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Funeral planned in Hilo for veteran with no known family members

Veterans and community members are invited to a funeral Thursday for Henry J. Mills, a World War II Army veteran who died May 28 with no known living relatives.

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Veterans and community members are invited to a funeral Thursday for Henry J. Mills, a World War II Army veteran who died May 28 with no known living relatives.

The funeral service/inurnment begins at noon at East Hawaii Veterans Cemetery No. 2 in Hilo. It might include military honors, according to Josh Stensrud of Homelani Memorial Park, which is handling arrangements.

Mills, born on Maui, died at Life Care Center of Hilo. He was 91.

Mills reportedly entered the Army in July 1944 and served two years, according to information provided by Stensrud. Remaining details about his military service are unknown.

Mills also was a retired hotel maintenance worker who previously worked at several hotels and could fix things well, said Chris Ridley, Life Care Center’s director of social services.

“He loved bowling, playing softball and walking,” Ridley said Thursday in a phone message. “He was a very clean man, he took pride in his appearance.”

Ridley said Mills never married or had children. He first moved into Life Care Center years ago, she said, but left once his health improved. He returned to Life Care Center toward the end of his life when he required more nursing care, Ridley said.

“We provided that home for him and took him under our wing,” Ridley said. “He didn’t have any family … so we ended up making him part of our home and it was an honor to take care of him.”

VFW Post 3830 has invited about 200 island-based veterans to attend Mills’ funeral and hopes to see a strong showing, said Jan Kama, senior vice president of VFW Post 3830 Auxiliary.

The post has orchestrated at least five funeral services during the past year for local veterans such as Mills with no known survivors.

“It’s the least we can do,” Kama said.

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“We believe that veterans who go out and fight for our country deserve our honor and respect and no one should be left behind.”

Email Kirsten Johnson at kjohnson@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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