Country Singer Wayne Mills Laid to Rest
ARAB, Ala. (WHNT) - Country singer-songwriter Wayne Mills was remembered as “a true gift of love” during the memorial service on a rainy Sunday afternoon in the auditorium of Arab High School in his hometown of Arab, Ala.
Wayne, who died at age 44 on Nov. 23, was the lead singer of the Wayne Mills Band, which toured nationally for more than 15 years and recorded seven albums. He was also part of a trio called The Dixie Cocks. Artists such as Jamey Johnson, Blake Shelton and Taylor Hicks opened for the Wayne Mills Band early in their careers.
His large black boots and his acoustic guitar, decorated with the numerous signatures of the many friends he made during two decades on the road, were displayed in front of his black casket, which was adorned with a small University of Alabama sticker; his studded guitar strap was draped simply but elegantly across the casket’s top.
His trademark white cowboy hat was encased in a glass box to the casket’s right, and his crimson University of Alabama No. 91 football helmet on the left. The pall atop the casket, as well as many of the floral arrangements sent by friends and family, were comprised of red and white flowers. But perhaps the most moving item was the photo of a smiling Wayne with his greatest accomplishment: his son Jack Wright Mills.
Before the service, Wayne’s unique brand of country music played as his widow, Carol, greeted friends and family who waited in a line that stretched out the back door of the auditorium. She handed each mourner a black guitar pick embossed with “WMB” and his band logo on the front and “Wayne Mills” and “1969-2013” on the back. The mourners came from all walks of life, reflecting Wayne’s ability to make friends and touch lives wherever he went.
The service opened with Heather Little Standifird singing Willie Nelson’s “Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground.” Pastor Don Ware of Highlands Baptist Church read from Psalms and recited Wayne’s obit. After mentioning Wayne’s generosity and selflessness, he said, “When the tornadoes hit here in Arab, he was the one who came and put on a performance for those who lost everything in that storm.”
Mills is survived by his wife, Carol and son, Jack. The family lives in Nolensville, Tennessee.