Joseph Peter Mills Sr.
While traveling with his son, Edward, in Dubrovnik, Croatia, during a Mediterranean Cruise aboard the Crown Princess, Joseph Peter Mills, Sr. died of sudden heart failure on May 2, 2018. He was 87.
Mere words cannot convey all the wonders of an extraordinary life well lived, yet words are all we have to express the 87 years experienced by Joe Mills. He was born in Throop, Pennsylvania in 1930, the youngest child of Edward and Wladislawa Emilianowitz. Recently, he was delighted to learn more about his father and the ship he came over on when his father immigrated from Poland to America in the early 1900’s.
Joe was married to Sally, who predeceased him, and they had five children – Noreen, Edward, Paula-Jeanne, Donna and Joseph, Jr.
Joe was predeceased by his parents as well as his siblings: Jennie, Edward, Laura, Helen, Lottie and Al and their spouses. Joe is survived by many nieces and nephews, his son Edward J. Mills, III (Poughkeepsie), daughter Noreen Mills Martin, her husband Keith Martin and the light of Joe’s life, his grandson, Keith (Poughkeepsie).
Joe was a very proud US Marine who served as a Lance Corporal in the military police during the Korean War. As a member of the USMC military police, he provided security to the personnel and facilities of helicopter Marine Air Group 36 in California and helicopter Marine Air Group 16 in Japan. MAG 16 supported missions flown over Korea. Joe was drafted into the USMC at the age of 21. He would often remark that the Marines chose him.
This past November, Joe had the great pleasure of being a member of Hudson Valley Honor Flight Mission #18, which flew from Stewart Airport to Washington, DC. It was one of the best days of his life. Joe was a member of the American Legion for over 65 years where he served as Vice Commander and Chaplin of Arlington Post 1302 in the 1970’s.
Joe’s experience in the Marine Corps led him to his first career in law enforcement and private security. He served in the Pennsylvania State Capitol Police in Harrisburg, PA and the Town Police in Hillsborough, NJ.
In 1960, Joe embarked on his 32 year career with IBM – first at the Dayton/Princeton, NJ plant in maintenance and production control. Later, at East Fishkill, NY he continued in production control and then joined the future products engineering group. At IBM in the 1960’s, Joe was on the team that invented magnetic ink used on checks and was involved in the development of perforated spindle, tract-fed paper which was revolutionary at the time for producing computer printouts. He was President of the IBM Club in New Jersey and a Director of the IBM East Fishkill Club. Joe also served as President of the IBM East Fishkill Quarter Century Club.
After retiring from IBM in 1992, Joe went back to his early career roots and faithfully worked as the weekend security guard at the Cary Arboretum Institute of Ecosystems, Millbrook, NY for over 19 years.
Joe’s formal education included: Throop High School, PA; USMC MP training school; PA State Police Academy; University of Scranton, PA; and Somerset Community College, NJ – where he received a certificate in drafting.
Joe volunteered with the Boy Scouts of America both locally and at Read Scout Reservation in Brant Lake, NY. He was a communicant at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Poughkeepsie and attended Mass regularly. In his early years, Joe was a volunteer fire fighter in Throop, PA and helped out at various churches in PA, NJ and NY. He was a talented handyman and could fix practically anything it seemed.
Joe was an avid, long-term fan of the Young & Restless Soap Opera after being introduced to the show by his sister, Lottie, over 25 years ago. He would watch it daily.
Joe loved to travel and spent his retirement visiting every corner of the United States and the World. Joe’s face lit up and his eyes sparkled when he spoke about his trips. He loved to give travel advice because if it was a place you were considering to visit, it was likely that he had been there at least once.
Joe was able to visit Poland and walk in the footsteps of his parents. Joe saw the pyramids of Egypt and ancient ruins of Greece and Rome. He visited volcanoes in Hawaii and geysers in Iceland. He witnessed first-hand the brilliant blue colors of glaciers in Alaska; navigated the fjords of Scandinavia; and enjoyed the Bavarian beer halls of Munich. He was among the first Americans to visit Cuba legally in 2012.
Joe was a wonderful man who will be greatly missed by all those who knew and loved him.
Calling hours will be 4 PM to 8 PM, Monday, May 14, at the William G. Miller & Son Funeral Home, 371 Hooker Ave., Poughkeepsie, NY. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place 11 AM at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Poughkeepsie, NY on Tuesday, May 15. Entombment to follow in Fishkill Rural Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to: Hudson Valley Honor Flight, PO Box 375, Walden, NY 12586. If you wish to send an online condolence please visit our website at www.wmgmillerfuneralhome.com