William (Bill) Henry Mills, age 76, of Newton, passed away on September 13, 2020. Born in 1944 to Clara (Janzen) and Earl Mills, he was a lifetime resident of Newton, Kansas. Bill graduated from Newton High School in 1962, and attended Hutchinson Community College and Emporia State University. At the age of 22 he married Donna (Epp) in 1967.
Bill’s love for cars began at a young age. He spent his early years helping at his father’s auto salvage business and later became interested in building and racing cars. As a young man he raced stock cars and mini modified cars, winning numerous races at 81 Speedway and other Kansas racetracks. He worked at H & Y Auto and later opened his own repair shop called Mills’ Auto. Bill was well known as the Newton High School Auto Technology Teacher, where he worked for 30 years before retiring in 2007. During his teaching career he inspired many students to develop their own skills and knowledge of the automotive industry. In his retirement Bill enjoyed racing with his brother, Bryson, and the Kansas Antique Racers Association.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Clara and Earl Mills, sister Beverly Hendry and brother Bryson Mills. Survivors include Donna, his loving wife of 53 years, daughters Kristin (Karsten) Streufert of Dallas, TX, Jennifer (Glenn) Barber of Wichita, Erin Craddock of Wichita, granddaughters Caroline and Julia Barber, as well as several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Bill was beloved by all who knew him and will be greatly missed. Although he had many talents, he will mostly be remembered by his family for his gifts of story-telling, cooking, holiday entertaining and his faith in God. Bill was a long-time member of the First Baptist Church where he served as a deacon and Sunday school teacher for many years. Later in life he attended St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church and Trinity Heights United Methodist Church. In his spare time, he especially loved to watch college sports and old western movies, play card games and listen to music.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 3:00pm at Trinity Heights United Methodist Church, 1200 Boyd Ave. in Newton. Mask will be required in the church during the service and social distancing protocols will be followed.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be directed to Good Shepherd Hospice or Newton Home Health in care of Petersen Funeral Home.