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Former Screven County superintendent Mills dies

John Atys Mills, III, who served as a long-time superintendent of Screven County Schools, died Monday, Aug. 24, at the age of 82.
The son of the late John A. Mills, Jr. and Evelyn Hobby Mills of Sylvania, Mills graduated from The McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tenn., and earned an A.B. degree in English Literature from Emory University in Atlanta before serving in the U.S. Navy. 
He was employed at the University of Georgia and Emory University before returning to Screven County to his life’s work as superintendent of schools. 
During that time, Mills continued his education at Georgia Southern University with an M.A. degree, followed by an Ed.S. from the University of Georgia. 
As a young superintendent during the 1970s, Mills integrated the schools of Screven County. He instituted a school-wide writing program, a model kindergarten program, and expanded the art and music curricula. 
Before becoming superintendent, Mills was a local farmer and businessman who served as chairman of the Board of Education. He also served on the first Screven County Development Authority, and was a third generation member and second-generation president of the Sylvania Rotary Club. 
Mills loved classical music, opera, the ballet, literature, poetry, and history, especially of WWII and medieval Europe. 
Visitation was held Wednesday, Aug. 26, at the home of John and Libba from 5-7 p.m. 
Funeral services will be today, Aug. 27, at First United Methodist Church in Sylvania, at 11 a.m. 
Longtime friend, the Rev. Samuel M. Clark, will officiate, assisted by the Rev. Richard Varnell of First United Methodist Church of Sylvania. 
Burial will be in the Mills plot, Sylvania City Cemetery. 
Pallbearers will be Alex S. Mills, Robert L. Mills, John A. Mills, IV, Sam Mills-Cotten, A.L. Freeland and David Hinson. 
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Friends of Screven County Animals, P.O. Box 98, Sylvania, GA 30467, First United Methodist Church of Sylvania, P.O. Box 256, Sylvania, GA 30467, or to Ogeechee Area Hospice, P.O. Box 531, Statesboro, GA 30459. 
Joiner Anderson Funeral Home Screven Chapel is in charge of all arrangements.