Buell B. Mills, M.D., 98, of Palm Harbor, Florida, died on February 10, 2021, at Palm Garden of
Clearwater. Born in Straight Creek, Ky., to Sawyer A. Mills and Fannie Belle Marsee Mills on February 9,
1923, and raised in Pineville, Ky., Dr. Mills moved to Florida after his retirement from Pineville
Community Hospital in 1986. In 1942, Dr. Mills graduated from Eastern State College (now Eastern Kentucky University) and worked as a chemist for U.S. Rubber Co. in Detroit, Mich., until he joined the U.S. Marine Corps. in 1944 and served aboard the USS General W.F. Hase as a sea-going Marine. Following his service, he received his M.D. from the University of Louisville in 1951 and returned to Bell
County to practice medicine.
As a young father, Dr. Mills volunteered as a Boys Scout leader and received the Silver Beaver
award to honor his commitment. He also enjoyed travelling, snowmobiling, reading, and
watching college football. During his career, Dr. Mills never refused to care for people in need --
even when he was paid with chickens. During his 35-year career, he delivered more than 3,000
babies and was one of the last physicians in Southeast Kentucky to make house calls.
Always learning, Dr. Mills became a licensed pilot, often flying to watch his nephew play
football at the University of Tennessee, and to visit his son Mike in Lewisburg, WV, where he
attended military academy. Dr. Mills’ interest in astronomy began in the early 1980s. He built
an observatory in Pineville, took stargazing trips, and shared his love of the sky with everyone,
including hospital employees who joined him at Lake Mistake to watch Halley’s Comet.
Dr. Mills was preceded in death by two sisters, Faye Mills Wells and Jean Mills Pearson, and two
brothers, Dr. Harold Mills and Dr. Shirley Mills.
Dr. Mills is survived by Ina Daniel Mills, his wife of 46 years; one son, Michael B. Mills, of
Pineville, Ky.; one daughter, Patricia Mills of Ashland, Missouri; two grandchildren, Michael S.
Mills of Pineville, Ky., and Mollie Mills of Knoxville, Tenn.; 14 brothers- and sisters-in-law; a
multitude of nieces and nephews; and a host of family and friends.
Dr. Mills will be laid to rest in the Pineville Cemetery. A graveside service will be held at a later
Date under the direction of Brooks-Durham Funeral Home, Pineville, KY.