MILLS, Donald

From Islapedia
Don Mills in front of the flagpole mast from Merrill Allyn's Happy, Ventura, CA 2017.
Don Mills with his children Carol, Colleen and Dave, 2012

MILLS, Donald Fredrick (b. 1932), member of the Santa Cruz Island Foundation Advisory Council and Member #145 (2013) of the All Eight Club. Mills is also an active member of the Ventura boating community and Ventura Yacht Club. His mentor was Merrill Allyn.

Don and his wife, Edna, founded a grass-roots group known as Pier Into the Future raised nearly $800,000 to maintain the Ventura Pier structure. The end of the pier is called Mills' End. The original pier at the location was built in 1872, a year before Ventura became an independent county from Santa Barbara County. The State owned the pier until 1993 when the City of Ventura took over ownership.

Donald Mills = Edna Bauer (1937-2000)

  • 1. Colleen Edna Mills (b. 1959)
  • 2. David Fredrick Mills (b. 1962)
  • 3. Carol Elizabeth Mills (b. 1965)

Donald Mills = Rena Randall (m. 2018)


In the News~

May 2017 [The Forecast/VYC]: “Running around the neighborhood as a kid, Don and a few of his friends noticed a man building a boat in his backyard. They thought it was fun to watch the process and continued to frequent the site. Soon, they got to know this boat builder, Merrill Allyn, a charter member of the Ventura County Boat Club (VCBC). Don's keen interest in Merrill's project, the boat Happy, became the start of his relationship with boats and the sea. Later, in 1948, Don witnessed the launching of the Happy from the Ventura Pier and soon experienced his first trip to Anacapa Island aboard Happy. By age 16, Merrill suggested to Don that he become a junior member of the VCBC. It didn't take but this one suggestion for Don to jump at the opportunity. He became the club's first junior member. It was 1948. Now Don had the company of every man in the club to help him learn more about boats. Merrill became Don's biggest mentor, and taught him a lot about boat building, boat maintenance, weather prediction, and seamanship. Quickly becoming aware that an integral part of boating was learning to care for and maintain a boat, Don spent time cleaning, properly storing, and repairing club members' boats. These chores taught him important skills needed in boating as well as earning him a place on a few cruises. With the encouragement and tutelage of VCBC members, Don built his first boat, a plank skiff, that he launched from the hoist the club had on the Ventura Pier. Later he built a second boat, a Penguin class 12-footer, making him now the proud owner of two boats! Because this was prior to the Ventura Harbor being built, like other club members, Don would often trailer his boat to Santa Barbara to launch and for the club "play days" in Goleta. Later becoming a full-fledged member of the VCBC in 1953, Don joined other club members in putting his skills to work for the benefit of the club. Don's trade of engineering helped him to design and construct VYC's first docks, hoist, flag mast, and much more...”

Top of Page