Tributes paid to chemist
TRIBUTES have been paid to a pharmacist who was ‘ well loved’ by the community he served for more than 25 years.
John Mills died peacefully on Friday, March 16 in Springhill Hospice aged 81 after a battle with bladder cancer.
Mr Mills was a pharmacist all his career, living and working in Waterfoot, where he ran a chain of four chemists from the early 1970s until 1998.
He was born in Rochdale and studied at De La Salle College and Bradford University, before qualifying. On his first day at work he met his late wife Eileen and in 1973 they moved to Waterfoot, running pharmacies together for 25 years, starting with a single shop on Burnley Road East, where they lived in the flat above.
He went into partnership with three other pharmacists and later in his career he ran the chemists next to Waterfoot Health Centre.
Mr Mills’ daughter, Margaret Kelly said: “Dad was well loved and respected by generations of folk in Waterfoot and the surrounding area.
“He would go above and beyond to extend a personal service, visiting the nursing homes to give out prescriptions and calling in on those who found it difficult to get out. “He was trusted and respected by the doctors who knew what a good job he was doing. Many people came to him for medical advice. He was universally trusted.
“I think being a pharmacist was the perfect job for him as he loved the human interaction and meeting people.”
After retiring in 1998, Mr Mills began to explore a passion for travel and learning foreign languages.
Margaret, 54, added: “He was very adventurous, visiting India, Vietnam, Egypt and America, often alone as my mum was a bit of a home bird.
“He learned Russian at college and when I was going through his things I found college admission forms from when he was in his 70s where he went to learn German and Spanish.
“He also loved jazz and classical music and was a long-standing member of the Rochdale Gramophone Society.”
Mr Mills had daughters Margaret and Helen Hall, sisters Kathleen, Doreen, Brenda and Elaine, late brother Brian, four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
His funeral service will take place at Rochdale Crematorium, at 3pm on Tuesday, April 10 and all are welcome to attend.
John (front, with glasses) with the team at the Waterfoot chemists
●● John Mills in his later years and with his wife Eileen on his retirement in 1998