In Loving Memory
I knew Bob at the beginning of my own journey with HIV 23 years ago. We had an immediate connection…we had each chosen the same profession, but on a more human level our connection was simply doing what we could to survive. Bob was the activist who fought for equality and equity. I was more inclined to the medical clinical trials route and working at the grassroots with other people living with HIV (PLWH) who were looking for hope, answers, and a cure (or at least a working treatment).
Rob (Published FEB 2017)
The following was posted by the Canadian AIDS Society on their Website on October 8, 2003:
Bob Mills, Prairie Regional Director of the Canadian AIDS Society’s Board of Directors, passed away from complications related to HIV/AIDS on October 8, 2003. Bob was active in the HIV/AIDS movement, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Bob was in his third term as a Board member with HIV Edmonton and was the Board representative to Living Positive. Regionally, Bob was an executive Board member with the Alberta Community Council on HIV/AIDS as Member-at-large. He was also recently appointed to the Ministerial Council on HIV/AIDS.
Nationally, Bob was the Alberta Representative to the Canadian Treatment Action Council and former Board member. He sat on the Project Review Committee for the Canadian Working Group on HIV/AIDS and Rehabilitation.
His work internationally included: Prairie Regional Representative for the Global Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS and NGO representative of the Canadian Delegation to the United Nations General Assembly on HIV/AIDS in June 2001. He continued to work on the implementation of HIV/AIDS programs with the United Nations and its partners.
Up until his death, Bob’s work focused on access to treatment and diagnostic testing for those living with HIV/AIDS in Canada and globally. His commitment to issues related to stigma and discrimination, microbicides, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria remained strong.
A true defender of human rights for people living with HIV/AIDS, Bob will be sadly missed for his work, passion and commitment. “His passing is a great loss to the HIV/AIDS community,” said Gail Flintoft, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Canadian AIDS Society. “On behalf of the Board, staff and members of the Canadian AIDS Society, I would like to extend our condolences to Bob’s partner, Don McParlan, his family and numerous friends.”
Bob was called away from us 14 years ago. My life would not be the quality it is now without the work and commitment of Bob Mills.
Thank you Bob.
Bob’s Obituary was published in the Edmonton Journal on October 11,2003 as follows:
MILLS, Robert George January 30, 1953 – October 8, 2003 It is with deep sadness and a broken heart that I announce the passing of my partner and friend after a valiant and courageous battle with HIV/AIDS. Bob is survived by his loving partner of 27 years, Mr. Don McParlan; the kidz, Labelle (17 years) and Shade (5 1/2 years); his mother, Marie Louise Mills and brother, Jack (Pauline) Mills Jr. of Transcona, Manitoba; sisters, Louise (Price) Morris of Frankford, Ontario and Linda Mills of Transcona, Manitoba. Bob also leaves to mourn his loss, Goddaughter Monique Turcotte of Edmonton and Godson Derek Mills of Winnipeg, Manitoba; numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and many cousins throughout Canada. Bob was predeceased by his father, Jack Jacob Mills in 1991 and his nephew, Paul Mills in 1998. It has been a long journey; the family and I wish to acknowledge the Nursing staff of 5C4 at the U of A Hospital for their respect, dignity and compassion towards Bob and myself during this time. To Dr. Geoff Taylor, thank-you for 14 years of taking good care of Bob and being there when he needed you most. Also to Dr. Stan Houston, for your heartfelt concerns and helping us prepare, knowing there were no more rabbits to pull out of Bob’s hat. To Ted and Bernie, and all the doctors, a salute with respect for doing what you do for the HIV community. To my customers, a special thank-you for listening and caring so much over the years. A Memorial Service for Bob will be held at the Chapel of Howard & McBride Westlawn, 16310 Stony Plain Road, Edmonton, on Saturday, October 18, 2003 at 3:00 p.m. Bob had given so much of his time to AIDS work, that his love of his garden was put on hold. We truly believe Bob’s spirit will be with us on the 18th and flowers are requested. Bob will be cremated in Edmonton and his remains will be escorted home after the memorial service to Transcona, Manitoba by cousins George and Pat Turcotte. His immediate family and friends will bury Bob’s urn in the family plot at Transcona Cemetery. Those wishing to make donations in memory of Bob can do so to The Edmonton S.P.C.A., 12251 – 67 Street, Edmonton, AB., T5B 1M8. I love you for who you were and just the way you were. We will miss you Dad! Don and the kidz.