Dr. Francis Mills does not just fill your undesirable enamel, he fills your ears with stories, your coronary heart with laughter and your soul with hope at every pay a visit to.
Nearly each little town has its friendly relatives corporations and lovable figures, but it probably isn’t normally that 1 of the most beloved people in city is also the area dentist. Dr. Mills, who celebrated his 75th birthday on Friday and is nevertheless heading sturdy, has been a Hampton County icon considering that 1972 and has no ideas to retire.
Even though absolutely no just one enjoys the genuine time expended in the dentist chair, most individuals glance forward to a check out with Mills. Identified for his simple “bedside manner,” he enjoys to regale his individuals with tales, jokes and one particular-liners that, when paired with a small Novocain, just appear to be to consider the ache absent.
“This guy has the tolerance of a saint,” reported his daughter, Amy Mills Mixson, who, together with her brother, Chris, get the job done with him at Crews & Mills Dental Associates in Hampton.
“We (the office environment employees) all inform him ‘He’s as well fantastic for his possess great.’ Having the chance to perform with my Father has been a true blessing for me. Not only do I get to see and commit time with him and Mother every day, I get to know him as Dr. Mills as nicely as Daddy. I delight in observing him interact with his clients, whether they’re cracking jokes or he’s getting a shoulder for them to cry on. I believe his patients constantly go away his dental chair realizing they are beloved and they are his brother or sister in Christ.”
Dr. Mills is a member of Varnville Baptist Church, in which he also teaches Sunday School. Brice Noll, who performs at the dental office environment in Hampton, is an ordained minister and youth leader at the same church Mills attends, where by Noll generally shares testimony on how Christ helped save him from a life of dependancy.
“Dr. Mills is by considerably one of the most Godly people I have ever acknowledged,” said Noll. “He has been like a father to me and I truthfully don’t know the place I would be with out him. He has disciplined me in the Lord far more so than everyone through encouraging me, teaching me, and being there when I necessary another person to speak to. Chatting with him about the factors of Christ is one particular of my most most loved points in the entire world and I appear ahead to it each individual working day I am at perform. He not only thinks the concept of Christ, he lives the concept of Christ and I attempt to imitate him just about every day. I can actually say that he is easily just one of the most Christ-like males I’ve ever acknowledged.”
Rev. George Skinner, pastor of Sand Hill Baptist Church, phone calls Mills a “hero dentist.” When Skinner announced that he was leaving Hampton to show up at seminary at Wake Forest University, Mills helped get a scholarship funded to pay back for his seminary diploma. That scholarship even now exists now for these identified as to ministry.
“Dr. Mills has taken care of my household for various many years,” Skinner said. “When I say taken treatment of, I mean he genuinely took care of us… He also provided my family’s dental treatment pro bono for the duration of my seminary yrs. That wasn’t just cleanings! Obtaining 3 young children at the time offered various damaged and chipped tooth, as properly as some teeth that were being knocked out fully. He was always there!
“We ended up in Boston 1 summer time and an incident resulted in one more of our sons having four teeth knocked out, but continue to attached to his braces. The local health professionals needed to slash the braces wires and the tooth would have been dropped. Dr. Mills answered his house cell phone for me in the late hrs of a weekend and talked us through a treatment to preserve the 4 tooth. Our son however has these teeth today, some ten-plus decades later on.
“Thank you, Dr. Mills, for your generous and experienced support to our relatives,” Skinner included. “Thank you for currently being a Christ-like illustration to this community, not just in words and phrases but in deeds.”
Robert Brown has served with Mills in quite a few church capacities, as perfectly as on the Hampton County College District 1 Board of Trustees.
“Dr. Mills is an straightforward, God-fearing man,” said Brown. “He appears to be like for methods, on a daily basis, to share the gospel. In essential conditions, he thinks right before he acts or speaks and he is a gentleman of integrity. He definitely cares for his fellow male, and he even rescues stray animals. He is never ever far too hectic to aid anyone in distress.”
The son of David and Mary Luelle Mills, Francis grew up in Hampton with his 4 siblings, David Jr., Gerald, Elizabeth (Lib Goettee) and George. He graduated from Wade Hampton Large Faculty in 1964, Asbury School in Wilmore, KY, in 1968 and the Professional medical University of South Carolina dental faculty in 1972.
During his time at Asbury, a professor, Dr. Cecil Hamann, saw probable in him and took him to an open up house for dental university at the College of Kentucky, a journey which sparked his curiosity in dental drugs. It was also at Asbury that he met his spouse-to-be, Beverly, whom he married in August of 1969.
Mills begun practising with Dr. Jerry Crews in 1972 and finally purchased Crews & Mills Dental Associates in 2005 when Crews semi-retired.
When asked what had transformed in dentistry considering the fact that he began practising, Mills stated that it would acquire “a month of Sundays” to list it all — elements, instrumentation, radiographic technological know-how, implant technology — and that “nothing is the similar as when I commenced.”
The only detail that has not altered is the appreciate and guidance that the Hampton County and Lowcountry local community have supplied Mills and his family, claims Mills. Mills has developed lifestyle-long interactions with sufferers in Hampton, Allendale, Jasper, and Colleton counties and past.
“It is challenging for anyone to come back to their hometown to practice medication or dentistry, but I have normally been openly been given,” explained Mills. “I really like most people below, irrespective of their race or history, and I handle everyone like family because, to me, they are household. They are like blood kin. This community is a grand and superb spot and I have been additional than blessed by the persons of this location.”
Mills added that he also tried using to treat his patients’ spirits as very well as their bodies.
“I have been blessed, and I hope that my memory will be of somebody who handled people in a non secular as nicely as a actual physical and professional medical method.”
In addition to his company as a member of the American Dental Association and the S.C. Dental Association, the church and the local school board, Mills was a Boy Scouts leader for numerous a long time and received The Silver Beaver Award, which is the optimum award for leadership in the Boy Scouts. In his spare time, Mills enjoys the outdoors and gardening, looking at, refurbishing antique tractors, and caring for and rehabbing sick or deserted animals.
Francis and Beverly have four small children, Amy, Eric, Chris and Tradd, and nine grandchildren: Storm, Kacy, Cameron, Caitlyn, Addie, Kaden, Payslee, Bella and Jesse.