Richard G. Mills, 86, a resident of Florence passed away March 2, 2018. He was born in Richmond, Virginia on February 14, 1932 to the late Major Henry P. Mills and Sissie (Atkins) Mills.
Richard joined the U.S. Army at the age of 16 ½ where he eventually trained at Fort Bragg with the 82nd Airborne Division. He served three tours during the Korean War. He was part of the 187th Infantry Regiment (101st Airborne Division at the time) known as the “Rakkasans”. He fought in some of the hardest fought battles including the battle of Chosin Reservoir, soldiers under General Douglas McArthur were known as the “Chosen Frozen” because of the extreme fighting the soldiers endured during the coldest winter on record. Richard traveled the world during his time in the Army as well as being assigned to the US Embassy in Venezuela. He was given an honorable discharge in 1963 after receiving the Bronze star for valor and the Purple Heart for injuries he received during his service.
In 1962 while on tour in Germany for the Army, Richard was raised a Master Mason and would later transfer to be a member of the Fremont Lodge #97, where he served as worshipful master on two occasions as well as membership in Eureka Lodge #66 and Silvercliff Lodge #38, AF&AM as well as serving with the Fremont Shrine Club (Al Kaly Shriners), an appendant body of the Masonic Lodge.
After being discharged in 1963 he went to work for the Colorado State Hospital for 3 years then transferred to the Colorado Department of Corrections. During his career there he earned a Master’s Degree in both Sociology and Behavioral Health. He eventually worked his way to the position of Warden and retired from the Women’s Division of the Colorado State Prison.
After Retirement he was on a team of three hired by Bent County Commissioners to oversee all aspects of the Bent County Private Prison. He continued to work as a consultant for Bent County and Walsenburg Private Prisons until 2007.
Richard was an accomplished artist in wood working and stained glass. It seems that all of his artistic endeavors were prize winning quality.
Richard, simply known by his family as “Grandpa” was an honorable and kind hearted man. His love for life will be forever cherished.
Richard is survived by his wife, Mary Howard-Mills; children, Gary (Brenda) Howard, Vickie Howard and Kimberly Diethrich; special nephew, R.J.; nieces, Kim and Deidra; along with numerous grandchildren.
Richard was preceded in death by his parents; first wife, Maxine (Greenwood) Mills; and two sisters.
Funeral service, 11:00 a.m. Friday, March 9, Wilson Funeral Chapel, 1449 S. 9th Street, Canon City, Colorado 81212. Interment to follow at Mountain Vale Cemetery
In lieu of flowers please make donations to the Fremont Shrine Club, 132 Mourning Dove Dr. Canon City, Colorado 81212
Services have been entrusted to Wilson Funeral Home.