Terry Vaughn Mills was born in Clarion, Pa., in 1948, on the Reynolds family homestead, which dates to the 1800s. His stay was short as his dad was in the Navy and stationed in San Francisco. In 1951, his dad was transferred to Naval Air Station Whidbey.
Whidbey Island is where Terry was raised. At a very young age his skill as a mechanic was developed. At age nine he was able to take apart a lawn mower engine and rebuild it. He also found a talent in music, and at 15 became a member of the rock band the Scepters, while attending Oak Harbor schools. He decided in his senior year of high school to hit the road and tour with the Scepters.
Terry had the opportunity to play with bands such as, Paul Revere and the Raiders, The Mommas &the Papas, and the Bee Gee’s. Somehow, he discovered he should return home and graduate, which he did. He was married in 1970 and worked at Skyline Marina in Anacortes.
In 1976, he became a business owner of Oak Harbor Island Marine which later became Island Marine &Truck Supply. He was eventually rated as one of the top seven mechanics in Washington state by the Mercury Marine Corporation.
He was the type of guy who could pick up any instrument, and in a week, he could play it on stage. He continued to play music, with his wife in a group called Quicksilver (50-60’s rock and country) until 2002. Then he continued to play in church praise groups.
His love of water and skill for boating made him a boat owner his whole life. In the 70s and 80s he discovered a new talent; he began dealing in high performance off shore powerboat racing (Hydro racing) where speeds on the water took him to 100 mph. It was not unusual for him to race multi-class and he took high points in five out of seven classes. He was so precise with his mechanics he was pretty much untouchable on the coarse.
He enjoyed traveling but it had to be on a boat or by water. As a family, with his wife and two children there were many, many trips with boating, camping, hiking and fishing. He was involved in many groups throughout his life but his church was the most meaningful to him.
After retiring in 2013 from his business, he went back to work at Skyline in Anacortes, often laughing about how he had made a full circle, as he had begun at Skyline and finished at Skyline.
Terry was an extremely caring man and always did the very best he could for people he met. He took the disease he had been given as a challenge to conquer it always full of good spirit and a positive attitude. He will be greatly missed in the boating world. He has been taken from us early, but we figured God has acquired some HUGE yacht and he must need the best mechanic ever.
Terry is survived by his loving wife Myra; his children Tammy and Doug (Alexis); and six grandchildren. He also leaves behind his half-brother, Jack, and close cousin Debbie. Terry’s parents and brother precede him in death.
Family suggests memorials in Terry’s name be made out to Seattle Children’s Hospital: 4800 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105, 206- 987-2000, toll free 1-866- 987-2000, or online at https://giveto.seattlechildrens.org/changealife.
A memorial service will take place at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7 at Whidbey Presbyterian Church followed by a reception.
Arrangements entrusted to Wallin Funeral Home, Oak Harbor. Please visit Terry’s page in the Book of Memories online at www.wallinfuneralhome.com to share memories and leave condolences.