Willis G Mills
April 8, 1923 – October 8, 2019
Willis Grigsby (Jiggs) Mills passed away quietly on October 8, 2019 at the age 96. Born near Cross Cut, Texas in Brown County on April 8, 1923, he was the second of three children of Robert and Lillie Mills and the only son. When he was 8 years old, they moved to a ranch in nearby Mills County. Jiggs attended the Pompey Creek school and later Zephyr High School. He graduated from Zephyr in 1939 and enrolled at Texas A & M University. Due to promotions while in public school and the fact there were only eleven grades at that time, Jiggs entered college at age 16.
While at A & M he majored in agricultural administration. He was a member of the Aggie Corps and like all students at the time was also in ROTC. With the outbreak of World War II, A & M began using an accelerated schedule and Jiggs graduated with his class in early 1943. After completing additional training stateside Jiggs was sent to England where he joined the 4003rd Quartermaster Truck Corp. After D-Day, the primary mission of the 4003rd was to keep General Patton’s Third Army suppled with gasoline. As a 2nd lieutenant, Jiggs often commanded a 40 truck convoy bringing gas from a fuel depot to an area near the front lines to deliver needed gas to keep Patton’s tanks racing across France and later Germany.
After the war, Jiggs returned to Texas and began his work career, first in Corpus Christi and later in San Antonio. In San Antonio, Jiggs began working for Commercial Credit Corporation, a consumer finance company which later became a part of Citigroup. He would work for them for 40 years retiring in 1987 as a vice president.
Also, while in San Antonio Jiggs began dating Imogene Powell. Jiggs and Jean had actually grown up together in Zephyr. On September 1, 1951 they were married and a year later moved to Houston. In the eleven years they were Houston residents, their only child Don was born in November 1957. They also rode out the deadly Hurricane Carla in their home in 1961. In 1963 Jiggs was transferred to Dallas. Jiggs and Jean purchased a house in Bedford, Texas that would be their home for the next 15 years. During this time they formed many long relationships with new friends and nearby relatives. Jiggs’ sister Mildred Jenkins and her husband Herman lived nearby and they became not only relatives but close friends. They enjoyed sharing meals, playing bridge and occasionally traveling together.
Their son Don went through grades one through twelve in the Hurst-Euless-Bedford school district. Jiggs helped coach one of his early baseball teams and then became his biggest fan as he progressed through baseball and later basketball at L. D. Bell High School. They also enjoyed their shared love and passion for golf and played together often. Don graduated high school in 1976 and headed for Texas A & M. In 1978 Jiggs was again transferred, this time to San Antonio. He and Jean enjoyed the return to the city where they wed and made many new friends while there. In 1983 Jiggs was transferred for the final time back to Dallas. He and Jean purchased a house in Richardson where they would live together for over 20 years. Throughout their lives together Jiggs and Jean enjoyed their many friends. Jean was outgoing while Jiggs was quiet and understated, but a very warm person. They were active in the Presbyterian church throughout their married life. Jiggs served as both a deacon and elder in the church. Jiggs was also proud of his large extended family particularly the “Chambers Clan” which was his mother’s family. For 80 years this large group had an annual Thanksgiving Day reunion. Jiggs served as the host and “emcee” of this event for a number of his later years and it was truly his most anticipated time of the year.
Jean passed away in early 2007 and Jiggs’ sorrow of this loss was great. He lived alone in their Richardson home for several years and was active at Canyon Creek Presbyterian Church which had become their church home. He continued to play golf with his old group at Sherrill Park. He maintained his love of the Texas Aggies and Dallas Cowboys. He remained close to son Don and his wife Lisa. Their son Clay, his only grandchild, was a particular delight.
In recent years, Jiggs was afflicted by dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. He lived the last few years at the Atria in Grapevine. The family wishes to express their gratitude to the Atria staff and also the wonderful caregivers from Acappella in Home Care who looked after him lovingly.
Jiggs is survived by son, Don and his wife, Lisa of Colleyville, Texas and grandson, Clay in Evanston, Illinois and by a host of cousins, nephews and nieces. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial gifts be made to the Willis G. Mills ’43 EOA Scholarship Fund at the Texas A&M Foundation. Checks should be payable to the Texas A&M Foundation and mailed to 401 George Bush Dr., College Station, TX 77840-2811. Please note on the memo line of your check “In memory of Willis G. Mills.”
Funeral arrangements are being handled by J. E. Foust & Son located at 523 South Main Street in Grapevine, Texas. A visitation will be held on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM at the funeral home. The funeral service will be held on Wednesday October 16, 2019 at 2:00 PM also at Foust. A graveside service will be held at 11:00 AM on Thursday, October 17, 2019 at the Zephyr Cemetery in Zephyr, Texas.
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
J.E. Foust & Son Funeral Directors
523 S MAIN ST
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
US Hwy 183 and CR 259
- Visitation Tuesday, October 15, 2019
Willis G Mills
October 15, 2019
The Texas Reelers Square Dance Club of Richardson, Texas wishes to extend our sympathy to the family of Jiggs Mills. Jiggs and his wife were past members of our club, served in many capacities, and are to this day remembered fondly.