Gary Mills, 82

Gary Paul Mills, age 82, of Sturgis, passed away Saturday evening, October 1, 2022 at his home surrounded by his family.

He was born October 9, 1939 in Elkhart, son of the late Oscar H. and Jean E. (Shantz) Mills.

Gary resided in Sturgis since 1970 coming from Edwardsburg.

In 1957 he married his high school sweetheart Nila Jean Parker in Elkhart.

Gary was a Journeyman Tool & Die Maker by trade. He retired from Burr Oak Tool in Sturgis following several years of dedicated employment, two of those years were spent in Japan. From 1969 to 1984 he and Nila owned and operated the A&W and Rumbleseat restaurants in Sturgis.

Gary was proud to have served his country in the U.S. Army Reserves.

He was a member of the Centreville United Methodist Church.

He volunteered his time with hospice and managed the food pantry for the Centreville and Nottawa area. Gary was a very talented man who built two houses, a restaurant, and a houseboat, and held a private pilots license. He enjoyed sailing, boating, fishing, and photography to name a few of his many hobbies. Gary’s sincere generosity for others will be remembered by anyone that knew him. His many restaurant employees will forever remember his offer for them to use the family pool on their breaks and the annual employee trips to Warren Dunes. Gary had hobbies and involvements but what he took the most pride in and what gave him true joy was time spent with his family.

Gary is survived his loving and dedicated wife of 65 years, Nila; four daughters: Cynthia (Don) Milligan of Delton, Laura (Bob) Brothers of Sturgis, Janet Mills of Delton and Pat (Rick) Kubasiak of Colon; one son: Michael Mills of Mattawan; 19 grandchildren 23 great grandchildren; two sisters: Lana (Jim) Studebaker of Union, Ohio and Judy Ferguson of Lansing and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; daughter: Sherry Lego; uncle: Roy Mills and brother-in-law: Richard Furguson.

The family would like to extend special thanks to Kim Collins and Harmony Care Hospice for the loving care Gary received.

The family will receive friends from 1:00 to 2:00 Thursday, Oct. 6th at the Hackman Chapel of Hackman Family Funeral Homes, 114 S. Nottawa St. in Sturgis where funeral services celebrating the life of Gary Paul Mills will immediately follow the visitation at 1:00.  Chaplain Kevin Brinthnall of Harmony Hospice will officiate. In accordance with Gary’s wishes cremation will follow the service. Private interment of the remains will take place at Oak Lawn Cemetery in Sturgis at a later date.

The family suggests those wishing to make a memorial donation in Mr. Mills’s memory consider Harmony Hospice, 2725 Airview Blvd #101, Portage, MI 49002.

We encourage relatives and friends to share memories and condolences at

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