Mills, Esq., Thomas C.H.
December 14, 1949 - February 19, 2013
Dedicated attorney and civic activist, Tom Mills, 63, of Santa Fe, died February 19, 2013. He was born in Lakewood, CA, held a degree in Political Science from Stanford University, and a J.D. from Hastings College of the Law, University of California. He practiced law first in San Francisco and then for 31 years in NewMexico, where he established a prominent record of public service given freely and successfully. He served as General Counsel to both the NM Departments of Tourism and Economic Development as well as to the Spaceport Authority for Spaceport America and was Deputy Cabinet Secretary of the Energy, Minerals & Natural Resources Department under Governor Bill Richardson before returning to private practice with the formation of his own law firm. He implemented many vital policy changes, but he is well remembered for leading the essential and successful six-year statewide battle to amend the anti-donation clause of the state constitution to create thousands of new jobs in New Mexico. He served variously as chair, president and board member of a long list of philanthropic organizations such as the NM Finance Authority, T.R.A.D.E., Santa Fe Economic Development Corporation, The Food Depot, Cornerstones Community Partnerships, Los Alamos National Laboratory Community Council, Citizen's Oversight Committee, TapWater Santa Fe, Sangre de Cristo Girl Scout Council, the Association of Commerce and Industry, and the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce. He was named as one of "10 Who Made A Difference" by the Santa Fe New Mexican in 2000 and received the United Way of Santa Fe County Leadership Award that same year. He was an active member of Leadership Santa Fe, the statewide Leadership NM, LNM Alumni Association, as well as the Santa Fe Rotary Club
. Tom was consistently able to connect and motivate stakeholders with diverse interests to work for the common public good and was willing to be judged by his ability and character rather than rhetoric. He organized and presided over numerous statewide Town Halls as Chair of New Mexico First and gave equally notable service as president of Lambda Alpha International, the worldwide honorary society for the advancement of land economics. As an appointed official, many times over, he thoughtfully selected representatives from diverse interests and spearheaded coalitions that moved agendas forward. He deeply valued the elite education for which he worked so hard and made the public welfare of his community and state, its primary beneficiary. Tom is remembered for his integrity, satirical humor, tenacity, intellect and good heart. He is survived by his mother, Roberta Mills, sister, Kimberley Carter, brothers Terry Mills and Timothy B. Mills, Esq., first cousins and native Santa Feans Richard, Sada, and Victoria Quijada, and his wife, Renee Julien.
There will be no formal funeral services, but memorial contributions in Tom's name are encouraged for: The Cleveland Clinic Cardiac Oncology Center, P.O. Box 931517, Cleveland, OH 44193.