On a hot and sunny Sunday, August 29, 2021, Nancy Bess Johnson Mills passed away at the age of 87. Nancy was born on November 20, 1933, to Frank and Elva Turnbull Johnson of Barry. She married Thomas Greve Mills of Jacksonville on December 20, 1953, in the Barry Methodist Church, and together they raised four sons: Gregory J., Douglas M., Jeffrey F., and James R. Mills. Nancy and Tom celebrated 49 years of marriage before Tom’s passing on November 17, 2003.
She is survived by her four sons: Gregory (Andrea) Mills of Villa Park, CA; Douglas (Patrice) of Barry; Jeffrey of Barry; and James (Kelly) of Mesquite, TX; five grandchildren: Hannah (Jeremiah) Fee, Zachary Constable, JScott Mills, Cameron Mills, and Abigail Mills; and two great-grandchildren: Jemma and Octavia Fee.
Nancy was preceded in death by her parents and her husband.
Nancy Mills was a pillar of the Barry and Pike County communities. She was especially dedicated to her church, Barry United Methodist, and the Barry United Methodist Women. For 60 years, she played the organ and piano at Barry UMC Sunday services and at many of the church services at the Barry Community Care Center. In addition to her involvement in the church, Nancy was a member of many local organizations: PEO Sisterhood (58 years), Pike County Home Extension (58 years), Pike County Chapter 20 of Eastern Star (50 years), Barry Garden Club, and Pike County American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. During the years when her four boys were young, she was Den mother to Barry Cub Scout Den 15, and her dedication to this group earned her the Silver Beaver award in 1989. Nancy was also a fixture of numerous Barry Apple Festival committees; in particular, she was a member of the Barry Apple Festival Quilt Committee for many years. Throughout Apple Festival weekend, you could almost always find her selling tickets at the quilt booth, working the candy booth, or making apple dumplings. Nancy enjoyed playing bridge every week with her friends and loved cooking and baking for her family—her Texas sheet cake and chocolate chip cookies were regular requests whenever her grandchildren and great-grandchildren came to visit. Nancy was a remarkable woman who could make anyone she met feel special and welcome. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
Funeral services will be private.
Memorials are suggested to the Barry United Methodist Church. Make checks payable to Barry United Methodist Church and mail to Kirgan Funeral Home, P.O. Box 162, Barry, IL, 62312.
Kirgan Funeral Home in Barry is in charge of arrangements.
Online condolences can be sent to kirganfh.com.