On October 6, 1936 Thomas Edward Mills III “Buddy” was born to Tom and Silver (Maguire) Mills in Helena Montana. The Mills family owned the Montana State Nursery, and he grew up learning and doing much of its operations. He graduated from Helena High School.
He attended MSU Missoula, was drafted in the US Army and served in Ft. Bragg as a chaplain’s assistant and was honorably discharged at SP4. He graduated from MSU Bozeman with a BS in Industrial arts.
While attending MSU Missoula he was introduced to Arlene Walby and they became Royaleers square dance partners. Later he married Arlene in Glasgow and they were blessed with two children Rusty and Kari.
Vocationally Tom was an educator at the High School and College level for several decades. In his endeavors to keep his credentials up to date Tom attended the first World Symposium in Frankfurt Germany for electric cars. One of the highlights of his life was having his students build the first (high school) electric car in the nation. Encouraged by his parents to be an educator, (which they considered a highly honorable profession) Tom was amazingly versatile.
Occupations : A tool engineer for Boeing in Seattle Washington, a professor at Montana State Auto College in Great Falls Montana, a teacher of Industrial Arts at Glasgow High School and night classes at Glasgow Air Force Base, a police officer in Wolf Point and a High School Career Education Counsellor along the Highline. Much of his life he taught Industrial Arts in high school updating summer credentials at DeVry Institute. He later went back to Boeing as a tool engineer, retired, enjoyed a couple summers as a fire fighter runner with his son, and as always enjoyed various handy-man jobs and helping people.
He belonged to Theta Chi fraternity, VICA, Ski Club advisor, Toastmasters, Gideon’s and was a board member for World Ambassadors for Christ.
He was baptized Episcopalian, married in and attended Lutheran church, attended Mama D and Papa D’s bible study group, attended other various churches, Net of Prayer, Assembly of God, Evangelical church, and Bible study seminars with World Ambassadors for Christ.
Tom is survived by his wife Arlene Mills; son Rusty Mills; daughter Kari and Mike Wade; 4 grandchildren; great-grandchildren; sisters: Lulu and Frank Stock, and sister Vivian and her husband. He is preceded in death by his parents Tom and Silver Mills; sister Sally and Colonel Good.
On the afternoon of Saturday May 2, 2020 at 2:30 pm, Tom passed away peacefully in his sleep at Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital in Glasgow, Montana. Tom was 83 years old.
Special thanks to the VA for scheduling appointments and other needs, as well as Billings Clinic Hospital for all their care the past 6 months. Also Dr. Ross, Mrs. Ashley Markle, and other nurses and staff that assisted for the caring of Tom during his end of life stay at the hospital.