1948 July 27, 2020 Michael R. Mills, 71, went to the arms of Jesus on Monday, July 27, 2020 at Saint Mary's Hospital in Richmond, Virginia after a long illness. He was born in Stuart, Virginia to Charles H. and Almeda B. Mills in 1948. He was preceded to Heaven by his father, Charles H. Mills. He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Robin Grant Mills, and his daughter, Ashley N. Mills of Disputanta, Virginia, his mother, Almeda Belcher Mills, and brother, Douglas L. Mills of Stuart, Virginia, brother-in-law, Dr. Bill Grant (Lena) of Mission, Texas, nephews Will Grant (Matt) of Washington D.C. and Robert Grant (Amber) of Mission, Texas and four great nieces, as well as four special aunts, a plethora of much-loved cousins, many friends, and his beloved dog, Molly. Mike graduated from Stuart High School in 1967 and Virginia Tech in 1971 with a BS in Business where he was a member of the Business fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi. Mike began his working life in retailing and sales but found the love of flying airplanes after seeing an old friend from Stuart one Sunday at Blacksburg Baptist Church where the Mills were members. His friend taught flying at the Virginia Tech Airport in Blacksburg. After a few lessons, Mike was hooked. He worked through all his levels to first become a flight instructor, and then a pilot for Virginia Tech. In January of 2000, he was hired as a pilot at the Department of Aviation for the Commonwealth of Virginia. He retired as Director of Flight Operations and Safety for the department. Mike went on to do safety audits for businesses with flight departments around the country. Besides flying, Mike had a love for NASCAR. As a young boy, his family would go to Daytona Beach to the races when they were still on the beach. Growing up in Stuart gave him the opportunity to visit the Wood Brothers' shop which led to his love of cars in later years. He attended Buck Baker Driving School in the early '80s and had plans to restore a 1971 Boat-tail Buick Riviera, a plan the was unfulfilled due to the onset of Alzheimer's Disease. Mike was a member of Newville United Methodist Church, Lead Virginia, a state-wide leadership program and Virginia Aviation Ambassadors. The family would like to thank the members of Newville United Methodist Church for their prayers and support through this difficult time and the many Facebook friends that they shared. They would also like to thank the nurses and staff at St Mary's Hospital Geriatric Behavioral Health Unit for their kind and patient care of Mike during his last days. There will be a memorial service at a time to later be determined when his family and friends can gather safely. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Mike's memory to The Alzheimer's Association, P.O. Box 96011, Washington, D.C. 20090-6011 or Newville United Methodist Church, 9014 Hines Road, Disputanta, Virginia 23842.
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