Shirley L. Mills
October 28, 1924 – April 4, 2018
Shirley was 93 years young when she died peacefully at home after a long battle with Dementia and COPD. She was also born in the family's home at their farmhouse in Lake Placid, NY. She visited there often during her lifetime and fondly spoke of her hometown to everyone who would ask. She would also always ask and want to know where you were from when she met you and would continue a conversation from there.
Shirley loved to travel and lived many places. She settled in Satellite Beach, FL to be near her sister and best friend Ann. She then retired in Melbourne, FL after working at Harris Corporation for 30+ years as a QC inspector. She continued to inspect everything around her until her death and would inform you if adjustments had to be made to this or that.
Her greatest loves were her family, traveling, church on Saturday nights, and a good party. She proudly drank scotch whiskey after one of her aunts had told her it would keep her from getting fat. She also loved to share about living on the island of Kwajalien just the other side of Hawaii. She lived there with her 3rd husband Dick Mills who worked for Lockeed. For 3 years they lived on the island that was 3 miles long and 1 mile wide. Instead of missals going up, they came down and it was their job to intercept them and blow them out of the sky. She always spoke of the fun people and island events.
And about her 3 marriages; Shirley liked to tell the story that the only good thing from her first marriage to Jack Duffy was her daughter Suzanne. She would tell the story of how she escaped his locked control by carrying baby Suzanne and walking several miles to her mothers. She divorced Jack and then married Ralph Oldham in Las Vegas, or Loss Wages as she referred to it. Ralph was a good looking Navy man and she says she fell for the uniform. They had 3 children, Ralph “Lee” Jr, Claudia Jo, and Rex Allan. Although a good man she divorced the fuddy duddy who preferred work over anything else. Her niece Dayle introduced her to love of her life Richard “Dick” Mills who passed away in 1985 after his short battle with lung cancer. They shared some of the best years of their life together with great friends and family get-togethers where they would eat of the best homemade food, drink, laugh, tell stories and dance. Oh how she loved to dance! But she'd tell you she preferred men; Men doctors, Men Priest, and Men dance partners only.
She is preceded in death by her youngest son Rex Allan Oldham from the year 2004. His unexpected death was extremely hard on the family and especially her as a mother. We all knew that he was her favorite although she wouldn't say so. And also a stepson Timothy Mills who passed away at the same age of 44 whom made her so proud with his occupation of being a Fireman.
Shirley is survived by her younger sister, Frances “Ann” Terry who she would talk to at least once a day to say hello and mostly fondly argue about this or that. Everyone knew they were not only sisters, but closest friends.
She leaves behind her children, Suzanne Frances Newland, R. “Lee” Oldham, Claudia Jo Aderhold, and stepchildren Richard “Dick” Mills and Colleen Ward. Her immediate grandchildren; Chauntel Martinez, Kevin Dunsmoor, and Nathaniel Dunsmoor. Also many great-grandchildren; Austin Martinez the oldest handsome one that made her eyes light up when he came to visit.
Also great-grandchildren Nicholas Dunsmoor, Madisen and Kevin Dunsmoor, Shyanne and Mason Dunsmoor whom she loved getting hugs from. Shirley was never a hugger or affecionate so it was a benefit to these great-grandchildren and all of us when her memory started to fail and she began to like hugs and kisses.
She also leaves behind her niece Dayle Gaffney and nephews Bruce Terry and Craig Terry whom she loved so very much in the same way she knew they did her.
And of course there is a numerous list of other loving step grandchildren, distant relatives and a host of good friends that will miss her quick wit and smile.
The family also wishes to thank all of those who cared for her during her illness. Brevard Alzheimer's Foundation (The Club) with way to many wonderful people to list, Colleen w/Care America, and Barbara with Project Relief.
Memorial Services will take place on Saturday April 14, 2018 at 11 O'Clock in the morning. Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 50 West Strawbridge Ave., Melbourne, FL 32901.
Following the service you are invited to a Graveside Committal Service at Florida Memorial Gardens, 5950 US-1, Rockledge, FL 32955 (approx 12:30pm)
One of Shirley's type get-togethers will be held in her home after the graveside service (approx 1:00pm). Please come join the family for snacks and drinks and share stories. 3451 Quail Ct., Melbourne 32935. We hope to see you there!
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