Kathryn Lee (Peters) Mills was born 15 July 1946 in the town of West Chester, Chester County, Pennsylvania. Kathryn was the oldest of two children born to Clytis Glenn Peters and Ruth Lee (Dickens) Peters. Kathryn and sister Susan attended schools in West Chester from kindergarten through graduation at West Chester High School, Kathryn with the class of 1964.
During her formative years, Kathryn spent much time on her grandparents’ farms with her many aunts, uncles, and cousins. Kathryn learned to drive a tractor at an early age by wooden blocks attached to the foot pedals of the tractor. Kathryn would drive the tractor during the baling of hay. In addition to being an honor student, Kathryn’s interest in high school included reporting for the high school paper, The Indianhead, summers boating and water skiing on the Chesapeake Bay, and four years in the Spanish Club.
Kathryn met her high school sweetheart and future husband, Dick Mills, in late 1963. They married 02 July 1965. While Dick attended basic and advanced training in the Army, Kathryn was enrolled in the Chester County Hospital School of Nursing. After one year attendance, her enrollment in the Nursing Program was terminated once her marital status became known. Kathryn lived with her parents and worked until joining her husband in Asmara, Eritrea, East Africa in August 1966. Kathryn gave birth to her first daughter, Ruth Anita, in October 1967.
Following her husband’s tour, the family was assigned to Petaluma, California where her husband separated from active duty. A brief return to West Chester was next until her husband reenlisted in the Army. While her husband was on an unaccompanied tour in Korea, Kathryn and daughter relocated to Arlington, Virginia in June 1969. In June 1970, the family was briefly assigned to Fort Hood, Texas only to proceed to Fort Meade, Maryland in October of that year.
Kathryn’s second daughter, Jennine Lee, was born at Fort Meade in July 1971 before the family was assigned to Monterey, California in July 1974. Following this assignment, the family was assigned to Kitzingen, Germany in July 1975. During this assignment, both girls attended school which gave Kathryn the opportunity to assume the position of Thrift Store Manager. Also, during this assignment, Kathryn and two other wives, provided sustainment assistance to other unit wives and children during the frequent field training exercises and deployments by their spouses. In both endeavors, Kathryn was laudably recognized for her initiative and efforts.
From 1978 to 1981, the family was assigned to Augsburg, Germany where Kathryn volunteered with the Department of Defense School System as a chaperon on field trips throughout Europe for middle and high school students. Subsequently, the family returned Stateside being assigned once again to Fort Hood, Texas. Kathryn obtained certifications as Emergency Medical Technician and Paramedic at Central Texas College. Kathryn was a shift lieutenant of three ambulance crews stationed out of Waco, Texas. The pinnacle of her paramedic career was successfully delivering nine babies throughout rural communities in Central Texas.
Unfortunately, at the time, neither EMT nor Paramedic Texas certifications were reciprocal with Maryland, where her husband was transferred following retirement from active duty and employment with a government contractor. Kathryn, using her medical knowledge and skills, became a scheduler and medical transcriptionist having to familiarize herself with a variety of medical software programs.
Her husband then entered civil service, and the family was transferred first to Virginia for duty at the Pentagon in 1988, and then in 1991, to Hertford, North Carolina. Kathryn graduated from the College of the Albemarle, Elizabeth City, in 1997, with a major in Information Management and a minor in Spanish. She applied her acquired skills, when in 1998, the family relocated to Seattle, Washington.
After one year, the family relocated to Santa Barbara, California. Kathryn continued to apply her medical knowledge and skills as Scheduling Coordinator for thirteen operating room suites in addition to coordinating support requirements of the operation room suites during procedures.
Kathryn took early retirement in 2007 and the family relocated to Georgetown, Texas. In 2011, the family relocated to Ferndale, Washington. She enjoyed watching classic black and white movies from the Thirties and Forties and reading mystery novels. Bette Davis was Kathryn’s favorite actress while Stephen King and Sue Grafton were her favorite authors.
Kathryn never regained consciousness from an emergency surgery on 29 December 2021 and died that evening with her husband and oldest daughter at her bedside.