Cover photo for Harold D. Mills's Obituary
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1931 Harold D. Mills 2024

Harold D. Mills

July 6, 1931 — July 6, 2024

New Boston, Illinois

Harold Douglas Mills of rural New Boston, Illinois, went to meet his Lord and Savior on his 93rd birthday, July 6, 2024. He was at home surrounded by his loving family. Visitation will be 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. on July 12, 2024, at the Buffalo Prairie Community Church. Funeral services will be at the church on July 13, 2024, at 11:00 a.m., with luncheon following. Committal will follow at 2:00 p.m. in the Aledo Cemetery with military honors. Memorials may be made to the Buffalo Prairie Church Missions or the Eliza American Legion. 

 Harold was born on July 6, 1931, to Martin and Gazelle (LaBounty) Mills, in Monmouth, Illinois. When he was 6 weeks old, the family moved from Aledo to Des Moines, Iowa. In 1942, when Harold was 10, the family moved back to Mercer County and lived in Joy. Harold enjoyed playing basketball with the Joy Bulldogs. He graduated from Joy High School in 1949 and did not miss a class reunion.

 He chose to attend Iowa State University to major in Farm Operations, graduating in 1953. He was a member of Gamma Sigma Delta, the Honor Society of Agriculture. While at Iowa State, he met Shirley Allen. They were married in Lucas, Iowa, on February 7, 1954, during his U. S. Army furlough from Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. While in the army, Harold chose additional training over advanced rank. He trained with the Corps of Engineers in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. From there he went to Erlangen, Germany, as a demolition expert. He also trained at Ansbach, Germany, in radio repair, where he was appointed Student Commander. 

 As a boy, Harold enjoyed working on his grandparents’ farm in Eliza township. From that point on, it was his dream to farm and he was blessed to live that dream. He and Shirley returned to that family farm in 1955 and have lived in the same farmhouse for 69 years. Through his time at Iowa State, Harold learned about new agricultural practices and enjoyed bringing those ideas back to the farm and his community, such as adding additional nitrogen to corn ground. He continually welcomed new ways to farm better. Harold’s first “pocket calculator” was a slide rule. His next one he soldered together from a kit. In 2020, the Mills Farm was recognized by the state of Illinois as a Centennial Farm.

 Harold served on the Mercer County Farm Bureau Board, the Mer-Roc FS Board, and as an Upper Bay Island drainage commissioner. He was a member of the Eliza American Legion, serving as chaplain for many years.

 Harold gave his life to Jesus when he was in Jr. High, remaining true to that commitment his entire life. Wherever he was, he found a place to worship with fellow Christians. He has been the spiritual leader of the family, enjoyed Bible studies, and regularly attended Sunday School and Church with his family. He served the church in many capacities and has been a faithful member of the Buffalo Prairie Church for over 45 years.

 Harold and Shirley enjoyed traveling the world, often with his brother and sister-in-law, Stan and Phyllis Mills, or with Elderhostel/Road Scholar. While he owned hundreds of books, he most often read his Bible and the Wall Street Journal. He was a skilled craftsman with wood and could make a left hand double acme thread on his metal lathe. He enjoyed time on the Mississippi River with his family and, of course, his T.V. Westerns.

 In the last two years, as Harold grew weaker, love for his family, his sense of humor, and his faith in God continued to shine brightly to all. Harold was spoiled by his family and well-cared for by the dear staff of Compassus Hospice and Taylor Maid Elderly Home Services. The family is grateful for their loving, faithful care.

 Harold’s memory is cherished by Shirley, his wife of 70 years, and children Kathleen Perrine of Davenport, Iowa, Valerie Thorne of Parkersburg, Iowa, Brian (Karen) Mills of New Boston, Illinois, and Timothy (Sally) Mills of Ankeny, Iowa; eight grandchildren, Kevin (Rachel) Perrine, Allison (Stephen) Reilly, Gwendolyn and Eli Thorne, Joanna (Kris) Brewer, Doug (Megan) Mills, and Jared and Lauren Mills; ten precious great grandchildren; sister-in-law Phyllis Mills of St. Augustine, Florida, brother-in-law Roger (Nancy) Allen of Montezuma, Iowa, and cousin Diane LaBounty Hammond of Nashua, Iowa.

 He was preceded in death by his parents, Martin and Gazelle Mills, infant brother Robert Mills, brother Richard Mills, sister-in-law JoAnn Mills, brother Stanley Mills, and son-in-law Harvey Perrine.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Harold D. Mills, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, July 12, 2024

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Buffalo Prairie Community Church

20320 183 Ave W, Reynolds, IL 61279

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Saturday, July 13, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

Buffalo Prairie Community Church

20320 183 Ave W, Reynolds, IL 61279

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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