On March 14, 2022, John Michael Mills–husband, father, grandfather, coach, friend and consummate teammate–left this Earth, and took the field in Heaven. John was born in 1950 in Columbus, Ohio, to his parents Mary and Howard Mills, who preceded him in death. He married and built a beautiful life with his beloved wife, Jan, he raised two children–Laura and Andy–who loved him fiercely, and felt fiercely loved by him, and he knew, instinctively, just how to make his three grandchildren, Zach, Luke and Ava, feel like the center of the universe.
John graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in marketing and a minor in finance, and he earned his MBA from Xavier University. He held many leadership positions throughout his life, but besides being a committed husband, devoted father (grandfather), and inspiring coach, he was most proud of his work as the Fiscal Administrator for the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University, where he managed the construction of the new business campus and the Blackwell Hotel. In his final days, out his window at the James, John gazed one last time at those buildings, and seeing the legacy he helped to build brought him tremendous joy.
Despite being thrown far more curveballs than he ever deserved, John recognized with gratitude the good life he lived, and accepted with grace the story he was given. He taught us all about strength, commitment, integrity and love throughout his entire life, right up to his very last day. John left the world as courageously as he lived in it, and as much as our hearts ache for having lost him too soon, we take solace in knowing his pep talks will stay crouched in our ears, his life lessons will remain in our eyes, and his belief in persistence will forever pound in the palms of our hands. Each spring we will think of him burning the base paths and shagging fly balls in Heaven, and each time his grandchildren ask to play catch, we will think of the unflinching "yes," he gave all of us throughout our lives.
John is survived by his faithful and loving wife of 47 years, Jan Mills, his daughter Laura Moore (Jared), his son Andy Mills (Mary), and his three grandchildren Zach Moore, Luke Mills and Ava Mills.
Friends are welcome to celebrate his life from 9:30-10:30 am on April 9 at St Mary's Church in German Village, his high school alma mater, the church where he married Jan, and the place where he made some of the greatest friends a man could ever hope to have. Catholic burial mass will immediately follow the gathering at 10:30 am.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in John's name to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through this link: gofund.me or by calling 888-557-7177. In his final days, and the days following his death, this organization provided tremendous support to John and his family, and he wanted to pay it forward to those who must walk this same path.