Howard Mills passed away at his home in Seattle, Washington, on December 8, 2015, at age 86. He and his brother, Richard, were raised in Davis, California, by an aunt and uncle after the death of their mother in 1932. During World War II, while still in high school, Howard worked at a California Division of Forestry firefighting camp. He entered the Air Force in 1948 and was stationed in North America and England. His service ended in 1952 at Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, Washington. He headed to Seattle after hearing that Boeing was hiring for B-52 production. Howard began there as a machinist, then became a tool designer, and ended his career at Boeing in 1984 as a senior draftsman. After his early retirement, he spent five years following his dream of being a fisherman, rebuilding a 23-foot wood boat and fishing for shrimp in the San Juan Islands and crayfish in Lake Washington.
Howard met his wife Jean at a Seattle Ski Club meeting at Norway Hall in 1952. They married in 1954. Howard is survived by Jean, their four children (Paul, Jeanette, Marie, and John), the children’s spouses/partners, six grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother. Jean and Howard traveled widely in their later years including to China, Thailand, Australia, Costa Rica, Peru, Egypt, Jordan, multiple trips to Europe, and road trips in North America.
Anyone who knew Howard would say he was a good man. He was willing to help family, friends, neighbors, and strangers whenever needed. His wide-ranging handyman skills kept him busy with projects around their home. More than fifteen years of Alzheimer's Disease ultimately stole that ability from him, but it never completely destroyed his impish sense of humor. He was lovingly cared for by Jean and others in their home until the end. The family thanks Providence Hospice and Family Resource Home Care (especially Teena) for their excellent work during Howard's last few months.
A funeral mass will be held at St. Catherine of Siena Church (814 NE 85th St, Seattle) on Tuesday, December 22, at 10:00am. It will be followed by a reception. Please RSVP here if you plan to attend.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you donate to the Washington State Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association or Catholic Community Services of Western Washington.
Jean and family, So very sorry to hear of Howard's passing. Bob & I couldn't have asked for better neighbors in our years living on 102nd.
We hope to make it to the funeral mass but until then, our condolences
are with all of you for your loss.