Donald Robert Mills, known to all as Donnie, died March 13 in the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. He was 60.
Donnie was born March 1, 1954 in Providence, R.I., to Dr. Donald R. Mills and Esther Mills of Edgartown. He graduated from the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, class of 1972, and later from Stockbridge School of Agriculture.
Like many Islanders, he held a range of agricultural jobs, including owning Vineyard Farm and Feed in Edgartown, milking cows at a Katama dairy farm, and running Hillside Farm in West Tisbury. His other pursuits included carpentry and woodworking. He especially enjoyed making wooden toys and furniture for his daughter. At age 55, he returned to school to earn a nursing degree, which he used to help other Islanders in various home care situations.
A private and quiet person, he was loved by many for his gentle and generous disposition. His family was immensely entertained by both his accurate, pointed and often scathing humor, and his outbursts of joy when planting tomatoes or caring for newly hatched chicks with his daughter.
Donnie possessed inspirational strength during his illness and more important, he retained his enduring capacity for the compassion and buoyancy he had demonstrated through the 60 years of his life.
He was predeceased by his parents and survived by his daughter, Kendra Mills; his sister, Virginia Mills; his brother-in-law, Kenneth Morey; and the mother of his daughter, Kristen Kinser. His absence is deeply felt by his family.
Private services will be held in Edgartown at a later date.
Donnie requested anyone wishing to make a donation in his memory to consider Hope Health Hospice, P.O. Box 4188, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568; Martha’s Vineyard Cancer Support Group, P.O. Box 2214, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568, or Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, 1 Hospital Road, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557.