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Published April 27th, 2022
Robert Leon Mills, Orinda
1938 - 2022

Longtime Orinda resident, Robert (Bob) Mills, died on Feb. 24, after battling numerous medical problems. He is survived by Carolyn, his wife of 53 years. The son of Doris and Leon Mills, Bob was born in Berkeley, Calif., and graduated from Hayward High in 1956. He graduated from UC Berkeley in 1961 with a degree in civil engineering. While at UC he was a member of the Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity and sang with the UC Men's Glee Club and the Senior Men's Octette. Upon graduation he entered the U.S. Army, achieving the rank of Captain. He was duty officer of a missile battery in northern Maine during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. While with the California National Guard he was sent to Los Angeles in 1965 to perform riot control during the Watts riots.
He was employed with Kennedy Jenks Engineers and Brown and Caldwell Engineer throughout his working career. During his experience with Kennedy Jenks Engineers he designed a water distribution system for the islands of America Samoa. A significant achievement while working with Brown and Caldwell was as the author of the Framework Plan for the greater San Diego wastewater system, an effort that required negotiations with the Mexican government.
Bob was active in community affairs in Orinda, serving as vice president of the Orinda Association; commissioner on the Orinda Area Planning Commission; co-chair of the Orinda General Plan Committee and a member of Orinda's Infrastructure Committee. He ran for Orinda City Council in 1985 when the city won incorporation.
He also enjoyed choral music and sang tenor in the Diablo College Masterworks Chorale, the Contra Costa Choral and Cantare Con Vivo. While singing with Cantare Con Vivo he traveled with the group on two European concert tours.
Besides traveling throughout the states, Bob and Carolyn also enjoyed international travel to many European countries, Africa and South America. Highlights for both were visiting the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Horn. Bob was interested in the history of the Civil War and toured many battlefields from Fort Sumpter to Gettysburg. He also had a love for his dogs which led to several dog sledding experiences, including helping a musher at the Iditarod Dog Sled Race.
A celebration of life will be held on May 6 at 4 p.m. in the Garden Room of the Orinda Library. Contributions in Bob's name can be made to the East Bay SPCA, 8323 Baldwin St., Oakland, CA 94621, or Cantare Con Vivo, 2619 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612.

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