Lula and Lawrence Mills, both 98
They had been married for 69 years.
She was born June 1, 1914, the oldest child of Lula and Tobe Simmons, of Pitt County, N.C. She was the last surviving member of her immediate family.
While in New York, she met and married Lawrence A. Mills on June 24, 1944, in Brooklyn.
In 1947, they moved to St. Louis, where they joined the Pleasant Green Missionary Baptist Church. She taught Sunday school for many years and was a member of the Nurses Club at the church.
Before her illness, she and her husband enjoyed fishing in the mountains of North Carolina and in the Illinois River near Grafton, Ill., and often shared the fish they caught with their church.
After her husband's death, she moved to The Valley, A Stonebridge Community.
He was born Sept. 20, 1914, in Bevarade, N.C., the oldest child of Levi and Minnie Lee Flack Mills. He was baptized Nov. 28, 1925, at Gold Hill Baptist Church in Rutherford, N.C. In 1932, he joined Mount Zion Baptist Church in Knoxville, Tenn.
He finished grade school in a one-room schoolhouse. His mother was his teacher. He graduated from Austin High School in Knoxville and continued his education at Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Ala., and Western Michigan University, in Kalamazoo, Mich.
After college, he joined the U.S. Army and became a member of the medical corps. While in the service, he met and married Lula.
They are survived by their daughter, Elaine Purvis, of Orlando, Fla.; and two grandchildren, Laura and Gary Purvis; seven great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren. They were predeceased by a grandson, Ronald Purvis.
He was predeceased by a brother, Gather, and a sister, Barbara Othella Mills.
She is survived by two nieces, Peggie Highsmith and Earlene Ross; a great-niece, Evelyn Little, of New Milford, and a great-nephew, Rickey High Smith, who are among her 27 great-nieces and nephews; 18 great-great-nieces and nephews, including David Taft; and 10 great-great-great-nieces and nephews; a brother-in-law, Hayes Mills, of Memphis; two nephews, Michael and Anthony Mills; nieces Lawanda Mills and Dorothy Bryson; a granddaughter, Shari Holey; and a host of cousins and friends.
She was predeceased by three brothers, Clayton, Lafayette and Claudius Simmons; a niece, Delores Parker; two nephews, Benjamin Simmons and Clayton Ross Simmons; and a great-great-niece, Lashawna Taft.