Phillip Rhea Mills

Friday, June 6, 1952 - Tuesday, October 30, 2018

In Honor and Remembrance

Photo of Phillip Rhea Mills  - 1952-2018

Canton- Phillip Rhea Mills, age 66, a man who loved his Lord, his family, and his country, entered his eternal heavenly home on Tuesday, October 30, 2018.

Mr. Mills was born June 6, 1952 and had made his home in Haywood County most of his life. He was the son of the late Calvin Coolidge Thomas and the late Dorothy Bernice Mills Conley. He was a 1970 graduate of Pisgah High School and had honorably served his country in the United States Navy, retiring with 15 years of service.

Following his military career, Phillip was employed with the Charles George VA Medical Center in Asheville and retired in 2016. Mr. Mills was a member of New Covenant Church in Clyde. A talented artist, Phillip enjoyed sketching and painting, especially lighthouses, and was also an avid collector of lighthouse replicas. He seemed to have a special gift of always giving family and friends a “nickname,” a happy memory that will be cherished forever.  Phillip enjoyed sports and was truly a people person. He never met a stranger and his love for hazelnut coffee was evident as he shared a cup with anyone who visited his home. A man well loved and a man well respected, Phillip Rhea Mills was blessed with a full and wonderful life.  “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his step-father, Joe Conley and grandparents, Lelia and Gus Mills.

Holding Phillip’s memory forever in their hearts are: his daughter, Leila Mills of Virginia Beach, VA; a son, Josiah Mills of Virginia Beach, VA; sisters, Julia Ann Hicks of Westminster, CO, Vera Mills Wilson and her husband, Leroy Wilson, of Canton, and Nancy Mills of Canton; his former wife and the mother of his children, Tracy Mills of Virginia Beach, VA; cousins, Janice Martin of Myrtle Beach, SC, Randy McDowell and his wife, Tammy, of Canton, William McDowell and his wife, Gladys Knight, of Las Vegas, NV, and Jeanette McDowell of Allentown, PA; special friends and “Best Bud”, Charles “Wint” Bryson of Canton, and special friend, Wanda Conley Walker of Canton; and also a host of nieces, nephews and friends.

A celebration of life service with Military Honors will be held at 4:00 pm Sunday, November 4, 2018 at New Covenant Church in Clyde with Pastor Nick Honerkamp and Pastor O.T. Tomes officiating. The family will be receiving friends at the church one hour prior to the celebration of life service.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Reynolds High School Foundation, PO Box 243, Candler, NC 28715.

Crawford / Ray Funeral Home and Cremation Service is honored to be caring for the Mills family.

Condolences from family and friends


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Nancy and Family The Class of 1980 would like to send our deepest sympathy on the death of your brother Phillip.
Pisgah High Class of 1980
My thoughts and prayers for the whole family and all those who loved Phillip, which were many. My deepest sympathy and love.
Juanita Dixon
Our Condolences to the passing/ going home of your Father, Brother and friend Philip R. Mills. May our prayers help comfort you and yours.
Suzette Gibson Allen
My sincere condolences is being sent to comfort the hearts of the Mills family. Be blessed and may God grant you peace.
Lisa Freeman
So sorry for your loss!! Sending lots of prayers for your family!!
Cindy carter
We are so sorry for your loss.
Marsha and Barry Miller, Nora Cnley
To the family of Phillip Mills, it was my distinct honor to be acquainted with Phillip. I considered him a dear friend. He had a willing heart and loved his family dearly. To Phil, sleep on and take your rest. Rev. Larry Allen, Pastot Mount Olive Baptist Chutch Crystal City, TX
Rev Larry Allen
Much love to the family. Will miss “Phil” I was so proud of him when he became a Navy Man.
Deborah Eggleston
Sorry for your loss family. Prayers The Gibson's of Atlanta Ray, Shawn snd Grant
Ray Gibson
My deepest sympathy, sorrow & prayers to the family...
Tammi Madden
To our family, we here in Michigan send our heartfelt condolences to each of you❤️ We will keep you in our prayers!
Narda Thomas-Bruno
Uncle Phil, you always had a great love for family, and i am thankful that i and my children were part of it. you have left this world but not our memories, all of which are full of love and are wonderful times, we will cherish every one of them. Rest in peace. Im sorry for your families loss
Karen McMahon
We going to miss you around the Charles George VA Medical Center, Flip.. R.I.P
Shaft Mills
Josiah, I am so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my prayers.
Rick Oglesby
My sincere condolences to the family of Phillip Mills. Please know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers. May the memories you hold so near and dear, comfort you now and forever.
Cindy Dixon Owen
To The Mills Family I'm so sorry for your loss and he will be greatly missed, but apart of me is happy because Philip was a God fearing man. I will miss our talks about God, family, and the prayers we shared together. I will continue to keep him in my heart because to me he was a great inspiration and will always be.
Tina Wooden
Praying for your strength; This was a beautiful Obituary to read thru my tears; Phil was like a big brother to me; I saw thru his actions how a LADY should be treated! He never let anything happen to me and Vera!
Victoria Leverette Goggans
Our sincere condolences to the family of Phil Mills, what a great man of God he was and will be missed but forever in our hearts. Our deepest sympathy, sorrow and prayers to the family.
Sharon Shivers & Louis Searles
To the family of Phillip Mills, Im sorry for your loss, its been a long road and hearts are breaking all over WNC. Heaven is receiving a hero. He can eat all the cinnamon rolls all he wants now. Phillip you will be missed greatly at the CGVAMC we will see you again. Love ya Darlin.
Diana Hixenbaugh
Love you dearly and you will forever be in my. My prayers to all the family.
Michelle Logan
My thoughts and prayers are with you guys. I will keep you in my prayers. May God bless and keep you. I remember the first time I met him he made me feel so good. You will be missed cuz. Much Love
Evelyn Hudgens
Rest well my Brother
Michael McAfee
My sincere condolences on your loss. Phillip was a good man and I enjoyed many conversations with him. Never knew him to be without a smile. We here at the VA will miss him greatly.
Howard "Fred" Flanagan
Phil was one of the most genuine people in this world. His smile, laugh and loving words will be missed. Sending the family our love and condolences. We are praying for you.
Klarissa, Keturah and Tammy
May the Lord bless you and keep you in your time of sorrow. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.
Vikki Conley-Ikard
I feel honored to have had the privilege to serve Phillip Mills. He was a remarkable, generous man who cared deeply for all those whose lives touched his. He will be fondly remembered and deeply missed. Thank you again Phillip for Your Service... to all of us.
Denise Vish, NP VA
To all of the Mills Family, especially Julia, my friend of long ago, My sympathies in the loss of your loved one. May your faith in God's Word strengthen and sustain you now as you face the upcoming days. Sincerely, Sharon Byers Conner
Sharon B. Conner