William H. Mills Jr. of Riverhead passed away peacefully Wednesday morning, January 25, 2012. He was 94.
Mr. Mills was born in Astoria, N.Y., the son of William H. Mills Sr. and Hilda Celander. In 1942, he was drafted by the United States Army and landed in Normandy, France. He served under General George Patton with the 774 Tank Destroyer Battalion. He married Adeline Donley shortly before going overseas. Over the next years, he repeatedly distinguished himself in combat as part of Patton’s 3rd Army. By the time they arrived in Berlin, he was the company first sergeant.
Returning to New York, he and Adeline settled in Elmhurst, Queens, and he returned to his job at the post office, a career begun shortly before he was drafted. In 1948, they moved to Levittown, becoming one of the original families of this iconic Long Island town. They spent 28 years on Bucket Lane.
His career with the post office continued to flourish and, in the early 1950s, he volunteered for an assignment in Long Island City and again distinguished himself as a supervisor of men. This brought him to the attention of the New York regional office at Penn Station. After several different assignments, he designed and implemented the Postal Service Officers Program. His men then fanned out over the New York region, providing technical support and operational assistance to various post offices from Boston to Philadelphia and Puerto Rico.
Mr. Mills was cited several times for superior performance, most notably during the famous Morgan Annex fire of the 1960s. His plan redirected mail from New York City to Buffalo, N.Y., where it was rerouted and sorted. In 1968, he was again promoted to Regional Director of Marketing, a position he held for three years, until his retirement in 1971.
In 1976, he and Adeline moved to their favorite vacation spot, Southold, N.Y., where he took up boating, fishing and grandfathering full time.
Adeline predeceased him in 2004. He is survived by his daughter, Kathleen Bennett; his grandchildren, Kirsten Bennett O’Rourke and Sean Bennett; and four great-grandchildren, Ava, Madeline, Tessa and Eamonn.
Visitation was held January 29, 2012, at McLaughlin Heppner Funeral Home in Riverhead. A funeral service was held January 30 at the funeral home, with burial following at Calverton National Cemetery.
This is a paid notice.