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Obituary for BILLY ERSKINE MILLS

Billy Erskine Mills, 80, passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday morning, October 11, 2017 surrounded by loving family. He was preceded in death by his parents, Rascoe Payton and Lucy Mae Gorem Mills, and his sister Laquita Jo Smith.
Bill is survived by wife Judy, son Bryant, daughter-in-law Ashley and grandsons Cade, Tristan, & Tanner, Daughter Melanie Miller and son-in-law Scott, and granddaughter Adalea Howell, and grandson Brayden Miller. Also survived by sisters-in-law Carroll Reece, Erin O'Neal, and Peggy Ferraro, and many nieces and nephews.
Bill, a native Texan, was born in Kosse, TX and later moved to Houston where he graduated from Austin High School. In 1960, he graduated from Sam Houston State Teachers College (now SH University) with a degree in Advertising Art.
While attending Sam Houston, he was a cheerleader, a member of the track team, a member of the Caballero Men's Club, and a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity. The membership to Sigma Chi Fraternity became a lifelong pledge of steadfast dedication. In 1999, Bill was inducted into Sigma Chi's Order of Constantine, the highest award given for distinguished service to the Fraternity becoming the first Sam Houston alumnus to be honored with the highest award for service by both his university alumni and his fraternity alumni.
After graduation from Sam Houston, Bill served in the U. S. Air Force & Reserves for 8 ½ years, and then began a successful 32-year career in the advertising, graphics, and design industry. After a long career in advertising, Bill turned to writing about, photographing, and illustrating his lifelong love - the outdoors.
After joining Texas Outdoor Writers Association, many of his works were published in various media such as Saltwater Texas, Outdoor Discovery, and Texas Fish and Game. Bill received numerous awards for his outdoor writing, photography, and wildlife illustrations, including the TOWA L.A. Wilkie Award and being elected a Life Member.
Bill loved the outdoors and he loved Texas. He was an avid hunter, fisherman, and outdoorsman. Many a morning found him in the woods or on the water, creating memories with family and friends.
Bill and Judy were married April 21, 1967 and had celebrated a golden wedding anniversary of 50 years this past April.
Bill’s family will be celebrating his life with a private memorial service, and supporting his passion for the great outdoors he loved so dearly, therefor his ashes will be spread offshore. Additionally, friends and family are encouraged to post personal messages on the tribute wall as these words will forever be cherished by family.


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