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Francis Mills Sr.

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014 8:59 a.m. CDT

CHAMPAIGN — Francis Raymond “Frank” Mills Sr. of Champaign passed away at 4:45 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, at Heartland Health Care Center in Paxton.

He was born June 6, 1932, in Tiskilwa to Fred Raymond and Frances Marion (Barthelman) Mills. He married Mary Louise Syler in 1953 in Tiskilwa, with whom he had six children. He later married Darlene Coffin of Urbana.

Survivors include his wife, Darlene (Coffin) Mills of Champaign; his children, Francis Raymond (Shirley) Mills Jr. of El Cajon, Calif., Patricia Ann Kemp of Bloomington, Judith Irene Mills of Princeton, James Russell (Cindy) Mills of Springfield, Carol Lee (Steve) Atkins of Strongsville, Ohio, and Thomas Alan Mills of Princeton; a brother, Richard A. (Barbara) Mills of Princeton; 19 grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren. His parents, two sisters and one brother preceded him in death.

Frank served for 21 years in the U.S. Navy as a fire control technician, retiring in 1972 as a senior chief petty officer. He later retired from the University of Illinois, where he was employed as a janitor foreman.

He was a longtime member of the Pennsylvania Avenue Baptist Church in Urbana. He was also a member of the Fleet Reserve Association and the 700 Club.

Frank served his Lord faithfully as the spiritual head of his family. His gracious nature and humor will be greatly missed and fondly remembered by those whose lives he touched.

Visitation will be from noon to 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, at the Renner-Wikoff Chapel and Crematory, 1900 S. Philo Road, Urbana. A funeral service will be held immediately following the visitation at 2 p.m. at the funeral home with Pastor Rich Gregory officiating. Burial will be held at Grandview Memorial Gardens, Champaign, with the Urbana American Legion Post 71 providing military rites.

Memorial contributions may be made in Frank’s honor to Pennsylvania Avenue Baptist Church. Condolences may be offered online at www.renner-wikoffchapel.com.

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