Kind-Hearted Arlington Heights Fire Department Retired Deputy Chief David Mills Dies at Age 84

Retired firefighter Deputy Chief Dave Mills in a video produced by the Arlington Heights Memorial Library talks about his career as an Arlington Heights firefighter.

Arlington Heights Fire Department Deputy Chief David Mills, 84, died on Monday after a short illness. He is remembered as a kind-hearted, dedicated firefighter, who was a leader that led by doing and teaching. Mills was a straight-talking, but gentle-talking man who knew how to confront a task and alleviate a conflict.

Mills joined the Arlington Heights Fire Department with Badge No. 1 in 1957, was promoted to lieutenant in 1964, captain in 1969 and deputy chief in 1975. He retired Sepember 15, 1989. Much of his time as deputy chief was served with Fire Chief John “Keach” Hayden, who died following a two-year battle with lung cancer in Port St. Lucie, Florida in December, 2000.

Mills was also a member of the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association, Illinois Professional Firefighters Association and the International Association of Fire Chiefs and served as president of the Northeastern Illinois Fire Chiefs Association.

Left-to-right: Former Deputy Chief David Mills, former Captain Jack Benson, former Fire Chief John K. Hayden, and former Captain Darryl Meacham.

David Mills is survived by his wife, Joyce, three children, three grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Mills also had three stepchildren, nine step-grandchildren and seven great-stepgrandchildren. He was preceded in death by his first wife of 53 years, Genevieve.

Visitation will take place Thursday from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Meadows Funeral Home, 3615 Kirchoff Road, Rolling Meadows, where services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday. Interment will be at Windridge Cemetery in Cary. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Midwest Hospice, 2050 Claire Court, Glenview, IL 60025. For information, Call Meadows Funeral Home 847-253-0224.

Dave Mills Bunting
Arlington Heights Fire Department bunting in honor of retired Deputy Fire Chief David Mills.

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David Mills Bunting
Bunting in honor of former Deputy Fire Chief David Mills.