Obituary of Thomas F Mills
Thomas Frank Mills, 73, died Tuesday February 21st after a long battle with cancer. He was born to the late Raymond and Margaret Mills in New York, NY on March 13, 1949. He is survived by his wife and best friend, Kathy, as well as their three children and their spouses, Brian and Robyn of Merritt Island FL, Steven and Kristen of Sullivan’s Island SC, and Debbie and Sean of Denville NJ. He was also a doting grandfather to his 8 grandchildren Ellie, Carrie, Adam, Becca, Anna, Emily, Avery, and Maddie.
Tom graduated from Pequannock High School in 1967 and Seton Hall University in 1971 with a degree in accounting. He was a founding partner in multiple CPA firms, one of which still bears his name of which he was extremely proud. He enjoyed tax season because it meant he could catch up with his clients and friends, often spending more time talking about their life than working on the numbers.
After a brief (and we mean brief) courtship, Tom and Kathy were married in April of 1972 and were happily married for over 50 years. Tom was at times a hopeless romantic and one time sent Kathy flowers for being together for half of his life – only a CPA would figure that math out. He loved to travel, visiting over 19 countries and 4 continents, and always had the next trip planned to help him get through the long days and nights of tax season. He was actively involved in the community coaching his kids in softball, baseball, soccer, and basketball. If he wasn’t coaching his kids, he was playing softball himself. He loved the camaraderie and friendships but was also fiercely competitive – even taunting his younger brother with a declaration of war when he chose to start his own softball team in the same league (Tom’s team beat them in the semi-finals for those wondering).
He was the consummate teacher for his kids even when they didn’t want to learn, or he didn’t know he was teaching. He led by example and showed his family that hard work pays off. The life lessons, purposeful or not, will be passed on for generations to come through “Familiness – promoting goodwill, peace, love and merriment within the Mills household” (now an Amazon best-selling family creed).
Tom lit up and his smile got a little bigger (the braces at 60 helped) when he was with his grandchildren. He was all in on every visit, so much that his costume (Captain Hook) for pirate night on a Disney cruise was so good, he had a line of parents and kids 20 deep waiting for a picture and an autograph. He loved joking around, even being the butt of the joke, but it meant a smile on everyone’s face.
Cancer sucks and got the better of him, but not without an impressive and inspirational fight. He always had a positive attitude and was willing to do or try anything to spend more time with family and friends. He never gave up and was an eternal optimist until the end.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Services are being handled by Tuttle Funeral Home 272 Rt 10 Randolph NJ, 07869. Please see their website at tuttlefh.com
In Loving Memory
1949 - 2023
Phone: 973 366-7400