Neva Jean "Grandma" Mills, 71
Services for Neva Jean "Grandma" Mills, 71, Bonners Ferry, will be held at the Wellsprings Community Center, Bonners Ferry, at 2 p.m. Saturday, October 9. On October 2, 2004, she ascended into heaven, and her sudden departure has left us saddened. Surely she is looking over each of us as she always did.
Those who knew her best know that they will never escape the sound of her voice. Even in death she will give us advice in the back of our mind. All we have to do is ask, "what would Grandma say?"
She'll answer, you'll listen. Grandma, we will miss you, always and forever.
Jean was born in Bonners Ferry February 9, 1933, to Marion and Eunice Bradley. Born prematurely, she was so small that her mother kept her in a shoe box, surrounded by Mason jars full of warm water. She was born club footed, and her mother straightened it through home therapy.
In 1949, she met a handsome young man, Lawrence Mills, Oldtown, Idaho. They were wed at the Bonners Ferry Assembly of God Church June 30, 1950. Larry worked for the Burlington Northern, and they soon moved to Milan, Washington, where the lived in the depot station until May, 1951, when Larry went back to the gang. Jean moved back to Bonners Ferry, living in a small house above her parents home. This was the year they also became parents. Their first son, Tony, was born while Larry was in Glacier, Montana. In 1953, their first daughter, Rose, was born.
They stayed in Bonners Ferry until 1955, when they moved to Montana. They spent the next nine years moving from one town to the next. In 1956, she gave birth to their second son, Billy, and their second daughter, Lorna, was born in 1957.
In 1964, the family returned to Bonners Ferry, where Jean lived until her death.
In 1972, on the day before her 39th birthday, she became a grandmother. While she went on to have nine grandchildren, she became grandmother to every child in the county, treating all the children as her own.
Everyone who knew her well loved her. She told it as she saw it, like it or not. You always knew where you stood in her world. There were few people she didn't care for.
Jean is survived by her husband, Lawrence Monroe Mills; daughters Rose Marie Peterson, Hayden, and Lorna Jean Jarms, Spokane; sons Tony Mills, Salt Lake City, and Billy Mills, Gardener, Kansas; brothers Lawrence Bradley, Kirkland, Washington, and Bobby Bradley, Bonners Ferry; sister Ellen Schoenwald, Nampa, Idaho; grandchildren Robert Winey, Kenneth Winey, Syrina Rose, Adam Mills, James Mills, Angel Mills, Heather Wilson, Melissa Mills and Ryan Mills; and great-grandchildren Arista, Serenity, Angela, Kelby, Liam, Ethan, Cayman, Tosha, Parker and Elena.
She was preceded in death by her parents, brother Claude Bradley and grandchild Daniel Mills.
Originally published on the website - Kootenai Valley Press - July 31, 2005