Lois (Christensen) Mills passed away Saturday, September 26 in the late afternoon at Hillside in McMinnville.

Her four children were at her bedside. She was 93 years old.

Lois was born on February 16, 1927 in McMinnville to Merlin C. Christensen and Marguerite (Goffrier) Christensen. She grew up on her parents’ farm as an only child with many Christensen cousins nearby.

She attended elementary school in a one room school house and graduated from McMinnville High School in 1945. She went on to Linfield College and graduated in 1948. Her degree was in Home Economics with further emphasis on Business and Accounting.

She began her working career by teaching in the Home Economics department at Linfield for one year. From there, she worked for Meier and Frank in Portland before meeting her best friend and love of her life, Roger Q. Mills in Corvallis.

Roger and Lois were married in the farm house on Delashmutt Lane on June 18, 1950. Their marriage was to last 59 1/2 years.

After a brief time in Corvallis, and after the birth of their first child, they moved to Waldport, Oregon where they bought a hardware store. They were in business in Waldport for approximately 20 years. They decided to add furniture, appliances, floor coverings and housewares/giftware to their inventory which they eventually sold in 1972.

During this period of time, they had three more children, including a set of twins.

In 1973, they bought another hardware store in the Taft section of Lincoln City. Again, Lois and Roger worked side by side building the business which exists today as Mills Ace Hardware with two locations in Lincoln City.

In the mid-2000’s, Roger and Lois moved to McMinnville. Daughter, Marianne, lived close by and Lois enjoyed being involved in her activities.

Lois’ passion was sewing and, in particular, tailoring. She did exquisite work, probably better made than any store-bought garment. She was a perfectionist and expected perfection from her daughters’ sewing projects. And, she loved shoes, handbags and coats.

In later years, she enjoyed traveling, Oregon State women’s basketball, spending time in her Sunriver home, and the music of Pink Martini. She loved her family and watching her children and grandchildren become successful in their lives.

In 2018, Lois moved from her home in McMinnville to Hillside Communities. The family would like to thank Hillside Skilled Care/Rehab staff for all of their care during her stay in that unit. In addition, thanks to Serenity Hospice for their role in the last week of our mother’s life.

Lois is survived by daughter, Marianne Mills, son Ty Mills (Nancy), daughters Jean Morgan (Kevin) and Joyce Bottemiller (Jerry). She is also survived by six grandchildren: Gregg Hendricks (Charlotte), Jeff Hendricks (Jena), Cassidy Canorro (John), Michael Neubauer (Mari), Jake Morgan (Fatima) and Brian Mills. She is also survived by seven great grandchildren: Maddie, Hannah, Maci and Hadley Hendricks, Austin and Madison Canorro and Lorraine Morgan.

Lois was preceded in death by her husband, parents and older brother who who died at birth.

A private family service is planned for later October due to COVID and her wishes. Interment will be at Evergreen alongside her husband. Memorial donations may be made to McMinnville Area Habitat for Humanity (PO Box 301, McMinnville, 97128) or First Baptist Church of McMinnville (125 SE Cowls, McMinnville, 97128). The Habitat donations will be earmarked for the Turner Build in honor of Bernie and Roz Turner.

To plant a tree in memory of Lois Mills as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.

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