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Retiring Judge Frank Mills Honored By Commissioners

The Cherokee County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution naming the Cherokee County Justice Center after retiring Chief Superior Court Judge Frank C. Mills III.

One of Cherokee County's longest serving public officials was recognized for more than 30 years on the bench.

The Cherokee County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday approved a resolution to name the Cherokee County Justice Center after retiring Chief Superior Court Judge Frank C. Mills III. The resolution was approved unanimously; however, County Chairman Buzz Ahrens was not present.

Mills was joined by his family and colleagues at the commission's meeting room as District 1 Commissioner Harry Johnston read the resolution.

Johnston noted the idea was initially brought forth by County Manager Jerry Cooper, but the county also sought the input of others in the community.

"The response was overwhelmingly positive," the commissioner said, adding Cooper will see what it would take to either inscribe Mill's name on the justice center or install a plaque. 

Mills and his family were joined by colleagues such as State Court Judge Alan Jordan Juvenile Court Judges John Sumner and Tony Baker; retiring District Attorney Garry Moss, Superior Court Judges Ellen McElyea and N. Jackson Harris; and Superior Court Judge-elect David Cannon Jr. 

Mills said he was "humbled" by the decision to name the courthouse after him. He noted he can name many other employees in the court system who are just as hard working and deserving of the honor.

He added all he's done for the last three decades was the same "unselfish" service as other judges have done everyday of their careers.  

"I'm honored and humbled to accept the award, but I’m not sure if I deserve it," he said.

Mills, 64, was born in DeKalb County in 1948 and graduated in 1966 from Tennessee Military Institute.

In 1970, he graduated from Emory University and from the University of Georgia Law School in 1973.

Mills was also commissioned in the United States Army through the ROTC program while at UGA and participated in active duty military police training at Ft. Gordon near Augusta.

He continued his service in the Army Reserve until he was honorably discharged as captain.

After leaving his military career, Mills started work as the assistant district attorney in the Blue Ridge Judicial Circuit and was later appointed as district attorney of the circuit by Gov. George Busbee in January 1978. 

Mills was later elected to the position that year and in 1979, he received the Distinguished District Attorney Award from the Prosecuting Attorney's Council.

Mill was appointed by Busbee as a superior court judge in the Blue Ridge Judicial Circuit in February 1981.

Mills was subsequently re-elected to the position eight times and has served over 30 years in the capacity. 

Mills in 1982 was elected to the Board of Governors of the Georgia Bar Association, received the Justice Robert Benham Public Service Award in 1999 and was the state's nominee for the American Bar Association's Judicial Excellence Award in 2003.

An active community servant, Mills has been heavily involved with Boy Scouts of America, where he's served as assistant scoutmaster, unit commissioner, aquatics instructor and district chairman.

Boy Scouts of America also bestowed upon Mills the Silver Beaver Award, the highest award given by the scouts for service to youth, and the Whitney M. Young award for distinguished service to low income youth. 

Mill has also served with the American Red Cross, Leadership Georgia, Leadership Cherokee, Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Dizzy Dean Baseball and the Cherokee County Humane Society.

Other recognitions include being named an Outstanding Young Man of America for Cherokee County in 1982 by the Jaycees; awarded as Volunteer of the Year in 2004 by Cherokee FOCUS; received the Light of Hope Award in 2011 from CASA Cherokee and given the Jean Harris Volunteer of the Year Award by the Rotary Club of Canton earlier this year.

Mills and wife Amanda have one son, West Point graduate Frank "Tater" Crouthers Mills, who served two deployments in Iraq as an United States Army captain and is now employed with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 

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