James Vale Mills, 89, passed away Thursday, September 15, 2022, peacefully at his daughter’s home surrounded by family in Rock Springs. He was a resident of Thermopolis, Wyoming for 44 years and former resident of Chicago, Illinois, and Burtrum, Minnesota.
He was born March 11, 1933 in Burtrum, Minnesota; the son of Lyle Mills and Catherine Miller Mills.
Mr. Mills attended schools in Chicago, Illinois. He was a 1951 graduate of St. George High School. He received his Bachelors in Economics from Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois.
He married the love of his life Laura “Tuck” DuBois Tonn in Sauk Centre, Minnesota in 1959.
Mr. Mills was self employed and Co Owner and Operator of the Safari Club in Thermopolis, Wyoming.
He was a member of the Saint Francis Catholic Church in Thermopolis, Wyoming.
Mr. Mills was a member of Wyoming Wildlife Federation, Ducks Unlimited, National Rifle Association, Safari Club International, Boone & Crockett Club, National Ski Patrol.
He was an avid hunter, fisher, archer, skiier, Golden Gloves boxer, and scratch golfer
Survivors include four daughters, Patricia Mills Batenhorst and husband John, Jackson, Wyoming, Kelly Mills Wagner and husband Jim of Rock Springs, Wyoming, Tracy Mills McDonald and husband Neal of Billings, Montana, Jamey Mills Nielson and husband Ken of Lander, Wyoming; one brother, Jon Mills and wife Lisa of Colleyville, Texas; 13 grandchildren, Michael Grissom, Glennis Gelbard and husband Nicholas, Lawton Coursey, Sean Batenhorst, Augustus “Gus” Wagner, Jessy Wagner and companion Riley Tolar, Nicholas “Nick” McDonald and wife Stacey, Katherine “Kate” Jones and husband Rick, Timothy “Tim” McDonald and wife Bailee, Jacob “Jake” McDonald and wife Dani Ross, Johanna “Jenny” Nielsen, Lucas “Luke” Nielson and Anna Nielsen; 10 great-grandchildren; several cousins; nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; one daughter, Mary Mills; one granddaughter, Kelly Grissom.
Cremation has taken place; a Mass of Christian Burial will be conducted at 10:30 a.m. Friday, September 23, 2022 at Saint Francis Catholic Church, 808 Arapahoe Street, Thermopolis, Wyoming. A Vigil with Rosary will be conducted at 7 p.m. Thursday, September 22, 2022 at the Church. Graveside Services and Inurnment will be in the Riverside Cemetery, 1333 Canyon Hills Road in Thermopolis.
Friends and family are asked to gather at the Hot Springs Hotel in the State Park.
The family respectfully requests donations be made in James’ memory to hunting and fishing foundations of your choice.