VanC. Mills

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SAN ANGELO Van C. Mills passed away on Sunday, July 20, 2014, in the House of Hope. He was born on April 29, 1923, to the union of Irvin S. and Annie Edwards Mills on a farm near Athens, Texas. He attended Millrun school through the seventh grade. This was a two-room country school. Following graduation from Athens High School in 1941, he volunteered to serve in the U.S. Navy for the duration of the national emergency. Van finished boot training at San Diego on Dec. 5, 1941, two days before Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. Following graduation from the radio and communication school in Los Angeles in May 1942, he was assigned to the U.S. Navy Armed Guard. Armed guard personnel served aboard Merchant Marine ships. He served in this capacity in the North and South Atlantic, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, Mediterranean Sea and the South Pacific. Van was honorably discharged from the Navy in November 1945. Following graduation from Texas A&M University in January 1950, with a BS in range management and forestry, he began a long career with the (USDA) Soil Conservation Service. He worked for the SCS at Clarendon, Claude, Potter County, Follett, Pampa, Snyder, Andrews and Colorado City. He retired from the SCS on Dec. 4, 1984. He really enjoyed working with the farmers and ranchers on their conservation problems. He received numerous awards for his dedicated service to the cause of soil and water conservation. Van was married to Vera Mae Schmidt of Claude, Texas, on March 20, 1954. To this union were born Sherry Lynne, Donna Louise and Ellen Elise. Van, with his wife, Vera, moved to San Angelo in July 1985. In various towns Van served as a deacon and Sunday school teacher in the Baptist church. He served as president of the Lions Clubs in Claude and Colorado City. He also served as president of the Colorado City Chamber of Commerce. Van was a member of the Soil and Water Conservation Society of America, Society of Range Management, Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Association of the Texas SCS/NCRS Retirees and the Association of Former Students of Texas A&M. Van was a very loyal Aggie. Van's hobbies included hunting, fishing, hunting for arrowheads, trapping mink, washer pitching and 42. He was preceded in death by his parents; infant daughter Ellen Elise; brothers Brady Mills, Irvin Mills and Tommy Mills; sister Hazel Dalton; and step-granddaughter Kristen Corbin. Van was a member of the Friendship class of Southland Baptist Church. Survivors are his wife, Vera Schmidt Mills; daughters Sherry Lynne and Kenneth Corbin of San Antonio and Donna Louise and Mike Gillespie of Crandall; grandchildren Kelli Morales, Greg Leach, Kayla Orsak, Heidi Gillespie and Bryan Gillespie; and step-grandchildren Kendra Scott and Kali Newman. He is also survived by great-grandchildren Mason, Averie, Jaxon Morales and Pierce Leach. He is also survived by Donald and Carol Schmidt of Glastonbury, Connecticut. Family visitation will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 22, 2014, at Johnson's Funeral Home. Memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, July 23, 2014, in Johnson's Funeral Home chapel. Following the memorial service, Van will be laid to rest in the military section of Lawnhaven Memorial Gardens. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be sent to San Angelo A&M Club Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 1122; or the .

Published in GoSanAngelo from July 22 to July 24, 2014
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San Angelo, TX   (325) 655-3113
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