Joan A. Mills

Joan Angela Mills was born in Flushing, NY on May 20th, 1948, third of eight children, to the late Jonas Pyatt, Sr. and Lillie Mae Pyatt.  The family relocated to Astoria, NY where she graduated from Julia Richman High School in 1966. While living in Astoria, she met and eventually married James Wesley Mills, Sr. on August 21st, 1971.  To this union, a daughter April was born. The Mills Family relocated to Danbury, CT in 1982.
As a young woman, Joan built a strong work ethic helping to care for her family. She volunteered as candy striper at New York Hospital and worked for several years at Ross Perot’s Electronic Data Systems (EDS) company as Supervisor, Data Processing in Manhattan, NY. Upon her relocation to Connecticut, Joan held several data processing positions at Berol Corporation and Amphenol. She also worked part-time at various jobs like Olan Mills Photography so her daughter could go on her senior high school trip to Spain. Ultimately, she became a certified nurse’s aide (CNA), working for many years at Waterview Hills Nursing Home in Purdys, NY.
Joan was also a devout Christian and servant of the Lord. Her aunt introduced her at an early age to Ebenezer Baptist Church where Rev. Virgil Glanton was the Pastor.  It was here that Joan was baptized. Rev. Glanton later built a new church in Corona, NY, the Holy Unity Baptist Church, where she would attend. While living in Danbury, CT Joan was invited to attend St. James A.M.E. Church.  She enjoyed it so much that she joined and became an active member; as a founding member of Soul Sistahs, member of the Willing Workers, the Lay Organization, Stewardess Board, the Evangelism Department and Gospel Choir.  Her thirst for the word sent her to New Hope Baptist Church’s Christian Life Institute where she faithfully attended bible study every Wednesday night and eventually matriculated from the Evangelism 10-week certification program.  In 2013, she and her husband James joined Bethel A.M.E. Church in New Haven, CT to worship with their daughter. Here Joan was an active member of the Women’s Noon Day Prayer & Bible Study group and Woman’s Day Choir.  She also volunteered with the Women’s Missionary Society to make food baskets for those in need during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday. Her favorite scripture hails from Matthew 5:5 -- “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.”
Family was Joan’s number one priority.  Therefore, she would often be helping to plan one of the family reunions, researching her family tree history or getting ready for her infamous Annual 4th of July cookout. If she wasn’t visiting a loved one sick in the hospital, she was calling to check in or sending either a job or scholarship application for their kids that she just so happened to come across.  That’s the type of woman we all came to know and love. She suffered a stroke in 2003 and completely overcame the effects thanks be to God. However, she sadly lost her battle to ALS on July 3rd, 2018, at which time she gained her wings and God called her home.
Joan Angela leaves to cherish her memory: her loving husband, James Wesley Mills, Sr. of Danbury, CT; daughter April Yvette Mills of Shelton, CT; stepson James Wesley Mills, Jr. of Stamford, CT; four grandchildren, Princess Shaniqua O’Garro of Harlem, NY, Michele Lamora Spears-Young of Queens, NY (Derril), James Wesley Mills, III and Devon Alexandria Mills-Bray of Huntsville, AL (Conner); three great grandchildren, Jaire Matthew Lemon of Harrisburg, PA and Maya Arielle Young and Melani Rose Young of Queens, NY; brothers Douglas Joseph Pyatt, Sr. of Queens, NY (Darlene), Herman Lee Pyatt, Sr. of Uniondale, NY (Linda) and Jonas Pyatt, III of Queens, NY; sisters Jacqueline Anne Pyatt of Queens, NY, Theresa Pyatt-Ramadan of Rosedale, NY and Imogene Pyatt-Lilly of Queens, NY; brother-in-law Chester Leroy Mills of Bronx, NY; Sisters-in-law Dorothy Lee Blair of Harlem, NY, Lydia Mae Johnson of Pikesville, MD and Dorothy Pyatt of Flushing, NY.  She was pre-deceased by her stepdaughter Deborah Du’Var Mills-Fisher; great granddaughter Ja’Shya Du’Var Williams; brother James Lamont Pyatt, Sr.; brothers-in-law Thomas Hodges, Sr., Saadiq Abdul Ramadan, Madison Dean Mills, Jr., Charles Blair, Sr. and Robert “Chick” Johnson, Sr.; and sisters-in-law Carol Ware-Mills and Helen Miller-Mills. Joan also leaves to cherish her memory a host of aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, adopted daughters, cousins, extended relatives, friends and church family
Home Going services will take place at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 7, 2018 at the Bethel AME Church, 255 Goffee St., New Haven, CT with Pastor Steven A. Cousin Jr. officiating.  Interment will take place in Wooster Cemetery, Danbury.
The family will receive friends at the Bethel AME Church, 255 Goffee St., New Haven, CT on Saturday after 1 p.m.
Jowdy-Kane Funeral Home, 9-11 Granville Ave., Danbury has been entrusted to the arrangements.



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