Sharon Mills, an active civic leader, died after a short illness on May 12, 2020 at the age of 73.
A lifetime Chattanooga resident, she was the daughter of the late Olan and Mary Stephenson Mills. She graduated from Girls Preparatory School in 1965 and received her BS degree from Colorado Women’s College.
Sharon cherished her family and her wide circle of friends. She was faithful and loyal and could be counted on to be there for happy events and sad. She was helping, sympathizing, cautiously advising, offering ongoing support; all the while, knowing that this was between you and her only.
She was a gracious hostess and enjoyed opening her home to family, friends and many causes. Once when someone spilled red wine on her white carpet rather than being upset, her reply was, “Oh good, I’ll get to use my new carpet cleaner.”
Having a bad back from a young age, she was uncomplaining and determined to carry on, do her share and live as complete a life as she could. She would not talk about her problems, you had to ask and then there was a brief response.
She could be very opinionated as she sought “the best” everywhere. Whether it was the best barbeque, the best toothpaste, the best bed pillow, she was eager to share her findings.
Sharon was a great patron and supporter of the arts. She thought that there should be opportunities for all to be exposed to them and did much to make that happen. Among the institutions she supported and took an active role were The Hunter Museum of American Art, The Chattanooga Symphony and Opera and String Theory. The Community Kitchen and Chattanooga Food Bank were important to her also.
She was a strong advocate for women’s rights and education. She was a board member of GPS and was named its Distinguished Alumna in 1996.
Little brought her as much joy as her three basset hounds, Zsa Zsa, Baby Ruth and Mimi. They all predeceased her, Mimi just a few weeks ago.
In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her siblings, Charles G. Mills and Patricia Mills Hutcheson. She is survived by her brother, Olan and his wife, Norma, sister-in-law, Nancy Malone Mills, beloved nieces and nephews, Lundy Mills Hedges, Malone Mills Koenig, James O. Mills (Jennifer), Brent Mills (Julie), Kincaid Mills (Allison), James O. Hutcheson, Laura Hutcheson (Camille), Lewis Hutcheson (Jill) and Henry Hutcheson (Kirsten) and several great nieces, nephews and godchildren.
She considered Sandy Graham, Ronnie Neal, Diane Brown, Annie Penn, Michelle McDougal and Hat Chau as members of her family also.
She leaves a huge void in the lives of her family and many friends. A private graveside service will be held at Forest Hills Cemetery with The Rev. Quinn Parman, Rector of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church officiating.
For those wishing to make a contribution in Sharon’s memory, the family suggests The Chattanooga Food Bank, 2009 Curtain Pole Road, Chattanooga, TN 37406, The Chattanooga Community Kitchen, 727 E 11th St. Chattanooga, TN 37403, Girls Preparatory School, 205 Island Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37405, The Hunter Museum, 10 Bluff View, Chattanooga, TN 37403 or a charity of your choice.
Arrangements are by Wann Funeral Home, 4000 Tennessee Ave. Chattanooga, TN 37419 (423) 821-7551. To share memories, photos or condolences please visit www.wannfuneralhome.com
Published May 15, 2020