Billie Marie Capps Mills, 89, of Commerce passed away at her home on Friday, February 22, 2019. Born at home in Sallisaw, Oklahoma on December 6, 1929, she was the eldest of three children born to Oscar Elmer and Iva LaVelle Cassady Capps.
Billie grew up in Sallisaw, graduating from Sallisaw High School in 1947 before attending Oklahoma State University where she met her husband, Harry Neal Mills, Jr. at the campus BSU. While attending college, Billie studied Early Childhood Development and Home Economics. After her marriage to Harry in June of 1952, Billie began a career of service by serving as church secretary for Trinity Baptist Church in San Antonio, First Baptist Church of Norman, Oklahoma, and First Baptist Church of Commerce.
In addition to her church work, Billie was an advocate for Early Childhood Development, teaching 2nd and 3rd grades in Prairie Grove, Arkansas, Pre-K at Trinity United Methodist Church in Ruston, Louisiana, and Draughn’s Playschool and Kindergarten in Commerce, Texas. She was an active member in the Southern Association of Education for Children Under Six for many years, participating in state conferences in both Louisiana and Texas.
Billie was active in Eastern Star, Psychology Club, and Delphian Club. Her love of nature, keen sense of humor, service, laughter, and faith made up the foundation upon which she and Harry built their lives and family. Following Harry’s death in May of 1992, Billie helped establish a local GriefShare ministry that still serves members of the community today.
Billie’s many talents included oil and china painting, fine needlework and knitting, and she was a master seamstress. She was an avid reader and storyteller. History and humor were interwoven as she shared and passed on oral family history.
Billie was preceded in death by her parents, Oscar and LaVelle Capps, her husband, Dr. Harry N. Mills, Jr., and her sister, Iva Leahana Young.
Survivors include daughter Laura Lee Angel and husband Johnny Angel; daughter Melissa Oertel; brother, Dr. Emerson Capps and wife Rosemary; brother-in-law John Mills and wife Sue; three grandchildren and their spouses: Cameron and Jenna Mills, Meagan and James Davis, Caitlin and Matthew Sunseri; four great-grandchildren: Mia and Tyler Mills, Lauren and Landrey Davis; niece Malinda Mills; nephews Darrell and Shawn Young, and Michael and Matthew Capps.
Visitation will be from 5:00-7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 at Commerce Funeral Home. The funeral service will be held Wednesday, February 27, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. at First Baptist Church, Commerce with Reverend Kris Myers officiating. Interment will follow in Sallisaw, Oklahoma.
Memorial gifts may be given in Billie's honor to: GriefShare Ministry, Children's Ministry, or Deacon's Elderly Care Ministry at First Baptist Church, 1401 Washington St., Commerce, 75428.
The family of Billie Mills is being served by Commerce Funeral Home of Commerce. To convey condolences or to sign an online register, please visit www.commercefuneralhome.com.