62, of Delaware, OH, passed away unexpectedly at home on June 8, 2014. He was born at Martins Ferry Hospital on August 4, 1951 and grew up in Shadyside OH. He was preceded in death by his parents Mary (Bonfini) and Luther Joseph Mills Jr., his paternal grandparents Virginia (Jordan) and Luther Joseph Mills Sr., and his maternal grandparents Giacinta and Pietro Bonfini. Surviving are his wife of 41 years, Kathy (Biery) Mills; son, Daniel of Washington DC; two daughters, Stacy of Columbus OH and Christie of Washington DC; three sisters, Delores Kolakowski, Anita (Chris) Boyd, and Sheila (Bruce) Smith; three sisters-in-law, Diana (Larry) Armbruster, Judy (Tom) Long, and Linda (Mick) Brown; and 16 nieces and nephews. Luther graduated from Shadyside High School in 1969 and immediately began summer quarter classes at The Ohio State University. He earned a degree in Chemical Engineering in 1973 and a degree in Electrical Engineering in 1974. He also earned a private pilot's license while at OSU and enjoyed taking family and friends on exciting flying adventures. ("Your job, Kathy, is to look out for other planes.") Luther began his career in 1974 as a research and development engineer at Brown & Williamson Tobacco Company in Louisville KY. He was issued a patent by the US Patent & Trademark Office for a tobacco drying method and was given $1.00 by his employer for the design. After starting his career, he enrolled in graduate school and took many engineering and business courses before deciding on law. By this time, he was also a proud daddy and often studied with his young son on his lap. He graduated from the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law and was admitted to the Kentucky bar in 1981. After leaving B&W, he accepted a position with American Synthetic Rubber Company where he joined a select group of young engineers. He later worked for Olin Industries as the department head of facilities and plant operations. In 1986, he accepted a position as plant manager at the Brandenburg KY plant of Tremco Industries which ultimately brought his family back to Ohio. This move turned the course of his career from engineering to law full time, as he soon declined a position at the Tremco corporate office to begin his law career. Over the next twenty-five years, Luther helped many people facing difficult situations. He was a skilled trial attorney and was never at a loss for words. He had a quick wit and a sharp tongue, regardless of his audience. His trademark look was a white shirt, khaki pants, and some variation of black tennis shoes. (One young client facing delinquency charges looked him over and said, "You can't be a lawyer. You have on tennis shoes.") He put on a tie and sports coat only when necessary and, sometimes, only after being invited to by a sitting judge. Luther never tired of learning and was an avid reader. At the time of his passing, he was reading three books simultaneously. He passed that love on to his son and two daughters of whom he was endlessly proud. Between them, they earned seven college degrees and followed his lead to work in the fields of engineering or law as a nuclear engineer, bankruptcy attorney, and patent examiner. Luther was generous, humorous, gifted, loyal, quirky, encouraging, adventurous, hard-working, inventive, memorable, adorably cute, and is sadly missed by his loving family and a myriad of friends and colleagues. A Memorial Service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 28 at the SCHOEDINGER WORTHINGTON CHAPEL, 6699 N. High St., where the family will receive friends from 12Noon-2 p.m. the day of the service. Contributions in Luther's memory may be made to the Am. Kidney Fund, 11921 Rockville Pike, Suite 300, Rockville, MD 20852; Charity Newsies, 4300 Indianola Ave., Columbus, OH 43214; or donate a book to your favorite library. Visit www.schoedinger.com to share a favorite memory of Luther Mills.
Published in The Columbus Dispatch on June 15, 2014
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