Richard “Bill” Millis was born Dec. 19, 1936, in Black River Falls, to Geraldine and Richard “Bud” Millis. Raised with his sister, Betty, and brother, Bob, on a foundation of Midwest family values, Bill’s story is one of hard work, family and generosity.
It was fate that lead Bill to his wife, Beverly Ann Frost, of Merrillan, Wis. She was the love of his life, best friend, confidante, graceful companion, and loving mother to their eight children, Rick, Mike, Kathy, David, Kari, Steven, Daniel and Paul. With over 60 years of marriage, the concept of endless love and devotion could find no better example than that of Bill and Bev.
Together they created a family that would beautifully anchor his life and present to him a boundless supply of love, laughter and respect. As a father he offered counsel, love and encouragement; and as a grandfather, he set an example of kindness and hard work.
Life awarded Bill with an entrepreneurial spirit, inherited from both his father and grandfather. He found himself fortunate to use these skills the better part of his life to make a living and support his family, while growing and expanding the family business.
Over the years Bill’s hard work afforded him the opportunity of generosity toward various organizations in Jackson County. Bill always preferred to make his contributions quietly and in the background. With his humble approach he taught his family the importance of giving with no expectation.
With his family always at the center of his being, Bill truly lived his life to the fullest. In his lifetime, Bill was not only a beloved husband, father, grandfather and businessman, but was also a civic leader, golfer, model airplane enthusiast, avid hunter, fisherman, NASCAR fan, snowmobiler, Packers fan and war-time veteran.
Bill not only has many children and grandchildren, he also has an abundance of friends, both in his hometown and across the country. Each year he looked forward to going south for the winter, attending NASCAR races, traveling with Beverly in the motor home, and fishing in Canada.
On the morning of June 12, 2017, at the age of 80, Bill passed away peacefully in his home in Black River Falls, surrounded in love by his wife, seven children and their spouses.
Bill is survived by his beloved wife, Beverly; seven children and their spouses; 25 grandchildren; 21 great grandchildren, whose photos adorned his walls and his billfold for years: wife, Beverly Ann Millis (Frost); grandchildren, Jennifer, Richard (Chad) and Nichole (children of the late Rick Millis); son, Mike (Jana) and children, Justin, Joshua, Jamie, Kayla; daughter, Kathy Powell (Jim), children, Jason, Travis, Ashley; son, David (Dena) children, Jake, Joel and Jordan; daughter, Kari Pearson (Todd), children, Amber Rose and Bobby; son, Steve (Sue), children, Zach, Matt and Eric; son. Dan (Sheryl), children, Krysta, Mackenzie and Tyler; son, Paul (Traci), children, Andrew, Ryan and Karyn; siblings, Betty Millis and Robert (Bob) Millis; along with many in-laws, nieces, nephews, family and friends too numerous to list, but not forgotten.
Bill has been reunited with his first born son, Rick Millis; his mother, Geri Millis; and his father, Bud Millis.
Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday June 17, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, with a Funeral Mass immediately following. The Millis Family will also host a celebration of life for Richard “Bill” Millis from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, June 18, at the Skyline Golf Club.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Black River Area Foundation—Rick Millis Memorial Scholarship Fund or to the Skyline Golf Course Maintenance fund.