Mar 21, 2010, 8:30 AM
Post #1 of 32
Long-time Houston skydiver Ron Mills passed away the evening of March 20th, 2010, at Hermann Memorial Hospital. His sister, Coreta was with him. More of his family is en route and they will let us know about arrangements for a service. I'll post that here when I become aware of it.
He's been fighting it for a couple of years. Had surgery, which didn't get it all. Underwent chemo treatments, which made him weak, and some of his hair fall out. You could tell something wasn't right, because he didn't look good, and while he used to jump repeatedly all day long, it got to where he only had the strength to make one or two. But he wouldn't talk about it, at least not with me. Then he quit jumping altogether about a year ago.
He had bought a plot of land out in the country upon which he was looking forward to building his retirement home. He spent many weekend days clearing the land, cutting trees and running 'em through a wood chipper, while dropping by Skydive Houston to make a few jumps.
He loved to go off on long hiking trips for vacation, a passion which I shared with him, and we would often spend a lot of time talking about the neat places we've been in the outdoors.
(This post was edited by JohnRich on Mar 21, 2010, 11:01 AM)
I first met Ron in 1975 at Don Stewart's Houston Parachute Service. He was a nice guy. I'm sorry the sport has lost him. I've been jumping more at Spaceland recently, and hadn't known he was sick until recently.
Ron lived the life he wanted much of the time. Fuck cancer.
Rest In Peace, Ron. We didn't jump in the same circles, but the Holiday Boogie at Eloy was where we bumped into each other for years. I always made him pose for a photo with me, which he reluctantly did. I'll look for them and put them up here.
You could always spot him in a formation in his RED and YELLOW Racer.
Blue Skies, Ron. A great jumper, a wonderful dedicated instructor, you will be missed. Ron migratd to Houston, from OK. in the fall of 1975 with about 25 jumps. He started jumping with the Galveston Skydiver in Hitchcock, TX. He moved over to Boatman's Spaceland DZ for the Twin Otter and large formation freefall. Several times a year he would travel the big boogie circut. helping to organiz large formation jumps. Ron is and was a true and trusted friend. I will miss him. Don Stewart D-2785
Ron was on the aircraft when I did my AFF level 1. I've noticed that in my many viewings of the video. I've jumped with him many times since then and have always been impressed with his knowledge of skydiving and willingnes to teach others. In 2001 he was telling me he would be at Nationals (Eloy) and would probably put together a pickup team for 16way after he got there. I wondered how he would gather 16 people in that short amount of time (4 was bad enough) but he said 'No problem'. Fast forward to Eloy and the team entering the hanger to view jump video and I saw Ron's gear, (whose colors never changed), hanging on a gear hook close to the door and remarked "Hey, Ron Mills is here." As we sat there waiting for our video to queue, I kept hearing that same comment from others as the entered the hanger, "Hey, Ron Mills is here.", and subsequent comments regarding looking him up for 16 way and I realized that he didn't have to go looking, people came looking for him. Too Cool.
My condolences to Ron's family in this time of sorrow and also to all skydivers as we have lost one of our own. I almost know what those skydivers that have passed before are saying now: "Hey, Ron Mills is here."
"A memorial service celebrating Ron's life will be held at 2:00 p.m. Friday, March 26, 2010, in the Chapel of Heights Funeral Home.
"Ron Mills , born April 9, 1948 to James and Leatrice Mills in Odessa, Texas, passed away March 20, 2010 in Houston, Texas. Ron is survived by sister, Coreta S Ray; brother, Kelvin Keith Mills and wife, Dee Dee; niece, Christa Moore; nephew, Curtis Ray, and other family and friends."
"He had bought a plot of land out in the country upon which he was looking forward to building his retirement home. He spent many weekend days clearing the land, cutting trees and running 'em through a wood chipper...."
Ron had asked me about buying a lot out where I live. Saw one for sale, brought him the for sale sign and he bought it. Ron loved that lot.
Ron kept his lawn tractor in my barn. Always offered to pay for the storage, but I told him that his money was no good here. So twice a year, he brought a case of Shiner to square up.
Ron worked like a madman clearing that lot. Poison ivy got him a couple of times, once severely. Otherwise nothing slowed him down.
He burned up that chipper shredder at least ten times and replaced just about every part in the garden tractor. Ron had purchased an extended warranty on both of them. And believe me, Sears lost that bet!
We had many a conversation in my backyard under the beer tree. I'll miss him as he was a truly unique person.
Only a few knew how sick he really was. Ron wanted it that way.
Ron came up with some of the most unique skydives I have ever been a part of, whether he was on the skydive or not. A group of us "youngsters" would be gathered trying to figure out what to do in the air and we'd go ask Ron for suggestions. He would ask, How interesting do you want to make this?