It was Valentine's Day afternoon when the doorbell rang. Standing in front of me was Richard Mills with a smile and a red and gold heart-shaped box of chocolates sporting a big red & gold bow. His mom was in the car at the curb waiting for him...it was 4th grade, 1957 to be exact. Sixty-two years ago in a couple of weeks. I had that bow on my bulletin board for years, I think actually maybe through high school. It's likely now in my basement in a plastic tub of my 'papers' and souvenirs of my life. This morning I learned my good friend Richard died. We remained good friends all these years. We never dated in high school or at Nipher but we were always friends. We attended Episcopal Young Churchmen group activities together, we saw one another at church and school. We stayed in touch, he came home for a reunion once, we reconnected. Twice in more recent times when I was doing research having to do with the Junior College I reached out to him for assistance...he grew up in that white bungalow house with red shutters on Big Bend right across from the College property which had amazing history of its own. Back in 9th grade he was the acolyte who served at the service the day Bishop George Leslie Cadigan was here and officiated at my confirmation class's ceremony. It was Richard's birthday and for decades I've sent him some sort of greeting on his birthday, then we'd exchange greetings at Christmas. It was just one of those comfortable, long friendships. He was a loving husband and helped raise his wife's four children, he was a Marine, he was a friend. And now he's gone.
He had an amazing career in the aircraft safety field, The gentleman from his company told me today that even after he retired and was doing other things, they missed him. They still talk about him and what a pro he was, and he was a friend to his co-workers. And now he's gone.
Here is his official obituary: www.englishfuneralchapel.com/notices/richard-mills
Godbless you my good and great friend.
The reunion photo shows a bunch of us Robinsonites at a reunion, I don't remember what one! I took the photo so I can't tell what year it was by my outfit!!! LATER, well duh, it was our 30th reunion - the only one we've had at a gym, the rec center in Kirkwood. I can't imagine why my memory is better now, 2021, than when I posted this article!
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