Roberta Arrowsmith Mills, a prominent civic leader and wife of the first County Executive of Orange County, died Saturday,April 29, after a long illness with cancer. She was 80.
The daughter of the late William Walter and Dorothy Ayres Arrowsmith,she was born on July 17, 1925 in South Orange, NJ.
Roberta moved with her family to Wellesley Hills, MA in 1932, where she attended Dana Hall lower school. Her family later moved to San Jose, outside of Jacksonville, Fla, where she became the Vice President of her class and Prom Queen at the Bowles Military Academy. Upon graduation, she received the good Citizen Award from the Daughters of the American Revolution. She attended Bryn Mawr College, and during the summer of 1943, she held a wartime job with the St. John´s shipyard. Roberta played on the shipyard´s softball team and was crowned Miss Florida Softball of 1943. On June 15, 1945, she married Louis Van Orden Mills, former Middletown Mayor and Orange County´s first County Executive. After her marriage, she graduated from Columbia College, School of General Studies. Mrs. Mills continued to be active in athletics throughout her life; she competed for two college swimming teams and swam daily until her recent illness. Mrs Mills also successfully competed in ladies´ singles and mixed doulbles tennis tournaments in Orange County and elsewhere. She has won or been finalist in several past county championships.
Mrs. Mills has served as President of the Middletown Girl Scout Council, President of the Orange County Citizens Foundation, President and longtime member of the Garden Club of Orange County. She was an original member of the Park Commission of Orange County, and was a former member of the Thrall Library Board in Middletown.
A statement from longtime friend, Harriet Bloom reads:
“Roberta never sought the limelight for all she did.”
Roberta is survived by her husband of 61 years, Louis V. Mills at home, her children, John Stewart Mills, an environmental coordinator for the U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management and his wife, Lauura of davis, CA, and Dr. Louis V. Mills, Jr., Proffessor of Landscape Architecture at Texas Tech University and his wife Monica of both Lubbock, Tx and and Bloomingburg, grandson John Stewart Mills and his wife Corrie of CA, granddaughter Sarah Bailey Mills of Davis, CA, and three great-grandson, Justin, Andrew and Ryan.
Private burial services will be held at Hillside Cemetery, Middletown. Arrangements for a Memorial Service will be held on May 22nd at 11:30 am at the Oramge County Arboretum, Thomas Bull Memorial Park, Co Rt. 416, Montgomery, NY.Arrangements under the direction of Applebee-McPhillips Funeral Home.
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