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Mills was more than a doctor

February 21, 2010
The Herald-Star

To the editor:

There have been several articles written about Dr. James Mills since his passing. Not only did he look at himself as more than a doctor, county coroner, township trustee and civic leader, his family and friends likewise knew him as much more than that. His family addressed him as Jim Boy and his friends as Millsy.

Jim was raised in the country. He was one of six children. Jim grew up in a household where both parents worked hard, which became the foundation for the kind of life Jim would eventually lead. Family unity was an integral part of his upbringing. It included backyard campfires and cookouts.

Jim developed an interest and started an arrowhead collection at a young age, before he started grammar school. He shared his collection and knowledge annually as a request from the school administration to all the students in both lower and upper grades. It then developed, through Millsy's efforts, into one of the finest collections in the country.

His love and devotion that we all know that he expressed toward his family, friends, community and co-workers, also was exemplified in a similar manner toward wildlife and the preservation of wildlife and wildlife habitat. Through the years, Millsy himself planted by hand thousands of trees and took extreme pride in being conscious of preserving our hardwoods until the trees were truly ready to be harvested.

His doctoring started at an early age by treating injured wild animals, birds and pets.

Millsy was an avid woodsman who could track, trap and hunt with the expertise of Daniel Boone.

Millsy also was a highly motivated individual. He played sports, including high school baseball and basketball, semi-pro baseball and church softball.

He graduated valedictorian of his high school class. He then went on to attend Muskingum College and became a super scholar there. It is so noted with his name on a plaque in the science building at Muskingum College. Thereafter, he attended the Ohio State University Medical School. He then became an emergency room physician, often working long days and nights, all while being involved in the raising of his children.

It was because of Millsy's roots and upbringing that he was able to be the kind of doctor everyone knew he was - one who treated not just his patients but anyone who was in need of care, 24/7, whether it was coming home from work, just out of the woods, after an arrowhead exposition or simply enjoying his other interests.

Because Millsy's life was so well-rounded and diverse, everyone was able to relate to him, regardless of their occupation, place of residence or amount of education. His standard of life was so much more than a testament of his own character. It served as an example for all whom were blessed to have been called his friend, and Millsy's life stimulated his friends to lead better lives.

Phil Flenniken


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