James Clayton Mills, 70 year old Checotah resident passed away on Monday, November 11, 2013 in Muskogee. He was born on Thursday, January 28, 1943 to James Thomas and Alice Minny (Smith) Mills in Shaw, Mississippi. James grew up in Alabama and Arkansas. It was in Arkansas that he met a young woman, Martha after a squirrel hunting trip, one of his favorite stories. James was married on Saturday, September 8, 1962 to the love of his life, Martha (McMahon), a union of 51 happy years.
James enlisted in the army on February 13, 1968. Throughout his military career he held several jobs, including truck driver, military police, paratrooper, and explosive ordinance. He and Martha lived around several duty stations including Germany, North Carolina, Colorado, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Korea, as well as serving during Vietnam. After his retirement from the military in 1994, the couple moved to Crossett, Arkansas where James held several law enforcement positions as a police officer, jailer, and sheriff’s deputy, as well as truck driving and boiler making on the side. He also served as the Post Commander for the Hamburg, Arkansas Veteran’s of Foreign Wars Post.
James will be remembered as a hard working man that could still enjoy the small things in life.. He was a loving husband and father, and dedicated to his grandchildren. In his spare time James could be found fishing, although he was well known for doing a little bit of everything.
James was preceded in death by his granddaughter, Sarina Nicole Butcher, the youngest female in Afghanistan to fall in the line of duty, and sister, Phyllis Marie Reynolds. He is lovingly survived by his wife, Martha of the home; son James W. Mills and wife Cheryl of Checotah; grandsons, Anthony Clayton Mills and wife Reachelle of Greenbriar, AR and Kaimla-Kai McLemore and husband Ben of Okmulgee. James is also survived by his grandchildren, Chenoa Burkhalter, Blake Allen Mills, and Brittany Nichole Mills; great-grandchildren, Dominick William Mills, Kaylie Griggs, Zoey Butcher, Terry McLemore, Braxton McLemore, and his brother, Thomas R. Mills.
Committal prayers and Interment will be held at the Ft. Gibson National Cemetery at 2 PM on Friday, November 15, 2013 with Evangelist, Thomas R. Mills officiating. Military honors will be presented by the Ft. Sill Army Funeral Honors Team. The family invites James’ friends to join them in celebrating a true American hero.
You may share online condolences with James family @www.garrettfamilyfuneralhome.com. The family of James Mills entrusted his care, services and burial to John & Kim Garrett of Garrett Family Funeral Home & Cremation Service 311 SW 2nd Checotah, OK 74426 (918) 473-2244.