Charlotte Frances Mills (1929 – 2017)
Charlotte Frances Mills, champion of the environment and women’s rights, passed away peacefully at her home in Tidewater, Oregon on April 22, Earth Day, with her family beside her.
Charlotte, with “Friends of the 804 Trail,” spearheaded court battles for public ownership of the historic coast trail, allowing access to a pristine and beautiful section of the rocky shoreline of the Central Oregon coast. She was an active board member of both Oregon Shores and Central Coast Land Conservancy and fought to preserve beaches for public use and to protect habitat. In order to protect whales and other cetaceans, she contested the US Navy sonar testing programs.
As an avid outdoorswoman, she climbed the 20,000-foot summit of Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, ran the Nile, bicycled throughout Europe and loved sailing. In recent years, she lived a simple life in the country, but remained active in local politics and land use issues. She loved watching the herd of elk that shared her property in the coastal hills of Oregon and enjoyed identifying local birds and reading natural history books.
Charlotte was born in Kennett, Missouri, on February 22, 1929, to Dr. Joseph Carmon Mills and Helen Randol Mills. After graduating from Kennett High School in 1947, Charlotte attended the University of Missouri earning her Master’s Degree in 1962.She later taught at the University of Oregon. She was also editor of the Valley News, a Eugene, Oregon newspaper. As owner and publisher of Northwest Matrix-Bookmakers in Eugene, Charlotte published more than 60 books before her retirement.
Charlotte’s is survived by her daughter, Dana Buck and husband Joseph Elcock, of Thornton, New Hampshire; grandchildren Carly Golden, of Dedham, Massachusetts, and Daniel Golden, of Boston, Massachusetts; and Helena Buck, of Stockton, California.
There will be a memorial celebration of her life in May. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition or Seashore Family Literacy Center of Waldport.