Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Jack W. Mills

Born: 12/1/1922

Died: 4/18/2011

Maiden Name: n/a

Honorific: n/a


Jack Walton Mills, son of Thomas A. Mills and Delora May (Beck) Mills passed away on April 18, 2011, in Joplin, Mo. He was born Dec. 1, 1922 ,in Quinton. He was the sixth of nine children. On May 16, 1948, Jack married Jan Bufe, and to this union three children were born.

Jack was very proud of his Choctaw heritage. His mother, Delora, was an enrolled Choctaw, the daughter of Elijah Oliver Beck and Joanna Woods. Joanna (Woods) Beck was the daughter of Stephen Woods and Eliza Dukes, both born in Mississippi.

Joanna’s father, Stephen Woods was the son of Horace Woods, a white man, and a native of Massachusetts. Stephen’s mother was Sarah, a Choctaw also known as “Nowahoke” or “Nowatima.” According to the History of Indian Territory, “the maternal ancestry of Nowatima’s family goes back to the early aboriginal days, but a complete record cannot be given. They were long-lived people, her grandfather having lived to the age of one hundred and twenty-five.”

Joanna’s mother, Eliza (Dukes) Woods was the daughter of Joseph Dukes and Nancy Collins. Joseph, a white man, was the son of William Dukes and Nancy Wade, a Choctaw. Nancy Collins was the daughter of Charles Collins, a white man, and Mary Bell, a Choctaw.

After his family and his Choctaw heritage, Jack was most proud of his service in World War II. He was a private in the U. S. Army, and fought for his country on the beaches of Normandy (Omaha/Fox/Red) on D-Day. One of the recent highlights of his life was in November 2010, when he took the Ozarks Honor Flight to Washington DC to view the World War II Memorial.

In his retirement, Jack developed an interest in painting and writing. In addition to painting pictures, he loved to paint scenic images on antique objects, such as saws, saw blades of all sizes, trowels and even old-fashioned kerosene heaters. His writings included two self-published books he wrote for his family, one about his life in general, and another about his experiences in World War II. He was most well known among friends and family for his sense of humor and sharp wit. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

Jack is now reunited with Jan, his wife of 55 years, who preceded him in death in 2003. He was also preceded in death by three brothers, Haskell, Raymond and Sylvester; and three sisters, Flora, Goldie and Alma.

Jack is survived by two sons, Gary Mills with his wife Jerre of Rolla, Mo., Larry Mills with his wife Laura of Joplin, Mo.; daughter Jackie Mohring with her husband Allan of St. Paul, Minn.; one granddaughter, Carrie (Mills) Rodell with her husband Jim of Willard, Mo.; three grandsons, Scott Mills of Rolla, and Blake and Hunter Mills of Joplin; one great-grandson, Ryan Rodell of Willard; one brother, Denver Mills with his wife Jackie, of Salado, Texas; and one sister, Melba Goffrier with her husband Fred of Tucson, Ariz.; and many friends.