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  • Obituary

David Stuart Mills

Updated: May 9

October 30, 1954 — April 30, 2024

David Stuart Mills was born on October 30, 1954, in Kansas City, Kansas, to Russell Earnest and Mildred Bernice (Saunders) Mills.  He was the baby of six children.  With David, it has always been family first, last and always.  When his father died he was only 10, and he quit school after 9th grade and started working at the age of 17 to help support his mother.  

David had a strong work ethic and for many years worked as a heavy equipment operator for Erman Corp, a train scrapyard where he operated heavy equipment to break down box cars and other railroad items for recycling.  When he was 20 years old, he married his sweetheart, Laurie Waterman ,on September 23, 1975, in Kansas City, Kansas.  Together they had two beautiful daughters, Candace "Candy" and Shanna.  Though he and Laurie were later divorced, he remained committed to the two girls who were the light of David's life.  

David passed his love of the outdoors to his girls.  He loved to fish for "anything that would bite."  In his younger days he enjoyed hunting for geese.  He especially enjoyed camping.  But perhaps his most passionate pastime was working on lawn mowers.  He would stop along the side of the road and pick up any lawn mower he found and then he and his special friend, Pastor Bill, would repair them together.  Soon the cast off would be running like new.  

David was preceded in death by his parents, one brother, Virgil and one sister, Carol Roebuck.

He leaves behind his two daughters and their husbands, Candace and Jason Sweet, and Shanna and Thomas Gallagher; four grandchildren, Zachary Garrett Sweet, Tonya "Frankie" Gallagher (Ryan), Jeremy David Thomas Gallagher (Americus), and Kaleb David James Sweet; his little partner in crime and great-granddaughter, Kinsley Rose Gallagher; one sister, Ruth Ann Hutchins; two brothers, Jerry (Vickie) Mills, and Bob (Lynn) Mills; and one sister-in-law Linda Mills.

With the help of the wonderful staff of Olathe Hospice, David was able to enjoy his last days surrounded by the family he loved and tormenting and playing with his great-granddaughter, Kinsley.  He passed away peacefully on Tuesday, April 30, 2024, at the age of 69.  The tears shed were many, but David trusted in the Lord and was a faithful member of Vineyard of Hope in Osawatomie, so the family takes comfort in knowing that David now has a new strength and he "will soar high on wings like eagles."  (Isaiah 40:30-31 NLT)

David's Celebration of Life will be announced at a later date by his daughters.  Also at a later date, David will be inurned at Brooklyn Cemetery, La Cygne, Kansas.

The family suggests memorial contributions to Olathe Hospice.  Donations may be mailed to Olathe Health Charitable Foundation, Doctor's Building 1, 20375 W. 151st Street, Suite 363, Olathe, Kansas 66061 or online at

Friends and family may leave online condolences at

(Published in the Linn County Journal on May 3, 2024.)

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