Dana was born on November 1, 1924, in Westerville, Nebraska, to the late Frank and S. Bertha Mills. He was a graduate of Westerville High School. He served in the U.S. Navy 1943-1946 in the South Pacific during World War II. He received the Victory Medal, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal (one silver, eight bronze stars), Navy Occupation Service Medal/Asia Combat Action Ribbon, and the Philippine Liberation.
After the war, Dana farmed on his folk's farm in Westerville, Nebraska while Glenis taught at Copsey School for one year in 1948, they then traveled with Diamond Engineer's for one year. They traveled across Kansas and Missouri and settled in St. Joseph, to raise their children. He worked for Land Construction and Guy Johnston Furnace Company before going into business with Billy Korrell and Virgil Grossman in 1952.
Dana was co-owner-operator of Quality Sheet Metal and Heating in St. Joseph until the sale of the company, and he continued working there. After his retirement, he was self-employed in the heating and cooling repair service.
He married Glenis Shafer in March, 1946. She passed away in 1982. He was also preceded in death by his brother, Harry Mills and a grandson, Matthew.
Dana was a member of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church; a past-member of Deer Park United Methodist Church, where he had been a Sunday School and Bible School Teacher and American Legion Post #359. He was a volunteer at Open Door Food Kitchen and Meals on Wheels. He loved his grandkids and was an avid basketball, softball player and bowler.
Survivors include his daughter, Cindy O'Dell (Kevin Klein); son, Alan (Jane) Mills and three grandchildren, Carly Teater, Jennifer Butterfield and Justin Mills, great-grandson, Riley Teater, all of St. Joseph; brothers, Wayne (Marvel) Mills, Broken Bow, NE, Ted (Elaine) Mills, Broken Bow, NE and Paul (Donna) Mills, Berwyn, NE; one sister, Sylvia Happold, Grand Island, NE; sister-in-laws, Ardyth Mills, Wakefield, NE; Delma (Tom) Ledbetter, Lake Jackson, Texas; and several nieces and nephews.
Services 11:00 a.m. Thursday, January 10, 2013 at Heaton-Bowman-Smith & Sidenfaden Chapel. Interment Memorial Park Cemetery, St. Joseph.
Visitation will begin after 9:00 a.m. Wednesday at Heaton-Bowman-Smith & Sidenfaden Chapel, where the family will receive friends 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Wednesday evening.
Memorial donations are requested to St. Francis Xavier House of Bread or Kendallwood Hospice.