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Wilfred Mills

Wilfred L. Mills, Lt. Col. USAF Ret.

May 31, 1925 - February 2, 2019
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Obituary

SPRUCE HEAD ISLAND – Wilfred L. Mills, Lt. Col. USAF Ret., 93, died Saturday, February 2, 2019, at the Sussman House in Rockport.

Born May 31, 1925, he was brought up on North Haven Island, the son of Merle F. and Emma Peck Mills. While growing up on North Haven, influenced by Charles Lindbergh who landed on North Haven in 1931, Wilfred developed a passion for airplanes and flying. He attended local schools until his sophomore year when his family moved to Rockland due to the war effort. Wilfred enlisted into the U.S. Army Air Force after his junior year of high school. He graduated from Rockland High School with the class of 1944.

Wilfred served in the U.S. Army Air Force during the latter part of World War II as a flight engineer on B-29 bombers. After the war, he attended the University of Maine and later earned a commercial pilot and instructor’s license. He ultimately purchased a Piper Cub which he flew from North Haven to Orono to attend classes at the University. He gave many people on North Haven their first ride in an airplane.

Wilfred was called back to active duty with the Air Force for the Korean War. He continued a flying career in the Air Force as a flight engineer on B-36 aircraft, and later during the Cold War, he was navigator and weapons delivery officer on B-52s. His last assignment was Deputy Operations Officer with the 45th Air Division at Loring Air Force Base, Limestone, ME.

After retirement in 1970, Wilfred pursued a career as a real estate broker until 1987. For years he enjoyed sailing the coast of Maine from his home on Spruce Head Island. He was a charter member of the Baird-Calderwood-Morrison-Parson, American Legion Post No. 33, North Haven, and a member of the Military Officers Association and Air Force Association.

Wilfred was predeceased by his parents and a sister, Beatrice Gherardi. He is survived by his four sons, Christopher Mills and his wife Stephanie of Pagosa Springs, CO; Jeffrey Mills and his wife Carol of South Thomaston; Gregory Mills of St. George; Thomas Mills of Lincolnville; three grandchildren, Carey Mills, Connor Mills, Joshua Mills; and two great-grandchildren, Christian and Leevi. He is also survived by his sister Beatrice’s children Joan Harnois, George Gherardi, Peggy Napolitano, Jerry Gherardi, Debbie Fullington, and their families; and his cousins Freda Smith, Alden Mills, Stillman Joyce, Dale Mills and their families; and godchild Mary Tavernini Dowling.

Friends and relatives are invited to visit from 5:00 to 7:00pm, Tuesday, February 19, 2019, at Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock Street, Rockland, where a Prayer Vigil Service will begin at 6:00pm. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at 1:00pm, Wednesday, February 20th, at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church, 150 Broadway, Rockland. The Reverend Robert Vaillancourt will officiate. A graveside service with Military Honors at Fuller Cemetery, North Haven, will be announced.

The family wishes to thank all of Wilfred’s caregivers who provided him with excellent care over the past 2 years. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Care Net Pregnancy Center, 462 Old County Road, Rockland, ME 04841.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Tuesday February 19, 2019 | 5:00pm - 7:00pm
    When
    Tuesday February 19, 2019 5:00pm - 7:00pm
    Location
    Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home
    Address
    110 Limerock Street
    Rockland, Maine 04841
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Memorial Mass

    Wednesday February 20, 2019 | 1:00pm
    When
    Wednesday February 20, 2019 1:00pm
    Location
    St. Bernards Catholic Church
    Address
    150 Broadway
    Rockland, Maine 04841
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Officiant
    The Reverend Robert Vaillencourt
  • Interment

    Location
    Fuller Cemetery - North Haven
    Address
    Pulpit Harbor Road
    NORTH HAVEN, ME 04853
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    A Graveside Service with Military Honors will be announced.

Affiliations

  • Air Force
  • Air Force Association
  • Military Officers Association of America

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Bob Shannon

Posted at 08:21pm
I had the pleasure of flying with Wiff in B-52's during 1963-1964. Wiff was a bombardier and I was a navigator. We had many hours of flying together and pulling alert together. Although Wiff was flying as a military navigator/bombardier, he had a civilian commercial pilot and instructors license. When Wiff found that I was interested in piloting he became my instructor throughout my obtaining my private pilots rating. I later went through pilot training and Wiff presented me with my first set of pilots wings. I wore these wings throughout my career including 3 years in Viet Nam. I still have those wings and treasure them very much. We had many great times together over the years including sailing along the Maine coast, RV trips through Maine and Canada (including Newfoundland and Labrador). Wiff was one of the all time greatest people I have known and I shall miss him very much. I send my heartfelt sympathy, prayers and condolences to the family.
AV

Alana VanDerwerker

Posted at 08:09pm
I had the pleasure of meeting Wiff at his home in Spruce Head with my father, Burt Brown, who had lived on North Haven and was a boyhood and young adult friend of Wiff. When I was young my father had told me about flying with Wiff and about some of their times together at UMO. After meeting Wiff, I kept in touch with Wiff for some years. We enjoyed some long telephone conversations and swapping flying and sailing stories. I extend my sincere condolences and sympathy to his extended family. Peace.
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