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Roy Mills

1930 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Roy Mills Obituary
April 9, 1930 - August 23, 2016 Roy Mills died peacefully at his home on August 23, 2016. He was 86. His parents immigrated to New York as teenagers, fleeing the Jewish ghettos of Eastern Europe. Roy was born in Brooklyn in 1930 and moved with his family, by train, to Los Angeles in 1943. He excelled in business and economics at UCLA, graduating Phi Beta Kappa. He was a student assistant for philosopher Hans Reichenbach, a close colleague of Einstein. A voracious and analytical reader, Roy's favorite authors included George Orwell, Will and Ariel Durant, Krishnamurti, Buckminster Fuller, and Sri Aurobindo. He spent his professional life as a Certified Public Accountant, becoming a partner in two LA firms. Along the way, he was pressured to change his "ethnic-sounding" family name from Minsk to Mills. On lunch breaks he would spin poetry. Visiting the office, Esther Roe noticed the writings and showed Roy her daughter Carol's vibrant impressionistic paintings. They courted and after a fateful accident in the early 1950s, Roy pulled Carol from a burning car. Marriage followed. They settled in Laurel Canyon 30 years after Houdini and 10 years before Zappa. Ground broke in 1959 on their innovative mid-century home designed by Donald Polsky, a protégé of architect Richard Neutra. In 1975 they moved, with their two children, to their Idyllwild summer home. He stopped measuring wealth in dollars and retired early. His new profession was to be master of his own time, and to linger in the country rather than country club. Chief among his new pursuits was cheering nature's proceedings through the seasons. They had a yen for good architecture, art, folk music, and travel, which took them to Bali, Cambodia, China, Cuba, Egypt, Japan, Norway Peru, and Tibet, to name a few. Roy was staunchly community minded. Twice elected to the Idyllwild Water Board, he was known for posing inconvenient questions about living within natural resource limits. He helped craft a "Carrying Capacity" study focused on local resource constraints, years before "sustainable development" was in vogue. Roy saw himself as a Secular Humanist. Among his core values were reason and self-determination. He had little use for materialism, sentimentality, and religion. He found true satisfaction and fulfillment in a life lived fully, with generosity and love. Roy is survived by his brother Stanley Minsk, son Evan, daughter Robin, and three grandchildren.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Nov. 1 to Nov. 2, 2016
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