The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Dr. Donald Holloway Mills


BESSEMER, Mich. - Dr. Donald Holloway Mills, 99, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his children on April 16, 2017.

He was born in Ann Arbor on March 14, 1918, son of the late Alma (Daniel) and Harry Mills, and graduated from Dearborn Heights High School.

As a boy he was immensely proud of being a Boy Scout, an experience he held as a foundation for his life. He carried his Boy Scout pocket knife with him always and passed along his love for the outdoors, camping and canoeing to his children, creating so many lasting memories for them.

A World War II veteran, he was inducted into the Army shortly after the Pearl Harbor attack, serving in Germany and France in the Quartermasters Corps rising to the rank of captain. His service ended in 1946.

Upon release from the armed services, he took advantage of the GI bill and enrolled at the University of California Berkley. He graduated from Northern Illinois College of Optometry. In one of his classes at Berkley he was assigned as a lab partner to Patricia Byers, who went on to become his wife on Sept. 9, 1949.

They started their married life in Ann Arbor, but Donald preferred a more rural setting and having hunted in the Upper Peninsula decided that would be a good place to live and raise a family. He started his optometric practice on May 7, 1956, in Bessemer on Sellar Street. He retired from his practice in 1984.

Donald was a member of the American Legion Post 5 of Ironwood. He was active in the Kiwanis Club for many years and enjoyed the fellowship of the members and services the club provided to the community. Donald was a voracious reader and had a passion for learning about a number of subjects, especially history and other cultures. His desire to learn was so great he even lamented that there wasn't enough time in his life to learn everything he could about the subjects that fascinated him. Next to reading, he loved to drive out to Black River Harbor and walk down to the beach, usually bringing back a rock to add to his collection.

He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Patricia; son, Gordon, of Eau Claire, Wis .; daughter, Marguerite, of Bessemer; son, Douglas (Linda), of Ann Arbor; daughter, Laura, of Los Angeles; son, David, of Bessemer; and son, Peter, of Ypsilanti; along with five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Virginia; and brother, Harrison.

Cremation has taken place and no services are planned.

Range Funeral Service and Crematory, Ketola-Burla Funeral Home of Ironwood is assisting the family with arrangements. To send on-line condolences, visit


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