Dr. Lloyd L. Mills, PhD.

  • Born: April 9, 1927
  • Died: December 8, 2013
  • Location: Kent, Ohio

Bissler & Sons Funeral Home and Crematory

628 West Main Street
Kent, OH 44240

Tel. (330) 673-5857

Tribute & Message From The Family

Dr. Lloyd L. Mills, PhD., 86, of Kent, died Sunday, December 8, 2013 at the Stow Glen Retirement Center.

He was born April 9, 1927 in New Orleans, LA, the son of Sidney A. and Frieda M. (Moreno) Mills. He was a veteran of the Army during World War II. Dr. Mills was a Professor Emeritus of English at Kent State University.

As a scholar and admirer of Ben Jonson's work, Dr. Lloyd Mills embraced the great writer's argument that literary works should reflect both the artistic and moral integrity of the author, and strove to apply this principle to the whole of his personal and professional life. Lloyd Mills was a loved, treasured, and devoted husband and father to his wife Blanche, their three children and grandchildren. He was dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge, philosophy, and the creative expression of language. The best description of Lloyd comes in the words of his students.

"The most important lesson he taught me was that words matter."

"To a boy from a small town in Ohio, Dr. Mills always seemed so erudite and wise, even the way he sat cross-legged at the head of the table in our poetry class, always ready with some insight into what we had written…He was a careful, gentle guide to me and my writing and to hundreds of other young people who fancied themselves poets and storytellers. He had the power to make all believe that we truly were."

"He was one of my first poetry-writing professors, and his enthusiasm was contagious. He believed in me. I could feel it, and I believe that's one of the reasons I continued writing poetry and eventually publishing."

"I still see him, in my memories, bounding (almost jumping when he walked) to class with a coffee cup in his hand, and then with a quiet, confident drawl launching into high-level poetry talk that left me at the edge of my seat. He was patient and generous with my writing -- and was patient and generous with me as a human being. Lloyd was an artistic and intellectual role model for me."

"Dr. Mills was more than a father to me when it came to artistic pursuits. By this point, I'd left prose behind and wrote only lineated material. A new me had been born ... my favorite friend, the only one who knew and inspired the creative-writing side of me, the only one who took me seriously also as a reader of his own work--i.e., related to me as an interesting brain, sculpting me into someone I wasn't, but still am."

"He usually stood in class - perhaps because the seminar rooms were always crowded with students anxious to take his classes and there were no remaining chairs. He presided over the workshop with a quiet guidance, a dry wit, and an obvious love and passion for poetry which he engendered in his students. He encouraged young writers to discover their voices in their own time. I am very grateful to had the chance to learn from him, and I will never forget him!"

These quotes are just a brief illustration of his creative legacy and his ability to transform the lives of his students. He was a true academic, gentlemen, and scholar and will be deeply missed by all who loved him, his family and friends.

He is survived by his son, Ralph Mills of Kent; daughters, Ellen (David Warner) Mills of NJ and Jane (Thomas) Atwood of Toledo; grandchildren, Celia Rae, Benjamin DeVorss, Justine DeVorss, A Z Wallbrown and Paul Warner; and great granddaughter, Isla Marie Peck. He was preceded in death by his wife, Blanche Mills In 2008.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to the KSU Wick Poetry Center in Dr. Mills' Memory at (330) 672-2067, P.O. Box 5190, Kent, OH 44242. (Please include Dr. Mills in the memo line)

Condolence & Memory Journal

Hi I took care of Blanche at Kent healthcare years ago didn't know she does where was she buried

Posted by Sherri Smith - AKRON, OH   December 25, 2015

Dr. Mills was not only my teacher at Kent, but also my good friend. In addition to creative writing classes, he hosted a weekly workshop for students who were interested in writing. There he revealed so much of his character as a deeply thoughtful and enlightened person, some who loved the written word and loved sharing his enthusiasm for it, as well a subtle, wonderful sense of humor. He was such a great help to young people who were interested in writing, and opened our eyes to the kinds of things that might be achieved. In short he was a great teacher. I thought the world of him. He will be greatly missed.

My condolences to his family and friends.

Posted by Michael Rusnak - Stow, OH - Student of Dr. Mills   December 19, 2015

Such a gentleman, Dr. Mills seemed to be. And such a jeweler in his approach to poetry. And so, so funny. I'd spend hours in his (emeritus) office in Satterfield Hall as he read his (& others') latest work, and we'd laugh & laugh, & Dr. Mills inevitably would cry with laughter. Great times. I'll always remember him like that. He'll always be my ideal audience. His influence on my life was profound.

Posted by David Moyle    December 14, 2013

A very critical colleague once
called Lloyd "the best poet in Kent"--and in a city full of poets, that's quite a compliment. Lloyd was also a Southern gentlemanCEMcJ.

Posted by Bill and Ann Hildebrand - Munroe Falls OH, OH - colleague   December 12, 2013

I am sorry for the loss of your father.

Posted by Ms. Kevin "KB" Benstock - Loveland, CO - Long ago friend of the family.   December 12, 2013

Dear Jane,
My sincerest condolences to you and your family. May fond memories of your father bring you comfort during this time.

Posted by Alice Crosetto - Toledo, OH - friend   December 12, 2013

I am a published poet today in large part because of Prof. Mills. At a time when I was very much "in the poetry closet" so to speak, Dr. Mills entered my poetry in the Engleman Award competition and I won that award in 1976. He saw poetry in me at a time when I did not see it in myself. He believed in me at a time when I needed someone I respected to tell me I could write. Over the years, we remained in touch. When I returned to KSU to teach, he was one of the first people I contacted. I will always cherish our relationship. I am proud to be one of his former students.

Posted by Mwatabu S. Okantah - Akron, OH - Student   December 11, 2013

Wonderful memories, thank you for sharing with us. Love and comfort to all of you.

Posted by Amy with AMS Title    December 11, 2013

Jane and Thomas....I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your father/father in-law. It sounds like he led a very fulfilling and rich life. My thoughts will be with your family in this difficult time.

Posted by Howard Burkert - Monclova, OH - friend of family   December 11, 2013

I am so very sorry for your loss, Jane and Thomas. My heart and prayers go out to both of you, Ben, Justine, and little Isla. May God comfort you in your time of sadness. Cling to your many wonderful memories to help you through this difficult time.

Posted by Tyna Derhay - Toledo, OH - friend   December 11, 2013

What an amazing man and legacy. My deepest sympathy to you both, Jane and Thomas. Sending prayers up for peace.

Posted by Lucy Duhon - OH - colleague   December 11, 2013


Thomas and Jane,

I'm so sorry about the passing of your father-in-law/father. My thoughts and prayers are with you both and your family.


Posted by Marlene Porter - Toledo, OH - colleague   December 11, 2013

Bob and I are so sad for the loss of your father. Ralph, Ellen and Jane, be strong together and keep his memory alive. Your mom is so happy that they are together again. We will keep you in our prayers.

Posted by Sue Egan - Slidell, LA - Sister in law   December 10, 2013

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