September 24th, 2019 Christopher Ronald Mills, age 46, of Pensacola, Florida passed on from this beautiful earthly domain that he had so loved to photograph, to enter into the glorious heavenly presence of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. After his diagnosis of stage 4 cancer early July 2018 he said “I have no fear and I refuse to worry, but I will trust in my Lord through it all because Jesus is my Healer and I win however it goes. The big C-Christ is much more powerful than the little c-cancer!” He prayed daily for others with cancer, all of his doctors and medical teams, and remained positive through the many medical appointments, treatments, medications, reactions and side effects, refusing to post anything negative on social media throughout the battle.His daily prayer motto was “I’m strong in the Lord and the power of His might & I walk by faith and not by sight…or symptoms or pain or any other circumstances!”He so appreciated the prayer support and encouragement of folks local and across the country.
Christopher was born October 6, 1972 in Altus, Oklahoma. After growing up, years spent in Baton Rouge, LA and Botetourt County, VA, he relocated to Pensacola, FL in the early 90’s.
Christopher was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Harold S. Mills Sr. and Katie Mills Basham and maternal grandparents, Leslie and Lucy Deel, all of Virginia.
He is survived by his father, Ronald E. Mills, Pensacola, FL; mother, Judy D. Mills, Fincastle, VA; brother and best friend, Richard E. Mills, Pensacola, FL; Richard’s daughter, Kayla (Patrick) Warner and their children, Patrick, Wade, Braedyn and Willow of Ohio. These children dearly loved their Uncle Chris and he loved them and cherished their times together. Also left to cherish his memory are many Pensacola friends, plus other relatives and friends in Virginia and around the country.
Christopher graduated from Lord Botetourt High School in Daleville, Virginia in 1990 and after a long career at Lowe’s in Pensacola; he retired in 2013 to pursue his lifelong dream of studying and teaching photography. He received AA & AS degrees from PSC and his BFA in Studio Art Photography from UWF in Pensacola. His plans to pursue his MFA at Radford University in Virginia were cut short by the cancer diagnosis right after graduating from UWF in May, 2018. During his treasured years at PSC and UWF he had artwork displayed at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans, LA, then in Pensacola, FL at the Pensacola Museum of Art, Pensacola City Hall, Artel Gallery, TAGGED group show at The Art Gallery at UWF, Spring 2017 and 2018 Pop-up show at UWF, Pensacola State College, and the Pensacola Cultural Center. He also has exhibited work in the Cinco Banderas exhibition at Artel Gallery and is now in their permanent collection. He has won many awards for his photography and digital imaging. These include 1st Place in the 2016 juried members show at the Pensacola Museum of Art and multiple awards at Artel Gallery in Pensacola, FL including Best of Show, 1st Place, 2nd Place, 3rd Place, juror’s awards and honorable mentions. Other awards including three 1st Place, two 2nd Place, two 3rd Place, and multiple Honorable Mentions in the Power of Photography Show held by the Wide-Angle Photo Club 2014-2017. Christopher had a solo show in the Vault at Artel Gallery in March 2018 as part of his BFA exit show. In November 2017, Christopher was featured as an emerging artist at the Greater Gulf Coast Arts Festival in Pensacola, FL. Christopher had two solo shows in 2016 with the first being his X-rays series in the awards alcove at Artel Gallery in Pensacola, FL during January and February 2016 and second his, Into the Forest series was shown at Marty Campbell Gallery in Pensacola, FL June-July 2016.
A Celebration of Life Service to honor Christopher’s life will be held Saturday, October 12, 2019 at Calvary Way Full Gospel Church, 100 Jones Street, Pensacola, FL. Visitation will begin at 10:00 am, followed by the service at 11:00 am. After the service all are invited to join in a gathering time in the church fellowship hall.
Saturday, November 30, 2019 another service will be held in Christopher’s beloved mountains of Virginia at the Troutville Church of the Brethren, Troutville, VA, details to be announced later.