MACHAIS — Paul Francis Mills, a musician and beloved husband, father, and grandfather died peacefully in his sleep on Oct. 7, 2021, from Alzheimer’s with his family at his bedside. He was 69.

Paul was born January 7, 1952, in Rockland, the son of Albert D. Mills, Jr., and Sybel Estelle Butler Mills, both deceased. He graduated from Rockland District High School in 1970 where he was active in band (baritone horn) and chorus (All-State bass) and where he loved the annual variety show and singing folk songs. He was also active in youth and musical activities at First Baptist Church. He put his deep voice and love of music and community affairs to good use as an announcer on WRKD while still in high school, and he worked his way up to news director. Paul continued his education at Grahm Junior College and Bob Jones University, finishing his degree in midlife.

On Feb. 17, 1973 he married Linda Fish of Boston, Mass., whom he met while she was attending Glen Cove Bible College, and they began a lifelong journey together that took them to many places. Wherever they went, Paul was quick to connect with other musicians, where he would pull out his acoustic guitar and jam with a good mix of folk, country, pop and gospel.

Paul and Linda co-managed inns, including the Red Apple in New Hampshire and the Carriage House in Sturbridge, Mass.

Paul’s primary passion was to help other people. For 18 years he managed the Purchasing and Corporate Travel department for Habitat for Humanity in Americus, Ga. He and Linda volunteered on many builds, constructing homes for financially disadvantaged families, and he often talked of working alongside former president Jimmy Carter. During this time in Americus, Paul used his musical talents to lead devotions, participate in Habitat variety shows, perform with his family on special occasions and at festivals, and to play with the band on St. Patrick’s Day at Pat’s Place.

His children remember him for leading the family in song and encouraging them to pick up a guitar and harmonize. He carried a guitar with him everywhere he went. Along with his music, Paul enjoyed camping, travel, and time with his grandchildren, who called him “Poppie.” After retiring from Habitat, Paul and Linda moved near their grandkids, first near Ben’s family in Texas where Paul and Linda managed a storage facility. Paul and Linda settled in Machias to be near Amy’s family.

Paul is survived by his wife, Linda; his daughter, Amy Mills Francis, and her wife, Cassie Francis, of Machias, and their twin sons, Atlas and Wilder; son Jonathan Mills, and his wife, Amanda, of Liberty, Mo., and their children Nathan, Regan, and Luke; and son, Paul Benjamin Mills, and his wife, Nesreen, of Katy, Texas, and their children Jacob, Jordan, and Maddox.

Other surviving relatives are his two brothers, David Mills of Rockland, as well as Daniel Mills, and his wife, Joan, of Bar Harbor.

He is survived on David’s side by one niece, Sammie Burke of Warren, and her husband, Adam, and daughter, Eleanor; and four nephews, David Mills of Phoenix, Ariz.; Matthew Mills, and his wife, Robin, of Owls Head, and their children Miranda, and Marshell; Christopher Mills, and his wife, Tracey, of Thomaston, and their children Madison and Ryan; Patrick Mills, and his wife, Stephanie, of Bath, and their children Ezra, Henry, Ralph, and Florence; as well as step-niece Miranda Simmons and step-nephew Christopher Simmons of Waldoboro.

On brother Daniel’s side, he leaves five nephews, Abraham Mills, and his wife, Katlin, of Natick, Mass. with their three daughters Everly, Acadia, and Isla; Christopher Mills of Canton, Mass., and his partner, Emi Baque, and her children Mika and Emmanuel; Jason Mills, and his wife, Jordanna Max Brodsky, of New York, N.Y.; Benjamin Mills, and his wife, Marika, of Hopewell Junction, N.Y,, and their four children Zachary, Lucas, Arya, and Lydia; and Jarrad (Chad) Mills of St. Cloud, Fla.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be sent to a local food pantry, and to support refugees at the Mexican border by donating to the McAllen, Texas refugee respite center. (Catholic Charities Respite Center, 111 S 15th St., McAllen, TX 78501.)

A celebration of Paul’s life will be held on Oct. 24 at 1:00 p.m. outdoors at the Samoset Resort in Rockport overlooking the Breakwater Lighthouse, one of Paul’s favorite places.

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