Sidney Walter Mills passed away peacefully November 10, 2022, in San Antonio, Texas. Sidney was born on December 21, 1933 to parents, Nona Hedgecoke Mills and Roy Douglas Mills in Taiban, New Mexico. He was the youngest of three children. He was born into a pioneering ranching family whose roots were established in the Texas Panhandle during the Civil War. As a young boy he shared the avid desire to be a cattle rancher and carry on the family’s tradition of ranching as his ancestors did. He was a Great Grandson of J. A. Whittenburg and the Grandson of Mattie Whittenburg Hedgecoke. As a grandson of Mattie he became an owner to the Charles Goodnight Ranch in the Panhandle after the passing of his parents.
When Sidney was young the family made Pampa, Texas their home. While growing up in Pampa he spent much of his time working on the Mills Ranches in Roberts and Wheeler Counties. Sidney graduated from Pampa High School in 1952. While in High School Sidney had his majority bestowed on him so he would be able to join the ranching business and make his own decisions. He excelled in High School Football and was the quarterback his senior year. In high school he also developed a keen interest in flying, achieved his private pilots license and purchased his first airplane which he used in pipeline patrolling.
Upon graduation from high school Sid enrolled in West Texas State University, Canyon, Texas. At the end of his first semester, he married the love of his life Sammie Laura Frierson Mills December 20, 1953 in the First Presbyterian Church of Pampa, Texas. As the two newlyweds were completing their education the Mills family acquired a ranch in Sharon Springs, Kansas. Sid earned a bachelors degree and upon graduating WTSU they moved to the Mills Ranch in Wallace County, Kansas and took the reins of the management of the Kansas ranch. Ranching was his passion and through his work the ranch became a very productive operation. In the 1970’s he acquired the Snake Creek Ranch in Alliance Nebraska with his brother and he oversaw its operation. In 1976 he purchased a Cessna airplane to make his trips between the ranches and to see his family in Texas. He continued to fly throughout his life. Sidney enjoyed playing his Gibson and Martin guitars and kept one at each home to play for his family and friends as well as the harmonica. He was also a talented artist doing paintings depicting scenes from the ranching life as well as some portraits. He was an avid conservationist and had deep appreciation of the wildlife on the ranch. He volunteered to assist coaching the Wallace County Junior High football team, and at the seasons end he would invite the team to the ranch for a celebratory cookout. He had a gift for working with animals not only the livestock on the ranch but training his Schnauzer to perform tricks for friends and family. Sidney enjoyed the sport of thoroughbred horse racing and successfully ran horses on tracks in New Mexico, California, and Kentucky throughout the years. Two boys were born to the family while living on the ranch in 1961 and 1962. During his years on the Wallace County Ranch in Sharon Springs, Kansas, Sid served a term as the County Chairman of the Republican Party.
In 1980 the family built a home in Goodland, Kansas and he continued the ranching while making a home in town. In 1997 they began wintering at their home on South Padre Island, Texas. From 1997 until 2017 they spent their winters on SPI and their summers in Western Kansas to be near the ranch. In 2017 they moved back to Texas full time and began a new chapter living in Terrell Hills, Texas, splitting their time between SPI and Terrell Hills.
Sidney was proceeded in death by his parents Nona & R.D. Mills, his sister Leona May Hale, and his brother R. Doug (Ty) Mills, Jr., nieces Sidney Lee Hale Sherrod and Leslie Nooncaster, and two great nieces Shelly Lynn Hertneck and Christian Sherrod Davis. He is survived by his wife Sammie Frierson Mills and his beloved Scottish Terrier Rudy of the home in Terrell Hills, sons Brett Ryan Mills (Austin, TX), Kirk Evon Mills (Terrell Hills, TX) and sister in law Gertie Mills (Pampa, TX), niece Sidney K. Mills (Amarillo, TX), and nephews Mathew Douglas Mills (Shamrock, TX) and Steven Lynn Hale (Miami, TX), as well as numerous cousins.
A memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to any charity of choice.