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Pauline Cherry Mills
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Obituary for Pauline Cherry Mills

DURHAM: Pauline Cherry was born September 24, 1923, in Tyrone, Oklahoma to Paul Eugene Cherry and Gurtha Word Cherry. She passed away on Tuesday, October 31, 2017 at Croasdaile Retirement Village in Durham, North Carolina. She attended public school in Tyrone where her father was employed as a rural postman and her mother was a former school teacher turned stay-at-home mother.

Pauline was a studious girl, and throughout the years kept up with each of her eight classmates, surviving them all. In 1940 Pauline attended her first year of college at Panhandle Agricultural and Mechanical College, in Goodwell, Oklahoma. During a hiatus from college, she went to work as a civilian clerk at the Liberal (Kansas) Army Airfield during the last two years of WWII. Pauline transferred to Texas Technological College (now Texas Tech University) where she graduated with a degree in Business Administration and Accounting.

Following graduation, Pauline was working as the bookkeeper for a construction firm in Lubbock, Texas, when she met a young architect named Thomas M. Mills, Jr. A romance ensued, followed by their marriage in November, 1950. In 1952 the couple had a daughter, Anita, followed by the birth of a son, Thomas Marion, in 1954.

From age 18, Pauline was a member of the P.E.O. Sisterhood, a philanthropical organization that benefits continuing education for American and International women. She took great pride in the fact that she was a member of P.E.O. for 76 years and had served her local chapters in every possible capacity as an officer.

Additionally, Pauline was active in Friends of the Lubbock Library, helping to organize their first ever public used book sale and, of course, keeping track of the money taken in. She was active in her church groups: St. John’s United Methodist Church and First United Methodist Church of Lubbock, Texas, and Pleasant Green United Methodist Church in Durham, North Carolina.

Pauline is survived by her sister, Dorothy May Turner of Nashville, Tennessee; daughter, Anita Mills and spouse, Andrea Selch, of Hillsborough, NC; son, Thomas M. Mills and his spouse, Karen, of Irvine, California; and grandchildren, Lisa Marie Mills, Paul Jackson Mills-Selch, and Helen Nina Mills-Selch.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00pm Tuesday, November 7th at Clements Funeral Service in Durham, NC, officiated by The Reverend Jeanette Stokes. Graveside service will be Monday at 10:00am in the Tyrone Cemetery, Tyrone, OK, officiated by the The Reverend Craig Denslow of the Tyrone United Methodist Church.

In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested to your choice of the following: P.E.O. International - Program for Continuing Education: 3700 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50312 or Jerry M. Passmore Center (formerly the Central Orange Senior Center) 103 Meadowlands Drive, Hillsborough, NC 27278 or Friends of the Lubbock Public Library, Inc.: 1306 9th Street, Lubbock, TX 79401, or 806-775-2852

The family is being assisted by Clements Funeral Service, Inc. in Durham. Online condolences may be made at

Photo By: Todd Tinkham

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Previous Events

Memorial Service




2:00 PM
Clements Funeral Chapel in Durham

1105 Broad Street
Durham, NC 27705

Memorial Contribution

Friends of the Lubbock Public Library, Inc.

1306 9th Street, Lubbock, TX 79401, or 806-775-2852

P.E.O. International - Program for Continuing Education

3700 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50312

Jerry M. Passmore Center (formerly the Central Orange Senior Center)

103 Meadowlands Drive, Hillsborough, NC 27278

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