Joe Franklin Mills was born May 18, 1939, and departed this life on Friday, March 27, 2020, in Tulsa, OK.
Our beloved husband, father, grandad and friend was a life-long resident of Tulsa. His family, friends and faith were the cornerstones of his life. He loved being actively involved in the lives of his children, five grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
Joe was born in Gypsy, OK, son of Benjamin and Edith Mills. His parents were school teachers and his dad later became a principal. Upon moving to Tulsa, he attended Whittier Grade School, Cleveland Junior High and then graduated Central High School during the "flat top" days in 1957.
Joe attended the University of Tulsa pledging Kappa Alpha Fraternity and meeting his lifelong love, Janet C. Mills, on a blind date. Joe wrote for the campus newspaper, The Collegian, and worked in the athletic sports information office. Joe and Jan ran off and got married then had two sons while still attending school. He added two more jobs to support his young family and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1962. Their daughter was born in 1963.
Joe's professional career began with Rockwell International, the U.S. Jaycees and then he became head of publicity for American Airlines loving all of the travel that he and his family were able to do during this time. He retired from a successful sales career with Diebold.
In 1968, Joe became the Voice of the Golden Hurricane. He announced all home football and basketball games for Tulsa University for 30 years! His passion for TU sports and "love of the institution" continued throughout his life with season tickets attending most home sporting events, dinners, bonfires and coaches shows. He received the TU Athletic Hall of Fame Order of Merit Award in 2017, given to individuals recognized for substantial service to the athletic department.
Throughout his years, Joe coached competitive little league and then Pony league baseball teams. He was very active in their churches helping with the youth activities along with choir and church family gatherings. Later in his life, he was a member of The Kirk in Tulsa. Joe had many lifelong friendships hunting, fishing and playing poker every month with many of them. He showed us how to be loyal to family and dear friends.
Joe is survived by his wife of 60 years, Janet Clannin Mills, of Tulsa; his son, Timothy R. Mills, of Houston, TX; his daughter, Amy Mills Savage, and husband, Bill Savage, of Southlake, TX; and grandchildren, Austin Savage, Tate F. Savage and wife, Alicia Savage, Alexandra Jensen and husband, Dave Jensen, Alison Cook and husband, Kyle Cook, and Skylar Mills; as well as 4 great grandchildren and many loving nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Ione Stauss; and son, Benjamin J. Mills.
A Celebration of Joe's Life will be held on Friday, June 26, at The Kirk, 4102 East 61st St., Tulsa, OK, at 4:00 pm. Joe lived a very full life and we know we will see him again one day in Heaven!
Memorials and gifts can be made to The Myasthenia Gravis Foundation. This neuromuscular disease took its toll on Joe's body and is in need of funding for research, Myasthenia.org. Also, TU's Golden Hurricane Club Is a wonderful way to honor him due to his love for TU and the avid sports fan he was. The University of Tulsa, Golden Hurricane Club, 800 S. Tucker Dr., Tulsa, OK, 74104.