Rusty Mills, 62, of Dunwoody died on Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018.
He was the son of the late Rudolph Walter Mills. Surviving are his wife of 34 years, Fairy Huff Mills; two sons, Robert Wesley Mills, Andrew Marshall Mills; mother, Dr. Marilu McCarty; sister and brother-in-law, Robin Leigh Murray (James Murray); brother and sister-in-law, Scott Hardie Mills (Julie Mills); stepsister and husband, Penny Rue (Les Rue); stepbrother and wife, John McCarty (Donna McCarty); many aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews.
Rusty was born on Aug. 6, 1955, in Camp Lejeune, N.C. He attended Darlington School in Rome, Ga., where he played soccer and was part of the cheerleading squad. He attended Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C., where he pledged Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and two years later transferred to the Georgia Institute of Technology. At Georgia Tech he affiliated with the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, was a Georgia Tech cheerleader for two years and for one year he was the “Pike on the Mike.”
He graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in industrial management and began his career with Tennessee Belting Company and was assigned a territory in the state of Arkansas. He returned to Georgia in 1981 and began a 30-year career with Southern Bell and AT&T. He was instrumental in helping design and implement a telecommunications network for the Home Depot Stores. He also managed communications for other major companies including Southern Company, Georgia Power Company, Genuine Parts, and Scientific Atlanta. In 2012, he retired from AT&T and from then until the present he worked for other communications companies in various capacities.
Rusty was the proud owner of a 1968 GT350 Shelby Mustang convertible that he took to various car shows throughout the nation where he won numerous awards. One of his favorite memories with the Shelby convertible was participating in the Dunwoody, Georgia Fourth of July Parade for several years where he drove several Dunwoody notables including Tom McFerrin, Principal of Dunwoody High School, and for three years, drove Jennifer Leslie, Channel 11 news reporter. One of the most exciting times Rusty’s car was showcased was when Rusty and Fairy participated in the 1991 “Worst to First” Atlanta Braves Parade in downtown Atlanta. They had the privilege of driving Braves catcher Greg Olson and his family in the parade and they were featured on the front page of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution the next day.
As a child, he sang with the Atlanta Boy Choir and continued to perform with them in their men’s chorus as an adult. He was also a member of the Board of Trustees for the Atlanta Boy Choir for many years. As part of the choir, Rusty went on choir trips to San Francisco, Hawaii, and Czechoslovakia to name a few.
He was a member of the Dunwoody United Methodist Church where he enjoyed being a part of the Chancel Choir, Choral Ensemble, and the Performing Arts group. He enjoyed participating in many musicals and plays, especially of note, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” Rusty also was part of the cast for “The Wiz” where he played the role of the cowardly lion. He also particularly enjoyed a role in “Guys and Dolls.”
After graduating from Georgia Tech, Rusty continued to be an avid supporter of his Alma Mater and he, Fairy, Robby, and Andy were featured in the Living section of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Thanksgiving 1998, as a “Family Divided” between Georgia Tech and University of Georgia.
He continued his love for sports by coaching Robby and Andy’s baseball and soccer teams and watching them play as they got older. He enjoyed times at the lake, snow skiing with the boys, as well as attending rock concerts.
Rusty enjoyed many hobbies including sailing and boating, water skiing and scuba diving, and he ran the Peachtree Road Race for many years. He loved assembling scale models of various kinds. He was the master of sharing his latest corny jokes and short stories. He loved watching shows about the NASA space program, flying shows, programs about the high seas, and enjoyed the mysteries of the night sky.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to the Dunwoody United Methodist Church with designation to the Chancel Choir or the Performing Arts program.
Funeral services were conducted on Wednesday, Aug. 8 at Dunwoody United Methodist Church, 1548 Mt. Vernon Road, Dunwoody. Entombment is at at Arlington Memorial Park.