Donald Edward Mills, son of the late William Francis Mills Sr., and Emma Hall Mills was born on June 23, 1936 in Washington D.C. He departed this life on Aug. 26 at the Washington Hospital Center.
Donald was baptized at the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church by the Rev. Jerry A. Moore Jr., on April 6, 1947. This was the beginning of his Christian journey. As a child, he attended Sunday school and Vacation Bible School. He also sang his first solo in the young People’s Choir and the Male Chorus. Donald loved being a member of the Chorus and he dedicated himself fully to it. His delight was always singing a solo. Donald also loved his church, but most of all, he was dedicated to the Rev. Moore who was his first pastor, his friend and his mentor.
Donald was educated in the public schools of the District of Columbia, having attended Stevens Elementary School, Francis Junior High School, and Cardozo High School. He graduated from Cardozo in June 1954 and continued his education at Miner Teachers College. After a year there, he joined the U.S. Air Force in August 1955. Donald serviced his country for eight years before he was honorably discharged in August 1963. Thereafter, he was employed at the Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration from which he retired in 1985, Chief of the Computer Operations Section, Central Computer Operations Branch of the Facility Operations Division.
Donald was united in matrimony to Elnora Quarles on May 28, 1964. From this union a son, Michael Edward, was born on Jan. 26, 1967. His previous marriage to Dorothy Perry ended in divorce.
Donald had many hobbies and interests. He was an avid swimmer and he often served as a lifeguard at pool parties and family reunions. He was a die-hard Redkins fan and a strength coach at Oxon Hill High School in Oxon Hill, Maryland and Paul VI High School in Fairfax, Va. He was also a power lifter. In 1983, Donald went to Melbourne, Australia to compete in a power lifting competition. He was crowned the World Masters Champion in the sport of power lifting. In 1996, he was inducted into the Potomac Weight Lifting Hall of Fame and honored for his leadership, commitment, and dedication to weight lifting.
Donald often joined his son, Michael, an avid fisherman, in his favorite sport of fishing. They often traveled to Chesapeake Beach, Md. and South Point, N.C. where the catches were more plentiful. One of his proudest moments was the day he caught a gigantic rock fish.
Peace came to Donald suddenly on Aug. 26, but the joy of his presence will be cherished forever. He will be sorely missed not only by his family, but the lunch bunch a group of valued friends who would gather on the third Thursday of every month just to chit-chat and enjoy one another’s company.
We will miss Donald’s smile, his soft spoken voice, his late night telephone calls, and all of the joyous occasions shared, especially at the Liggins/Ligons Family Reunions.
Donald is survived by his wife, Elnora, his son, Michael Edward, his brother Robert Mills (Audrey) of Hampton, Va., his sisters, Lorraine Mills Jennings and Sadie Mills of San Antonio, Texas, Rosemary Mills Massey (Thomas), and Ellen Mills Lewis of Washington, D.C., a brother-in-law, Oscar Quarles, Aunt Doris and Francis Liggins of Berryville, Va., a host of nieces, nephews, great nieces, a great nephew, and many, many friends. Two brothers, William Francis Mills, Jr., and Henry Hardee Mills and a sister, Betsy Mills McRae, predeceased him.