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Photo of Robert R. Mills

Robert R. Mills


Flag SMRobert Russell Mills of Brookfield, Illinois died on September 12, 2022 at the age of 94. He was a Past Master of Palatine Lodge #314 (1992) as well as a WWII Air Force Veteran. Born in Springfield, OH, Bob also lived in Winston Salem, NC, Georgetown OH, Elgin IL and LaGrange, IL during the course of his life. He was husband to the late Pat Donaldson (April 18, 1998 - March 20, 2020). His former spouses include Theodora Sajewski May 5, 1979 – November 28, 1994) and Catherine Libby Mills (April 14, 1954 – November 15, 1978).

He is father to son Robert Michael Mills and wife Cindy; daughter Karin Marie Mills and wife Stephanie Martin; and son Russell Edward Mills and partner Greg Dostie. He is survived by his brother Ralph Wilkinson Mills and wife Elaine. His brother Harry Mills passed away in 1982. Bob’s grandchildren include Nolan Mills and wife Keri; Nina Mills Butchko and husband Thomas. His great grandchildren are Addison and Carly Mills; and Thomas and Christopher Butchko. His niece is Valerie Nau and husband Vance, whose children are Matthew, Allison and Gregory.

While growing up in Springfield, Ohio, Bob attended the Christ Episcopal Church. He was an acolyte, a crucifer, sang in the choir and conducted the senior high school evening group while attending Wittenberg College. He participated in many church projects including working in the soybean and corn fields in the mornings and painting the church in the afternoons. Bob attended Olive Branch High and was on the baseball team, sang in the choir, performed in the theater group and was class president of both his junior and senior classes. He even tried out for the Brooklyn Dodgers when he was 16.

Bob enlisted for military service in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He was a foto interpreter and lab technician at the Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines. Bob was a part of the effort to remap the ocean because old maps were causing shipwrecks during the war. He also played on the 12” fast pitch softball team and would travel to Manila for games at Rizal stadium. He finished out his service at Pope Air Force Base.

Bob attended Wittenberg University where he majored in Political Science, graduating in 1953. Two of his close army buddies, Paul Ballrentine and Chuck Hagerty also attended Wittenberg. Bob became President of his fraternity Phi Kappa Psi his junior year.

Bob worked in the Group Insurance field throughout his career. He was a salesman, supervisor, district sales manager, and regional sales manager.

During his years in La Grange, Bob was active in the Little League program. He served on the Board of Directors, managed the Richport Realtors team, and was a Player Agent who conducted the annual tryout for new players.

Also in La Grange, Bob belonged to the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America, or S.P.E.B.S.Q.S.A. He sang lead (2nd tenor) in a men’s chorus which met weekly in Hinsdale. They performed throughout the western suburbs as well as competed at barbershop conventions.

When Bob moved to Elgin, he became active with the Masons. His Blue Lodge was Palatine Lodge #314 where he became Master of the Lodge in 1992. He was a member of the parade unit “Spirit of ‘76” and carried a musket. The unit had flags and a drum & fife corps. They raised money for the Masonic Hospitals. Bob was also an AASR- Scottish Rite attaining his 32nd degree in the Valley of Chicago. He was a 32nd degree Knight Templar of the Bethel Commandery #36 in Palatine. He was a companion in the Cryptic Council #46 and Royal Arch Mason-#206, both in Palatine. Bob was also a member of the Order of the Eastern Star, Palatine Chapter #385.

Bob was a member of the Shrines’ International Medina Shrine located in Addison, IL. He was part of the Chanters Unit, which road floats and sang during parades. He was a lifetime supporter of St. Judes Hospital. Bob was also a “Yellow Dog”.

Dad attended his 50th high school reunion and reconnected with a former classmate, Pat. After their marriage they lived in Georgetown Ohio, then moved to Winston-Salem, NC.

Bob moved to Wye Valley of The British Home/ Cantata in August of 2020. Maggie, Jeff, Cheryl and Mary made him feel right at home and very happy. Tina and Torunn’s care enabled him to remain in his cherished yellow apartment during the last few months of his life.

Bob will be interned at Ferncliff Cemetery and Arboretum on November 5th in Springfield Ohio where he will receive both Masonic burial rites and military funeral honors. His arrangements were entrusted to Hitzeman Funeral Home & Cremation Services 9445 W. 31st Street, Brookfield, IL 60513.

Information 708-485-2000 or www.HitzemanFuneral.com

For those of you that would like to express your condolences to the family, please click on the link below and you can leave the family a message. If you wish to send a sympathy card to the family, please feel free to send it to Hitzeman Funeral Home, 9445 West 31st Street, Brookfield, IL 60513, c/o Robert Mills Family. We will gladly forward it on to the family. Memorials appreciated to the Masons or Shriners.