Mary Marguerite Mills (known as Marguerite to those who knew her best), loving wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and friend to many, died April 28, 2021, with her family by her side. Marguerite was born June 27, 1933, to Mary Frances Lahmon Frye and Edgar Miles Frye. She was preceded in death by her husband of nearly 69 years, Leland Bruce Mills; parents; and two sisters, Evelyn Taylor and Betty Mills.
Life’s simplest pleasures brought Marguerite the greatest joy. Family gatherings and celebrations, church services, visits with friends, and any event associated with music made her infectious smile even brighter. Always laughing, always smiling, she loved to be around people – the more the merrier!
Her kids fondly recall that their house was the most popular place to hang out and sleep over among all of their friends. Marguerite never knew how many mouths she would have to feed on a given Saturday or Sunday morning, and was always willing to whip up another batch of pancakes or fry another dozen eggs. The Mills home was also a popular place for neighbors and friends to congregate. If someone showed up at the door unexpectedly, she would drop everything to listen, share a laugh, hold someone’s hand, or give them a hug. Her warm smile and loving heart could mend anything that ailed you. Invariably, friends and neighbors would be asked to stay over for dinner – there was always plenty of food to go around in the kitchen of a fabulous homestyle cook. Nothing fancy, but remarkable and memorable, and always accompanied by her frozen and canned vegetables. People still talk about her fabulous pies, featuring the thinnest, most mouth-watering pie crusts ever!
Marguerite will be remembered as one of the kindest people ever known. Reflecting on her beautiful 87 years recently, none of her children could ever remember her uttering an unkind word to or about anyone, even when one might have been due. Put simply, that was not Marguerite’s style. Bad form or surly behavior, she maintained, was an indication that someone was hurting inside; thus, a kind word was what was needed. A dedicated Christian, she embodied the spirit and love of Jesus in her warmth and acceptance of everyone. Love and compassion were her way of making the world a better place.
For Marguerite, family always came first, and she was immensely proud of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She filled every nook and cranny of her home and apartment with family photos. For many years, Bruce and Marguerite’s family farm adjoined Marguerite’s family farm, and throughout her life, she always lived within miles of her three sisters. Adventure was not part of her makeup, but she married Bruce, who had an adventurous spirit, so she acquiesced to his thirst for exploration. While raising their family, they traveled extensively throughout the United States with kids in tow. Even though she knew exposing her children to travel and education would mean they would likely live far away from her, she always celebrated their aspirations – even if it involved travel and living abroad.
She will also be remembered for a life full of music and her unwavering Christian faith. Marguerite played the piano and organ at home and at church, and loved to sing. She passed on her love of music to children – encouraging piano lessons and singing in church choirs.
After her children were grown, Marguerite entered the workforce and worked for many years at New Hope Industries, where she made many friends and shared her love and compassion with the clients. She was so proud of her years there, and it was beautiful watching her blossom in her second career.
Many thanks to the residents and staff of the Living Center, Marguerite and Bruce’s home in their final years. Marguerite adored living at the Living Center, and will be remembered as the informal welcoming committee and social director, showering every new resident with a smile and thoughtfulness, and showing them the lay of the land. One of Marguerite’s last memories was the lovely Easter dinner, church service and celebration shared by staff and residents – she was so excited to be able to eat in the dining room again with her friends. The past year of isolation and lockdowns associated with COVID-19 were challenging for a social butterfly like Marguerite, but she endured everything with grace – including the death of her beloved Bruce last December.
Marguerite is survived by daughters Linda Cullison (Louis) of Tucson, Arizona; Cheryl Feasel (Dave) of Mount Vernon and Savannah, Georgia; Sarah Mills Bacha (James) of Columbus; Ronald Mills (Anne) of Tampa, Florida, and Lake Delavan, Wisconsin; and Laura Mills (Ian Lawrence) of Miami, Florida; grandchildren Bret Cullison; Amanda Cullison; Megan Feasel-Erwin; Michael Feasel; William Bacha; Henry Bacha; Shelby Mills; Dylan Mills; and Emma Lawrence; and great children Trevor Cullison; Tyler Cullison; Braden Erwin; and Madison Erwin; and sister Rosella Snively, Gambier.
With our hearts heavy mourning the loss of a one-of-a kind human being, we could easily allow grief and sadness to consume us. We, her family, will instead focus on our memories of the incomparable adoration she had for all of us and the kindheartedness and compassion with which she treated everyone she encountered during her long, full life. In lieu of contributions and memorials, to honor her legacy we ask that you share an act of kindness with someone today – and every day – in memory of Marguerite.
A joint celebration of life and love is being planned for Marguerite and Bruce later this summer. Please send any memories you would like to share with the family to Sarah Mills Bacha, P.O. Box 12812, Columbus, OH 43212.