Garrett ‘a breath of fresh air’
Parents and siblings of Garrett Mills remember him with heartfelt, inspirational messages
With a sad smile, David Mills told the congregation of supporters on Friday morning that his son, Garrett Mills, was anything but average, “except maybe some of his grades.”
“Garrett has never had a single argument with us … ever,” David said at his son’s Service of Celebration on Friday. “We never once had to discipline him, not even a time-out, he’s never uttered a swear word, never around us, his siblings or his friends, and despite some teasing from his peers, he never fell to peer pressure. …
“Garrett had the ability to notice the beauty inside of people before he noticed the external.”
Garrett died on May 12 while with his girlfriend, Joanna Holtz, and best friend, Josh Henderson, at King Street Park in Napanee. The Office of the Ontario Coroner is investigating the death. He was 15.
On Friday, family, friends, peers and colleagues of the family filled the Evangel Temple in Napanee for Garrett’s funeral. The service was also streamed online on Facebook, where as of Friday afternoon it had garnered more than 4,000 views.
During David’s words of remembrance, he and Garrett’s mother, Gwen Mills, thanked everyone who had shown them support during the most difficult time of their lives. They especially thanked those who have reached out over social media, noting that while they’ve read the messages, it’s been difficult to respond to all of them.
David particularly wanted to thank emergency workers, including paramedics and the staff at the Lennox and Addington County General Hospital, who tried to save Garrett, and the Ontario Provincial Police for being so generous with their time and always only being a phone call away.
“I can’t say enough about the compassion that was extended to us during a very frantic time,” David said. “A huge thanks to Garrett’s best friend since kindergarten, Josh Henderson, and [Garrett’s] girlfriend, Joanna Holtz.
“If you have a faith, please hold [Henderson and Holtz] in your prayers. I can’t imagine what it was like to go through what they went through that evening. They were with Garrett when this tragedy took place, they were the ones who called 911 and stayed by his side doing their utmost to comfort him even though he was pretty much gone instantly.”
At the service, Henderson read a class valedictorian nomination letter he’d written for Garrett last year. Holtz summarized Garrett’s last day, which included meeting her at her locker, bringing her candy to sneak into the movie they’d planned on seeing together, and him singing the chorus of Take
On Me, by A-ha, to which she said “he wasn’t that bad.”
I am so lost at sea, Garrett shine your light for me, I’m sinking and I can’t swim, I need you here to pull me in. I am so lost at sea, Garrett shine your light for me, I’m sinking and I can’t swim, I need you brother, you will never dim. there and change this world for the better.”
“If you want to honour Garrett’s memory and in some way give purpose to this horrible tragedy, then we would encourage you to take the course that Garrett’s passing on to you and being a light in this world the same way that he was,” David said. “If you can do that, and I know that you can, Garrett might have an even bigger impact on this
Garrett Mills’ father, David Mills, his best friend, Josh Henderson, his girlfriend, Joanna Holtz, and his older bother, Landon Mills, say one last goodbye to their son, friend and brother following Garrett’s Service of Celebration at the Evangel Temple in Napanee on Friday.
Garrett Mills, 15, is seen earlier on the day he died in a tragic accident in Napanee.