Lewis Duane Mills peacefully passed to be with his Lord on September 26, 2023 at the age of 86.
Duane was born on February 26, 1937, in Hutchinson, KS. He lived with his parents, John and Eunice Mills and his eight siblings: Donna, MaryAnn, John, Dorothy, Judy, Marty, Jim and Mark.
Duane graduated from high school in Salina, KS in 1955, and joined the Air Force, serving for four years as an airplane mechanic. He then attended Fort Hays State where he played college football. There, he met his college sweetheart, Charon Lower, and they were married on Christmas Eve of 1961. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Arts. He later received two Master’s Degrees: One from Fort Hays in Education and the Second Master’s in Educational Administration from Wichita, KS.
Duane worked as a high school English teacher, auto-mechanics teacher, and football coach. He later worked as a high school counselor and counselor for the troubled youth at the Larned State Hospital. He taught for 32 years. Duane was a voracious reader, loved teaching and coaching, loved his family, and had a heart for the underdog. Duane was a faithful disciple for his family and children, and taught them to love the Lord and led by Godly example. He enjoyed his home improvement projects, gardening, playing games with his family, and playing ping pong and tennis. He loved Jamoca shakes, pepperoni sausage pizza from Pizza Hut, and Mom’s cooking.
Duane was predeceased by his parents, John and Eunice Mills, his two brothers, John Mills and Mark Mills, and his sister, Dorothy Engle. He is survived by his loving wife of 61 years, Charon Mills, and is lovingly remembered by his five children: son, Darrel and his wife, Debra Mills; daughters: Chalena and her husband, Larry Sandahl, Karon and her husband, Joe Henderson, Melisa Neill, and Jeanette and her husband, Troy Hockersmith; twelve grandchildren: Austin, Alec Mills and Katie Dobbs; Matthew, Brian and Melanie (spouse) Starseed and Nathan Sandahl, Miranda and Stephen (spouse) Caldwell and Kara Henderson, and Drs. Kayla and Nick (spouse) Hanna, Jordan and Barbara (spouse) Hockersmith and Kenzie Hockersmith and Andrew Neill; his eight great-great grandchildren: Isaiah and Elijah Dobbs, Saphire and Harmony Starseed: Blayke and Bently Caldwell; Aubrey and Barrett Hanna.
Services were held at Foxwood Springs in Raymore, Missouri. An interment service with military honors will take place at a later date in Pawnee Rock, Kansas.