Raymond “Ray” Douglass Mills, 93, also of Dexter, died April 3, 2010, one month shy of his 94th birthday.

Born in Prospect May 4, 1916, he was the son of Evelyn Avery Mills and Percy A. (“Pa”) Mills.

Ray attended the Ferry School in Prospect, a one-room school with one teacher for grades 1-8. He graduated from Eastern Maine Conference Seminary in Bucksport, in the class of 1933. When Ray was a young man he worked in his father’s store called Millsview. This building is still standing just beyond Fort Knox in Prospect.

After high school, he worked for one year at Bath Shipyard, followed by a year at Portsmouth Naval Yard. He was drafted into the Army in 1943, doing his basic training at Fort Knox, Ky. He then became a member of Armored Division 18, based at Camp Chaffe in Arkansas. Ray met the love of his life, Mary (“Mae”) Falconer of Shirley Mills,  on a blind date. They were married Dec. 26, 1944.

In February of 1945, after only six weeks of marriage, he was stationed overseas for more than a year. After his discharge from the Army, he and Mae settled into their home on Railroad Avenue in Dexter. Ray worked as a molder at Fay Scott for 36 years, later serving as a guard and superintendent for 10 years. Ray was a lifetime member of the International Order of Odd Fellows, which he originally joined in 1935 at the Bucksport Fort Knox Lodge 29. He later transferred his membership to the Plymouth Lodge 65 in Dexter, where he held several offices, including Noble Grand and financial secretary.

In 2006, he received a jewel from the Odd Fellows representing 72 years of membership. He was a member of Dexter Sunrise Kiwanis for 20 years. Ray and Mae were members of the Dexter United Methodist Church for more than 50 years. When they moved to Searsport in October 2003, they transferred their membership to the Belfast United Methodist Church. Ray enjoyed playing golf at the Dexter Municipal Golf course, calling himself a “duffer.”

His other hobbies included reading and playing cribbage. From Jan. 1, 2009, until April 2, 2010, Ray played 2,594 cribbage games. Since Ray and Mae moved to Searsport they have been lovingly cared for by their family as well as caregivers Diane, Dixie, Dee, Fredi, Sue, Robin, June, Karen and Roxanne. Five generations of the Mills family have enjoyed the Mills camp on Center Pond since 1959.

Ray had unconditional love for the members of his family, whether they joined from birth, marriage or adoption.

Ray’s beloved wife of 62 years died Jan. 15, 2006.

Ray is survived by two daughters and their husbands, Jeanne and Bud Merrill, and Jan and Ron Leighton, all of Searsport; grandchildren Brian and Cara Merrill of Belfast, Allen and Sara Ewing-Merrill of Portland, Karen Keniston of Searsport and her friend, Gil Russell, of Stockton Springs, Amy and Dan Ryder of North Jay, and Sarah and Chris McLaughlin of Bowdoinham; several great-grandchildren, Seth Haven, Jacob and Kevin Keniston, Rachel Mae and Kathryn Ewing-Merrill, Avery Ryder, and a new baby expected in September whom Ray lovingly nicknamed “Junior.” He is also survived by a brother-in-law, Paul, and his wife, Chris Falconer; a sister-in-law, Helen Whitmore; and several nieces and nephews.

There will be a celebration of the life of this remarkable man at 4 p.m. Thursday, April 15, at the Belfast United Methodist Church, 23 Mill Lane, Belfast. Interment will be held at the convenience of the family at Maple Grove Cemetery in Prospect.

If desired, donations may be made to: Belfast United Methodist Church Music Fund, 23 Mill Lane, Belfast, ME 04915; Christian Community Church, c/o Diana Paine, 185 Zion’s Hill Road, Dexter, ME 04930; or to Sunrise Kiwanis, c/o Marilyn Hartford, 121 Hartford Lane, Sangerville, ME 04479.

Arrangements are with the Long Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 9 Mountain St., Camden. Expressions of sympathy to the family may be sent to longfuneral@gwi.net.