Kendall Andrews Mills, Jr.
His beloved wife of 63 years, Mary Lloyd Mills, passed away on August 4, 2020. Ken is survived by his three children, Bonnie, David, and Chris Mills and their spouses, Doug Eicher, Wanda Mills, and Mireille Mills, and their grandchildren Charles Dennis, Addison Mills, Taggart Mills, Tilly Mills, Marisol Mills, and Lautner Mills.
A joyous person who always loved a good joke, Ken was much loved by all who knew him. He grew up in Saginaw as an only child surrounded by many cousins and friends with whom he stayed close over the years. He spent wonderful summers with his mother and her extended family at Higgins Lake in Michigan. His family heard many stories over the years about his exploits on the water and in the woods, playing with friends, learning to swim, boat, and canoe, and playing practical jokes. When he was older, he spent several summers working in the woods of Idaho and Minnesota cutting and clearing wood from the forests.
He attended Cranbrook School in Detroit and then Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, where as a senior he began dating his future wife, Lloyd. After graduation, he joined the U.S. Army and trained at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center in Monterey, California and was posted to Kassel, Germany for two years. He and Lloyd were married on July 1, 1957 and began their married life on an adventure in Monterey and Germany.
They loved their time in Germany and were able to take advantage of weekends away for visits to other areas of Europe. Once he completed his military service, Ken moved with Lloyd and new daughter Bonnie back to Michigan. Ken returned to school, earning an MBA from the University of Michigan in 1961. In 1962, Ken’s work in sales brought him to Los Angeles, California. Settling in Pasadena, Ken continued his work in sales and investing and had two more children, David and Chris.
In June of 1972, Ken and his family moved from Pasadena to Solvang, California. They wanted a change of pace for their family, to spend more time outdoors, and to get involved in the local community. Over the years, Ken was involved with many organizations, including the local Rotary, the Solvang Theaterfest, Santa Ynez High School, The Family School, Dunn School, Cottage Hospital Foundation, and the Santa Ynez Valley Foundation. Ken was known in the community for volunteering his time and being a generous supporter of many different causes.
Ken enjoyed being involved in sports and physical activities. In high school and college, he played on many teams and later stayed active with tennis, golf, cycling, running, and walking. In the late 1980s, he and Lloyd developed a love of hiking, doing many trips throughout the Santa Barbara area, the Grand Canyon, Utah, and in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Over time they began leading their own trips to Austria and Switzerland to share their joy of the mountains with friends and others. They were happiest on these trips, sharing their passion for nature, challenging days on the trail, good food, and great conversations with friends.
In lieu of cards or flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Ken’s memory to the Santa Ynez Valley Foundation, Cottage Hospital Foundation of Santa Ynez, or the Alzheimer’s Association, California Central Coast Chapter. The family would like to give thanks to the special friends and caregivers who made Ken’s life more comfortable and peaceful over the past two years. The family knows that your devotion and care of Ken brought joy to his last years.