With his family and close friends by his side, John (Jack) Victor Mills, 80, of Fort Frances, Ont., passed away at La Verendrye General Hospital on Tuesday, May 11, 1999.
Jack was born Nov. 10, 1918 at the end of World War I in Rush Lake, Sask. to the late Joseph and Helen Mills. He grew up on the prairies during the dust bowl of the Great Depression.
In his early teenage years, he worked on cattle ranches in Alberta, quickly discovering he had a special gift with horses and farming, and loved wide open spaces.
With plans to settle and build a farm of his own, Jack moved to Fort Frances in 1939. He married a school teacher from Saskatchewan, Nita Mochulsky, later that year.
In January, 1942, during the height of World War II, Jack enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force and served his country while stationed in the east coast. Four years later, he was discharged and returned to Fort Frances.
Jack was an avid outdoorsman and true conservationist. He never took from nature what he did not intend to use. He was known for being a great fisherman and a hunter, and could safely guide his boat at night through the many islands of Rainy Lake.
Jack also was an avid bowler and storyteller. Above all of his vast interests, skills, and ability, Jack loved having his wife, Nita, and family around him, especially at the farm.
Jack applied his knowledge from his years as a mechanic in the air force as a steam plant engineer for O&M in 1946, and retired from Boise Cascade in 1980.
When the time was right, Jack built the J.V. Mills Farm in 1964. Since then, the J.V. Mills Farm has been an active working farm providing boarding, recreational riding, produce, and crops for horses and livestock.
Jack was one of the founding members of the Whispering Pines Saddle Club, was adherent to the Knox United Church, and a long-time member of the Royal Canadian Legion Br. #29.
Jack is survived by his wife, Nita Mills of Fort Frances, Ont.; son, Terry Mills and his wife, Sandra, of Sydney, B.C.; two daughters, Lorna and husband, Conrad Larson, and Linda and husband, Bob Hamilton, of Fort Frances, Ont.; seven grandchildren, Corbin and Cristin Mills, Brent and Darren Larson, and Scott, Todd, and Lindsay Hamilton; two great-grandchildren, Kali Hamilton and Jack Hamilton; one brother, Roy Mills and wife, Mildred, of Qualicum Beach, B.C.; one sister, Dorothy and husband, Al Edworthy, of North Battleford, Sask.; and many nieces and nephews.
Funeral services were held Friday, May 14, 1999 at 2 p.m. at Knox United Church in Fort Frances. Patrick Playfair officiated, with interment in Riverview Cemetery in Fort Frances.
Friends visited Thursday evening from 7-9 p.m. at Green Funeral Home in Fort Frances.
Pallbearers were Brent Larson, Darren Larson, Scott Hamilton, Joe Mills, Corbin Mills, and Cristin Mills.
Honourary pallbearers were Bev and Derald McCool, Gayle and Chuck Arpin, Madeline and Bud Jordbro, Jean and Wes Hayes, Lois Judson, Bill Wreggitt, Lois and Barney Maher, Mary Clinker, Ed Pawlicki, Richard Meades, Jody and Keith Caul, and all his friends.
In memoriam donations can be made to the Canadian Cancer Society, P.O. Box 444, Fort Frances, Ont., P9A 3M8, or the Canadian Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 655, Fort Frances, Ont., P9A 3M9.