James Floyd “Papa Jim” Mills, 73, of Benton, passed away Friday evening August 24. He was born October 29, 1938 in Haskell, to Marcus Coy Mills and Opie Berryhill Mills. James received his education and training at Henry Ford Technical Institute, now a subsidiary of Michigan State University, in Detroit Michigan. He was employed for many years in the tool-and-die trade, eventually becoming an industrial designer specializing in compound progressive dies and plastic injection molds. His many product designs surround us daily, from plastic drinking cups from McDonalds, throw-away meat tray containers, automotive couplings and brackets, to housings on chain saws and fly wheels. He never sought notoriety, yet was honored for one of his designs that he was perhaps least proud of, a laser aiming device that was featured on the cover of Guns & Ammo magazine, June 1990 issue and featured in the series of “Terminator” movies. He loved to travel, golf, go to church, and spend time with his family and friends. James was a member of Mt. View Missionary Baptist Church of Benton.
James is preceded in death by his parents, Marcus Coy Mills and Opie Berryhill Mills; his step-father, Hugh Johnson; his brother, Gene Edward Mills; and his sister, June Mills Roberts.
He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Nina Mills; his daughter and son-in-law, Teresa and Rusty Keesee; his son and daughter-in-law, Wayne and Kimberly Mills; his six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren; his sisters, Wanda Mills Korak and Jan Mills Suitor; his half sister, Joan Johnson Kooy; his half brother, Larry Johnson; and scores of nieces and nephews, cousins, and a host of family and friends.
Memorial services will be 5 p.m. Tuesday, August 28 at Ashby Funeral Home. Bro. Joey Perry and Bro. Phillip Batchelor will be officiating.
On-line guest book at www.ashbyfuneralhome.com .