Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Diane and Jerry Mills, R.I.P.

 My friends Diane and Jerry Mills have died.  My heart goes out to their son, Greg.  Diane and Jerry spoke out against City and County corruption.  I met them January 9, 2006, at a St. Augustine City Commission, where our concerns about destroying a 3000-4000 year old Native American archaeological site, formerly owned by the late Judge Richard Watson.  Developer ROBERT MICHAEL GRAUBARD, represented by GEORGE MORRIS McCLURE of ROGERS TOWERS, won a 3-2 vote that night.  But the Mills won my heart -- they were true patriots, raising environmental concerns about dodgy devious destructive foreign-funded "developers."  

On January 9, 2006,  David Thundershield Queen and I both I spoke out at St. Augustine City Commission, on the need for a Living wage ($15/hour, adopted by Florida voters November 3, 2020 as a constitutional amendment). 

After DTQ and I spoke on January 9, 2006, I saw GEORGE MORRISS McCLURE lurking at the Commission meeting room, like a cat swallowing a canary.

Based on my experience, I told DTQ, my wheelman du jour, that I wanted to stay -- I said there was something crooked in the offing with McCLURE waiting.

I was right.  I am so glad that I stayed.

In November 1999, I saw Diane Mills on GTV at a County Commission meeting, denouncing devious developers, and all their works and pomps, 

Diane Mills filled me in on corruption in St. Johns County.  

You should have seen other-directed County Attorney PATRICK FRANCIS McCORMACK stare at us whenever Diane Mills graced County Commission (and my desk in the back of the auditorium). 

Billy Diane Mills, 72, St. Augustine, passed away July 30, 2020 at Advent Health Palm Coast. She was born in New York, NY, daughter of the late William and Edna Davidson Nesbit, and has been a long time resident of St. Augustine since 1954. Diane as she was affectionately known received her Bachelors degree and began her teaching career as a kindergarten teacher at Hoot and Holler School and then later as a substitute at Cathedral Parish School and St Joseph's Academy. She then along with her husband, Gerald E. "Jerry" Mills obtained her contractors licenses and formed Jerry's Septic Tanks which they later sold to form Jerry's Johns & Construction Company which is still in operations today along with another business they acquired in 1988, Wildwood Water Company. Diane was also extremely active throughout the years in Little League activities, Boy Scouts, PTA, and other community organizations. She was a loving and dedicated wife, mother, and friend to those that knew her. 

A private service will be held and interment will be at the Mills Family Cemetery. There will be a public celebration of life service to be announced at a later date. 
She is survived by her husband of 55 years, Gerald E. "Jerry" Mills; one son, Gerald Gregory "Greg" Mills, both of St. Augustine; nieces Samantha Nesbit and Brooke Whaley, nephews, Chad Whaley, Chris and Taylor Nesbit; and a host of other family and friends. 
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by two brothers, Jack and Glenn Nesbit, sister, Jill Whaley, and long time employee and close friend, James Donald "Mr. Don" Long 
St. Johns Family Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements

We shall miss you, Diane and Jerry!

Gerald E. "Jerry" Mills 75, St. Augustine, passed away Oct. 15, 2020 at the Bailey Family Center for Caring after a brief illness. Jerry was a native and lifelong resident of St. Augustine, son of the late Sidney and Mildred Mills. Jerry began his working career with his dad at SJ Mills Septic Tanks and then transitioned to Allen's of Florida Underground Utilities in Jacksonville, FL. Thereafter, along with Diane Mills, his late wife, he formed Jerry's Septic Tanks that later evolved into what is now Jerry's Johns and Construction Company. Jerry's Johns, along with Wildwood Water Company which they acquired in 1988, are still in operation today. 
Jerry also specialized in land acquisition and rental properties and he was an avid coin collector. He loved and enjoyed the outdoors, especially turkey hunting and fishing. He was also very active in Boy Scouts where he served as a Scoutmaster and he served in the St. Augustine Little League as a sponsor, coach and later an umpire. Jerry was a member of Elks Lodge B.P.O.E #829 and a former member of the St. Augustine Moose Lodge. Jerry was a kind, loving and dedicated husband, father, and friend to those that knew him. 
Funeral services will be held 4 p.m. Wednesday November 4, 2020 at St. Johns Family Funeral Home with Dr. Clarence Blalock officiating. A visitation, beginning at 2:00 p.m., will precede the services. 
Interment will be private at Mills Family Cemetery. 
He is survived by his son, Gerald Gregory "Greg" Mills; brother Sidney Marvin Mills (Phyllis), all of St. Augustine; nieces, Samantha Nesbit and Brooke Whaley, Pam Mills Lareau, Dana Mills Hagan, Amy Mills Keough, and Kim Mills Jecker; nephews, Kevin Mills, Chad Whaley, Chris and Taylor Nesbit; and a host of other family and friends. 
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 55 years, Billy Diane Mills; and long time employee and close friend, James Donald "Mr. Don" Long. 
St. Johns Family Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

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