Auburn said goodbye to a loyal and dedicated community service volunteer last month. Former Auburn Food Bank volunteer Harrison “Ace” Mills passed away on May 18.
The Donut Man
Ace began volunteering for The Auburn Food Bank in January of 2013. He worked every day, including all holidays, until December 13, 2016. Ace put in a total of 2,232.75 hours with the food bank.
Ace’s daily visits and pick-ups at donut shops in Auburn earned him the name “Donut Man.” Making pickups at Starbucks, Tully’s, Auntie Ann’s, and Panera, he was the face of the food bank and he represented the organization well. Stores still ask about Ace today.
Auburn Food Bank Executive Director Debbie Christian said Ace was always looking for ways to improve. Hardworking and proactive, he would step up if he felt there was a problem or need. “He was a man on a mission,” Christian said. “There wasn’t a person that he met that he didn’t impact!”
Although Ace’s health was failing, he continued to volunteer his services until he could not any longer. “It was a sad day when we realized that Ace couldn’t return to work. Our hardest day was his last day,” Christian said.
Beyond the Auburn Food Bank
The food bank was not the only benefactor of Ace’s volunteering. Bev Patient worked with Ace at Calvary Temple/Northwest Family Church. Volunteering weekly in the church office to assist with projects and preparing bulletins for service, Patient described Ace as a tireless volunteer. “Ace happily volunteered to do whatever was needed. Ace was always reliable to go above and beyond any task at hand.”
Ace’s impact went beyond his volunteering; his warmth and positivity helped uplift others. “Ace had a wonderful way of taking everything in stride. When we were especially stressed for time we knew we could call Ace and he would show up to help us with meeting those deadlines with a cheerful attitude.”
A Familiar Smiling Face
Ace was a familiar face at the food bank, community dinners, churches, and within the community. From fellow volunteers to vendors, clients, and community members, “He treated everyone with kindness and dignity,” Patient said.
That kindness was shown to the kids at church Sunday mornings, with each piece of candy Ace gave them. It wasn’t just any candy, however, but candy with smilie faces on the package. “He was the “candy man” at my church, the “donut man” at my work,” Christian said. “Not sure anyone will ever compare to this great man!”
“[You] always found a kind smile, warm handshake, and friendly greeting with Ace. I don’t think he ever met a stranger. Ace was a great friend to everyone,” Patient said. “My life is richer because Ace was in it, and I am blessed to call him ‘friend.’ ”
The Auburn examiner sends its sincere condolences to Ace’s wife Polly Mills, his daughter Paula Mills-Valdovinos and all of his family and friends. Ace will truly be missed.
Celebration of Life for Harrison “Ace” Mills
Friday, June 4 at 1 pm.
River of Life Fellowship Church
10615 SE 216TH ST, Kent, WA 98032