Eddie Mills, 53, died of liver failure in Wadesboro, NC, early on Easter Morning. He was a good brother, a loyal son, and a proud uncle.
Eddie was born with Down’s Syndrome. He was a happy and gentle soul who loved people and was loved in return.
Eddie loved church, music, professional wrestling, and being in hospitals, not necessarily in that order. He loved the hospitals because of the special attention he received from nurses and staff. He often grumbled when he was released and protested when he was not admitted.
Eddie was also an active and regular participant in the Special Olympics. He was an avid bowler and swimmer. In his youth, he loved to hit plastic baseballs with his brothers though he didn’t care too much for playing in the field.
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A lifelong Episcopalian, Eddie loved church for the singing and ritual. He routinely greeted the choir and priest with handshakes and high-fives during the processional and recessional.
Though Eddie regularly attended Calvary Episcopal Church in Wadesboro with his parents, he also attended church with his caregivers in Southern Pines. At times in his life, he would cross himself at meals. At others, he would mumble “Amen” throughout church services. Eddie was really multi-denominational.
Eddie loved holidays, especially Christmas and was a life-long believer of Santa Claus, much to the chagrin of several mall Santas. He was fortunate to receive calls from the North Pole every December 24.
Eddie enjoyed exploring. He was often tracked down by Walmart security guards while on outings with his group home family. He also once showed up unannounced at the pro shop of an upscale golf course while attempting to follow his brothers and cousins on a golf outing. As a young man, he went to He’s Not Here in Chapel Hill with his brother and drank a cold beer, a tale he often repeated.
Eddie is survived by his father and mother, Judge Fetzer and Penny Mills of Wadesboro, his brothers Fetzer, Jr. (Becky), Thomas (Jenae) and his children Jasper, Lucy and Atticus, and Smithson (Kathy) and his children Sophie and Duncan. He is also survived by numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Eddie spent his adult life under the nurture and loving care of the staff and employees of group homes and a vocational center in Southern Pines, NC. The family expresses their deep appreciation for these special people who encouraged Eddie to be the best he could be and to love him generously, a love that was fully reciprocated.
A memorial service will be held at Calvary Episcopal Church where Eddie was baptized and confirmed on Tuesday, April 7 at 12 noon. Visitation will begin at 11 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, make donations to Calvary Episcopal Church, Wadesboro, NC, 308 E. Wade Street, Wadesboro, NC 28170 or Eastview Cemetery Trust, c/o Russell Sikes, Plank Road Realty, 209 E. Wade Street, Wadesboro, NC 28170.
Leavitt Funeral Home of Wadesboro is serving the family. Online condolences may be made at www.leavittfuneral homewadesboro.com