Douglas Steven Mills KOUTS, IN - "Happy is the man who can look back with pride and stride forward with hope." Rediscovered in an old letter, these words guided Doug throughout his life; and now they serve to describe his legacy. Douglas Steven Mills, 59, passed away suddenly on Monday, May 11, 2020. He leaves behind the love of his life, his wife Pamela; daughter Jordan and her fiance Justin; son Brendan and his wife Kristen; daughter Samantha; and grandchildren Benjamin and Charlotte. He is also survived by his siblings Connie, Patricia, Rebecca, Janet, Michael, Scott, and Robert as well as numerous nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his beloved mother and father, and brother John. Doug was born the sixth of nine children to John and Rose Jean Mills in Hobart, IN. Raised in a family of athletes, Doug played Hobart Brickie baseball, football, and wrestling before graduating in 1979. Soon after, he embarked on his career at Varied Products as a draftsman in Valparaiso. He then worked at Union Electric Steel and Urschel Laboratories for several years before joining NIPSCO. There, Doug was the second of three generations of NIPSCO men. Though a private man, he was recognized for his hard-work, dedication, and wit everywhere he went. Doug worked tirelessly for his family, and they were the most important part of his life. From breakfasts-in-bed to little messages of inspiration, he always made his loved ones feel thought of, cared for. Doug was particularly proud of all his children and loved them dearly. He passed on his unparalleled passion for music by providing guitar and piano lessons for each of his children. He acted as the master of ceremonies for at-home family concerts and oftentimes was the lead singer! Doug also had diverse interests and hobbies, all of which he eagerly shared with his family. He loved cooking, and his Saturday morning breakfasts were the stuff of legend. He relished taking family vacations and fishing at his family's cabin in Ely, Minnesota. This inspired him to buy his own boat to enjoy during his retirement. His curiosity about the world was insatiable, and he watched documentaries on every subject under the sun. Moreover, he was quite the Turner Classic Movie buff! At home, he could be found whistling while working on home projects. His family is grieving and will miss him terribly. Tragically he was taken much too soon, but his legacy will live on through his dedicated children and grandchildren. They will always think of him when they hear a John Denver song. They will always smile when they remember his wry humor and infectious laugh, and they will pass on his stories to their children. To his family, he will always be "Papa." Private funeral services will be held by the family. KOSANKE FUNERAL HOME in Kouts entrusted with arrangements.
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Published in The Times on May 15, 2020.