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Sheldon H. Mills ( Missoula 1943 )

posted: Aug 27, 2020

Sheldon, 81, died July 31, 1998. He was born July 2, 1917 in Douglas, North Dakota. He grew up on a farm near Bellaire, Michigan. Sheldon was one of six children. His father was a traveling evangelist and "was seldom home."

Sheldon graduated from Bellaire H.S. in 1935 and went to work on a farm for $1.00 a day which he did for three years. When a friend offered to pay college tuition, he went to Albion College in Michigan where he graduated with hopes of becoming a high school teacher and track coach.

He ended up with the CPS-103 smokejumper unit at Nine Mile and, after training, spent the first two seasons at Moose Creek R.S. Sheldon was injured will falling a snag on a work project, was unconscientious for five days and spent six weeks in the hospital before returning to jumping. He was one of the few CPS jumpers to jump all three seasons of the program jumping 1943-45.

After the war he returned to Bellaire and started a 33-year teaching career. "I was active in teacher organizations, working for such things as teach tenure and the right to bargain collectively." Sheldon retired in 1979 and worked on his small farm.