James David Mills

James David Mills (David) died March 18, 2011 in Houston, TX from complications due to long-term paralysis. Born in Maryville, TN, David grew up in Alcoa and graduated from Alcoa High School in 1969. He graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1973 with a BA in Zoology. While at UT, he was a manager of the UT basketball team under Coach Ray Mears for 3 years. He obtained a Master’s degree from Baylor College of Medicine for Cardiopulmonary Perfusion in Houston, Texas. For 2 years, David was on the staff of world-renown heart surgeon Dr. Michael DeBakey at Baylor Medical Center. He then moved to Chattanooga for 9 years working for a private cardiac surgeon before returning to Houston to start a new open heart surgery program. In Chattanooga, he obtained his private pilot’s license and enjoyed singing Barbershop and acting in the lead in “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.” David became a tetraplegic in 1993 after neck surgery and was confined to a power wheelchair. He became a computer expert and was to begin an online Master’s degree program in hospital administration prior to his death. He continued to maintain an interest in Tennessee basketball. Preceded in death by: Parents, Edith Elrod Mills and Earl Mills, Jr.; Grandparents, Mary Jane & Reece Elrod, Magdalena & Earl Mills, Sr. Survived by: Wife of 26 years, Brenda Shrader Mills; Son, Bruce Whittier Mills & wife Kristine; Daughters, Lauren Michelle Mills & Jessica Danielle Mills; Grandchildren, Riley & Ryan Mills all of Houston, TX; Sister, Deidre Mills Dickson & husband Mitch; Nephews, Zack & Kyle Dickson of Knoxville. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to: Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center, 1901 Clinch Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37919. A private family memorial was held in Houston, TX. Family and friends will assemble for interment at 11:30 AM, Saturday, March 26, 2011 at Grandview Cemetery. Arrangements by Smith Funeral & Cremation Service, Maryville, 865-983-1000, www.smithmortuary.com.

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