Kathleen “Kate” Mills

Kathleen “Kate” Mills

Kathleen “Kate” Mills

Vancouver, British Columbia

Kathleen “Kate” Mills passed away unexpectedly at age 68, on Feb. 24, 2023, in Vancouver, British Columbia. Kate was born in Lethbridge, Canada, on Sept. 3, 1954. She developed a lifelong love of biology, evolutionary biology and particularly primate evolution. She pursued these interests and a Ph.D. in anthropology at the University of Washington. She came to Iowa City in 1989 as a Postdoctoral Fellow on the human genome project and continued here as a research scientist with her efforts focused on muscle disease. Kate then returned to Canada in 2009. In Vancouver, Canada, she worked on multiple research projects in both the biotechnology field and at the University of British Columbia. She published regularly in the scientific literature on molecular evolution, gene mapping and muscle biology.

Kate enjoyed traveling both domestically and internationally. She traveled throughout much of Europe, Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Belize, the U.S. and Canada (she took great pride with each new state or province she added to her list). Kate loved dance and especially ballet and continued her formal training while in Iowa City. She was part of a group of dancers who performed with the Bill T Jones’s company national tour of the Last Supper at Uncle Tom’s Cabin/The Promised Land at Hancher Auditorium (1991). She especially loved exploring old ruins, the desert, the coast, the Pacific Northwest and even the largest roller coasters she could find. Kate had a gift for empathy, and was always there for her friends, people she had just met and those less fortunate than herself. She had broad interests and could engage in lively conversations with just about anybody. This was complemented by a terrific sense of humor and an unforgettable laugh.

Kate was predeceased by her parents, Winifred and William.

She is survived by her brother, Mike (Karen); and her sisters, Margaret (Ben) and Patricia.

A celebration of her life will be held in the shelter at lower Hickory Hill Park from 1:30 to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 6.

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