Vernard “Gene” Eugene Mills passed away Oct. 26, 2012, at the University of Colorado Hospital due to a short illness.
He was born March 24, 1931, to Vernard D. and Viola (Peyton) Mills in Mitchell, S.D. Gene graduated from Newcastle High School in 1950.
He joined the Navy in 1950 through 1954 and was serving during the Korean Conflict. After the service he met and then later married Juanita Blackwell on Nov. 14, 1954. During their marriage they raised six children, Debra, Terry, Michael, Richard, Pamela and Clayton.
Gene worked installing Hi-line for Black Hills Power. When his father started a trucking business, he worked as their mechanic and also drove truck. Gene went into business for himself owning Sioux Truck Stop from 1964 to 1971.
He then started up a mechanic shop (Sioux Truck Service). Gene was asked to teach a newly started mechanics program at Newcastle High School in 1973. He did so from 1973 to 1977. He took on the Transportation Director for Newcastle School District #1 from 1979 through 1996 while still running his own business.
In 1996, Gene retired to care for Juanita throughout her illness. After Juanita’s passing in 2005, Gene moved to Moorcroft to help his son Richard with his bowling center and lived there until passing away. His interests were bowling, golf, traveling with family and enjoying being around his grandchildren.
Gene is survived by sons, Terry (Deb) of Newcastle, Wyo., Michael (Janell) of Gillette, Wyo., Richard (Shelly) of Moorcroft, Wyo., Pamela (Jim) Steveson of Black Hawk, S.D., and Clayton of Gillette, Wyo.; 18 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren; sisters Patricia Garrey and Cathy (Ron) Stanton of Rock Springs, Wyo.; and brother Ronald (Mary) Mills of Newcastle, Wyo.
He was preceded in death by parents, wife Juanita, daughter Debra and one grandson.
He was an amazing brother, father, grandfather, great-grandfather. He always was there to help any and all.
A celebration of life will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 3 at at First United Methodist Church in Newcastle with Rev. Paul Holland officiating. Burial will follow at Greenwood Cemetery under direction of Worden Funeral Directors of Newcastle.
A memorial scholarship has been established to help a graduate of Newcastle High School who is planning to take a course in automotive or diesel mechanics.