Tate Junior Mills of Yale, Oklahoma was born on April 11, 1923 south of Burden, Kansas to Tate and Viola Alice (May) Mills. As a young child he accepted Christ as his personal savior at First Baptist Church, Burden, Kansas. He was baptized in Silver Creek near the bridge. Tate started to school at Burden, later moving to Winfield and attended Irving, Lowe and Winfield High. From there he attended Moscow school and then back to Burden.
Tate married Gladys Mae Johnson November 4, 1939 at Sedan, Kansas. He took up farming in the Burden area. A son Jerry Wendell was born. In 1940, he took his young family and moved to Dixon, California. He was involved in the dairy business in the community. While there two daughters were born Arlis Karen and Janet Jo. In 1945 Tate answered his country’s call to service. He took his family back to Burden, Kansas. He was inducted in the Navy in March 1945 at Ft. Leavenworth; Kansas then shipped to San Diego, California. He was stationed aboard the Langley II Aircraft Carrier. He was honorably discharged in October 1945. For the next seven years he farmed in the Atlanta and Burden communities.
In 1952 he moved his family to a farm east of Yale, Oklahoma. For the next seventeen years he was involved in steel construction with the Boilermaker’s Union. He was forced into early retirement in 1969 by a severe heart attack. After a long and slow recovery, he was finally able to fulfill a life long dream of raising cattle and gardening. He especially delighted in raising delicious tasting watermelons. He also enjoyed coon hunting with his dogs and his trained mule, Henry. He has been active in the First Baptist Church and the Fellowship Baptist Church in Yale as well as the American Legion. He enjoyed dining and playing pitch with his friends at the Senior Citizen’s Center in Yale.
Tate went to meet his Lord and Savior on December 16, 2011 while in the Hillcrest hospital in Tulsa, Ok. His passing leaves a huge vacancy in the hearts of his family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his dad and stepmother Tate and Neva Goforth Brinigar Mills: his mother and stepfather, Thomas and Viola Alice (May) Mills Brinigar, his brother Willis Mills, and his stepbrother Stanley Brinigar.
He is survived by his wife of 72 years Gladys: son Jerry Mills and wife Florence of Cushing, Ok; daughters Karen Pinard of Midland, TX and Janet Jo Broussard and husband Gerald of Longview, TX. Also surviving are seven grandchildren: Kerry Mills and wife, Glenda of St. Jo, MO; Tony Mills and wife Kay, and Debbie Lauchner and husband Alan of Cushing, OK; Donnie Mills and wife Jamia of Ponca City, OK; Mike Pinard and wife Vickie, and Joey Pinard and wife Tracy of Midland, TX and Shawn Vanderslice and wife Lori of Kilgore, TX; fourteen great-grandchildren, three great-great grandchildren and a host of nieces and nephews.
Graveside services are scheduled for 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, December 21, 2011 at the Underwood Cemetery near Yale, OK with Brother Mich Dershem officiating. Arrangements are under the direction of Palmer Marler Funeral Home, Yale.
Family will greet friends at the funeral home on Tuesday evening from 6 ~ 8 p.m.
Active pallbearers are grandchildren; Kerry, Tony and Donnie Mills; Mike and Joey Pinard and Shawn Vanderslice; honorary pallbearer Debbie Lauchner.
The family requests that memorials be directed to the building fund of the Fellowship Baptist Church of Yale, OK or to a favorite charity.