Member for

7 months 1 week
Submitted by natasha on Fri, 04/12/2019 - 06:41:PM

Julia Mills passed away peacefully with family by her side on Thursday, April 11. Julia is survived by her brothers Leslie and Jim, sons Andrew (Karen) and Jonathan (Janice), and grandchildren Wesley, Spencer, Calvin (Eliza) and Robert Mills; and step-grandchildren William, Katherine, and Krysta Long. Julia is pre-deceased by her husband, James Ira Mills (2003), and her brothers Donald (2011), Neil (1976), and Alan (1955).

Julia was born in Halifax to Isabelle (MacQuarrie) and Ernest Jackson. When Ernest’s health failed (asthma) and he was forced to take early retirement, they moved to Bridgetown NS to live on the MacQuarrie family farm. Julia graduated with a degree in music from Acadia University in 1955 and married Jim Mills September 3, 1955.

Jim Mills was a Baptist minister and soon joined the army as a chaplain. Jim’s profession led them to many communities including Chance Harbour NB, St. Andrew’s NB, Gagetown NB, Borden ON (3 times), Churchill MB, Bridgetown NS, Soest West Germany, Gypsumville MB, Winnipeg MB, Winchester ON, Ottawa ON, Kanata ON, and finally Edmonton AB. She especially loved her time in Europe travelling widely while living in Germany from 1967 to 1970, and then going back for many vacations over the following years. 

For Julia, music was always present. She showed great talent for piano at a young age and was encouraged to pursue music by her mother Isabelle and sister-in-law Hester Jackson (Beech). At the age of 13 she started playing the organ at Bridgetown Baptist Church. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music with a specialization in organ performance. An accomplished pianist and organist, she provided the music in the churches and chapels and taught piano students throughout Jim’s military career. After Jim retired from the military, Julia blossomed out into musical director positions at a number of churches in Ottawa including Bromley Road Baptist, Fourth Avenue Baptist, and St Giles Presbyterian Church. During these years she prepared and performed the weekly music programs and directed the choirs. At Bromley, she specified and supervised the installation of a new pipe organ, an accomplishment for which she was justifiably proud. Julia’s musical career spanned more than 60 years before she retired at the age of 75. Her final postlude at St Giles was Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. As the last note reverberated through the church she raised her hands in joy; she would never play the organ again.

Over the course of the past few years, Julia’s life has been curtailed by dementia. It is a condition that has afflicted many family members including her mother Isabelle, and brothers Donald (2011) and Jim. Throughout her decline she remained positive and happy; she was constantly singing to herself and was the first person to get up and dance at the Rosedale musical entertainments. It was on the day when she stopped singing that the staff noticed and immediately sent her to the hospital. Music was in her heart, and gave her joy, right to the end.

We especially want to thank the staff at Stonehaven in Kanata, Rosedale in Edmonton, and the Palliative Care Unit at the Edmonton General for their excellent care of Julia as she negotiated the stages of her illness. A Memorial Service will be held at Beechwood Funeral, Cemetery and Cremation Services, 280 Beechwood Avenue, Ottawa at 11 am on Saturday the 29th of June. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada.

Digital Guestbook

Member for

49 years 9 months

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 04/12/2019 - 11:46:PM

Permalink

Rev. Audrey Brooks

A life well lived, Isabelle! Rich with music and connections with people and places you loved. I was glad to meet you at Rosedale, and sing as you played the piano with such enjoyment, being so present with your audience and those great songs we sang. I will hold you in my heart : a woman of grace and your gift of music. Farewell. Audrey

Member for

49 years 9 months

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 04/13/2019 - 10:52:AM

Permalink

Anna Smith

A dear person loved by many people - she will be greatly missed. My sympathies to all the family.

Member for

49 years 9 months

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 04/13/2019 - 04:53:PM

Permalink

Daryl and Margret Williams

Our heartfelt condolences.

Member for

49 years 9 months

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 04/13/2019 - 06:33:PM

Permalink

Erhardt and Valerie Schirmaier

Dear Andrew, Karen,
We wish to express our deepest sympathy on the loss of your mother (mother-in-law)Julia. We have so many found memories of her and the time shared on our trips to Europe. Erhardt many occasions mentioned about the time she played the organ in his home town, Dürbheim. When someone dies, their Spirit lives on in us. May your memories bring you comfort
With Deepest Sympathy and Caring to you and your family, Erhardt and Valerie

Member for

49 years 9 months

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 04/14/2019 - 01:03:AM

Permalink

Edwin Niles

A happy, beautiful and blessed life indeed.

Member for

49 years 9 months

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 04/17/2019 - 07:16:PM

Permalink

Guenther and Gerlind Koesling

Dear Andrew and Karen
May the warmth and comfort of the lovely memories you have of your beloved Mother and Mother-in-law, someday take the place of the sadness you are feeling now. With deepest sympathy, Guenther and Gerlind

Member for

49 years 9 months

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 04/17/2019 - 07:21:PM

Permalink

Guenther and Gerlind Koesling

Dear Andrew and Karen,
May the warmth and comfort of the lovely memories, you have of your Mother and Mother-in-law, someday take the place of the sadness you feel now. With deepest sympathy to both of you, Sincerely Guenther and Gerlind

Member for

49 years 9 months

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 04/17/2019 - 07:38:PM

Permalink

Guenther and Gerlind Koesling

Dear Andrew and Karen
May the warmth and comfort of the lovely memories of your Mother and Mother-in-law, someday take the place of the sadness you are feeling now. Our deepest sympathy to both of you. Sincerely Guenther and Gerlind

Sign digital guestbook

Photo Gallery

Back to upcoming services