Samuel ‘Sam’ B. Mills, age 85, of 8777 0.8 Lane in Gladstone, passed peacefully from our hands into the hands of God as the sun rose on Monday, March 22, 2021 while surrounded by loving family. We imagine that he was joyfully welcomed into Heaven by his parents, two of his beautiful daughters, and his Creator.
Samuel was born in Escanaba on January 18, 1936 to Barnett and Elsie (Weber) Mills and was raised in Escanaba. He adored his grandfather, Sam’l who immigrated from Ireland and for whom he was named. In the mid 1950’s, Sam held the honor of having the fastest drag race car in the U.P. He graduated from Escanaba High School in 1954. After high school, he attended Milwaukee School of Engineering, after which he worked for five years at Michigan Bell Telephone Company.
Sam met the love of his life, Gay Cummings, in high school. He told her on their first date that he was going to marry her, and he did on August 4, 1956. Sam and Gay were blessed with five children, 13 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren with a 19th on the way, due in June.
Sam was a steadfast provider. He spent his 50-year career in logging and trucking. He owned his own trucking company, S & G Trucking, and ended his career over the road team driving with his wife.
Sam loved spending time at his camp on Bishop Lake with family and friends.
He was most comfortable in the woods with a chainsaw in hand, which is why he loved putting up firewood. He could drop a tree on a dime. He took his last trip to the lake just a few weeks ago thanks to our early spring.
Sam was a hardworking, humble, God-fearing, family man. He was quiet, but had a belly laugh that could fill a room. He was a man of few words, yet when he spoke his words were profound, genuine, and kind. He loved a good joke and had an exceptional sense of humor. We always knew when the food was ready because Papa would be humming as he filled his plate and ate his meal. Sam enjoyed coffee with his church friends on Thursday mornings. Sam and Gay are members of Rapid River Congregational Church.
Sam will be missed by the love of his life, his bride, Gay (Cummings) Mills of Gladstone, daughters Michelle (Van) Marenger of Gladstone, Joy (Steve) McKnight of Gladstone, son Michael Mills of Escanaba, his grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and many friends.
Sam is preceded in death by daughters Linda (Mills) Moniowczak of Iron Mountain and June (Mills) Westerberg of Escanaba, as well as parents Barnett and Elsie Mills of Escanaba.
Visitation will be held from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Friday, March 26, 2021 at the Rapid River Congregational Church, 7891 Cleveland St., Rapid River. Funeral services celebrating the life of Sam will follow at 4:00 p.m. with Pastor Bill Rafuse officiating. A luncheon will follow the services. Sam will be laid to rest in Lakeview Cemetery in Escanaba. Memorial gifts may be directed to Rapid River Congregational Church. Any condolences can be sent to Gay Mills.
Sam’s favorite verse was Proverbs 3: 5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge to Him, and He will direct your paths.
The family of Sam Mills would like to thank Dr. Dupuis and the entire staff of UP Health System Home Care and Hospice for making Papa’s last days with us as comfortable as possible. We appreciate the compassion and empathy you have for making hard times just a little bit easier.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Samuel B. Mills, please visit our floral store.