Pearl Kathryn (Kathy) Mills, 81, went home to the Lord on December 26, 2021, surrounded by loving family. A daughter of the late Perle E. Mercer and the late Mary Catherine Everhart Mercer, she was born on October 7, 1940, in Steubenville, OH. She was also preceded in death by her beloved sister, Bess Thompson.
She is survived by her husband of 63 years, Carl E. Mills; brother John (Arlene) Shaffer; children Carla (George) Kuntupis, John (Carol) Mills, Deborah (Helmut) Rieckmann, and Misty K. McConnaughy; grandchildren Rich (Angie) Davis, Amber Davis, Lindsey (Bryan) Stonebraker, Alex Kuntupis, Cody Kuntupis, Cory Kuntupis, Daniel Rieckmann, Gabby Rieckmann, Betty Rieckmann, and Abigail Duvall; great-grandchildren Emma Davis, Reagan Davis, Briley Blancato, Adison Blancato; and her “little sister”, Mollie (Joe) Paolisso.
As helping others was her calling, Kathy earned a nursing degree and began her career as a pediatric nurse. Later, she earned a degree in health care administration and worked as a nursing home administrator until transitioning into home health. She was the founder and primary owner of Heritage Home Care, Inc. and Heritage Complete Home Care.
Kathy was involved in multiple community betterment programs and often volunteered at crisis centers. She was the founder of the Jefferson County Victims’ Rights Association, served as president of the American Cancer Society (Jefferson County unit), served on the advisory board of the Joint Vocational School, served on the nursing program advisory board at Jefferson Technical College, was recognized nationally as the Who’s Who Executive of the Year in Health Care Administration, served as a longtime officer in the Woman’s Club of Steubenville as well as the Woman’s Club of Mingo Junction, served as a member of the Board of Trustees at Eastern Gateway Community College, and was an active member of the congregation at First Westminster Presbyterian Church. Additionally, Kathy was a published author and was proud of her most recently released book, Sisters’ Garden of Secrets.
Kathy cherished her family and delighted in taking care of them. She had the unique ability to make those around her feel loved, heard, and valued. If you ever had the good fortune of finding yourself a guest at her home, you would leave having learned to play at least three card games and with a belly full of her legendary macaroni and cheese.
Although she will be deeply missed, her memory and influence will live on through all who knew and loved her.
Family and friends will be received from 2 to 4 p.m. and again from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, December 30, at the J.E. Foster Funeral Home in Toronto, OH, where funeral services will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, December 31. Reverend Jason Elliot will officiate and interment will follow at Island Creek Cemetery in Toronto.
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