Robert J. Mills
Robert Jones Mills (Bob or Coach Mills), son of Howard and Josephine (deceased), husband to Susanne (nee Geiler, deceased), is survived by his sister Joyce (McKee), his two sons Mark (wife Jen) and David (wife Jackie), and his two granddaughters Anna and Emily (Mark). Bob was a teacher, a coach and a high school administrator for the majority of his adult life. A native of Athens, Ohio, Bob graduated from Athens High School where he lettered in football, basketball and baseball and received numerous honors including being named to the All-Ohio Football 2nd Team in 1943, the All-Ohio Honorable Mention Basketball Team in 1944 and the Athens High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 1990. He had a tryout with the Cincinnati Reds in 1944 and had recently enrolled at Ohio University before his dream of playing professional baseball was cut short by his induction into the U.S. Army in August 1944. During World War II, Bob served with Company “B” 406th Infantry Regiment, 102nd Infantry Division, in the European Theater as a Staff Sergeant in a light tank unit responsible for a platoon of 30 enlisted men. Amongst his various other decorations and citations during his time of service, Bob was awarded the Bronze Star medal for courage and bravery under enemy fire. Shortly after his honorable discharge from active military service in June 1946, Bob returned to Ohio University where he went on to play both football and baseball. Amongst his other athletic accomplishments, he was a member of the 1948 Bobcat MAC Conference Championship baseball team. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in 1950, Bob once again returned to Ohio University in order to complete work on his teaching certificate.
At that time, he also acted as an assistant coach for the Bobcat baseball and football teams. Bob left Athens in 1953 for Cleveland where he accepted a teaching and coaching position at Warrensville Heights High School. While at Warrensville, he taught U.S. History and served as Head Football Coach and Head Baseball Coach from 1953 – 1968 and 1957 – 1969, respectively. Coach Mills, as he had now come to be known to many, was named Cuyahoga Conference Football Coach of the Year in 1968 and Cuyahoga Conference Baseball Coach of the Year three times in 1964, 1965 and 1968. During his tenure at Warrensville, Bob took continuing education courses at John Carroll University and eventually completed his Masters of Education degree at Kent State University in 1965. Coach Mills left Warrensville for Solon in 1969 where he became Athletic Director serving in that same capacity until his retirement in 1984. During his time in Solon, Bob also served as assistant baseball coach. He received the Solon Jaycees Man of the Year award in 1974, the Northeast Ohio Athletic Director of the Year award in 1983 and he was honored with the Ralph Quisenberry Award by the Northeast Ohio Athletic Directors Association for his many years of service. After retiring from Solon High School, Bob continued to coach on a part-time basis at Orange and Kenston High Schools in addition to John Carroll University. May you finally rest in peace after all that you have accomplished in life. Gone from Earth, but you will never be forgotten. Thank you for everything that you have done…you were loved by many! A celebration of Bob’s life will be held Friday, December 15, 2017 from 2-8 PM at his home, 6872 Glenallen Ave., Solon. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Hospice of the Western Reserve.