Farewell to Tom Mills
by Ed Fong
This month we regret the lost of one of our long time member Tomas B. Mills (K6LHE). He was an avid admirer of the Motorola HT220 and had modified dozens in his life time. I officially met Tom in 1990 when I joined National Semiconductor but I had seen him previously at the Foothill swap. I also meant him at the Sunnyvale SARES meeting a few times in the early 80’s.
I would always meet Tom at the swap meet and he was always a joy to talk to. His knowledge of radios was unsurpass since he worked on the design of IC’s for radio and TV for 40 years. We would walk up and down the isles and he would see a radio and say “hey, I had one of those” and then would go through the technical details of the radio. He was the mastermind behind all the video driver chips using the VIP high voltage process at National Semiconductor. Chances are that your TV or computer monitor has a chip that Tom designed. I thought I had a passion for radios until I meant Tom. This guy knew his Collins R390’s and his HT220’s.
Tom lived in the neighborhood and I had talked to him just Wednesday August 28th when I was testing a radio with Ron Quan. He broke on in with his distinct voice “Hey, is that doctor Ed??” That was the last time I talked with him. He passed away Sunday evening September 1st.
He is survived by his wife Joyce. His daughter Jeni Johnstone and husband James, his son Robert Mills and wife Donna. They have two grand children Emma and Ian.
His widow Joyce had at the Sunday September 8 memorial service his HT220 and other memorabilia that made Tom so well loved by his friends.
So K6LHE, we say our final 73’s. It has been my privilege knowing you and you will be missed, but your influence on me will be with me for a lifetime.
Ed Fong WB6IQN