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J. Rexford Mills

J. Rexford Mills, known to all as Rex, passed away at his home in Caney, on Tuesday, July 18, 2023.


He was born on February 11, 1938, in Caney, Kansas to Fred D. and Beulah C. (Morehead) Mills.  Rex grew up and attended school in Caney graduating from Caney High School in 1956.  He attended Coffeyville Community College and later attended and graduated from Missouri Auction School. 


Rex was a veteran of the U.S. Army National Guard serving from February 1958 until receiving his honorable discharge in February 1961.


Rex was a highly respected figure within his community, known for his thoughtful demeanor and the genuine care he had for all who crossed his path. His career spanned various roles, each exemplifying his dedication to serving others. He was a diligent salesman for Sellers Tractor Co. a heavy equipment company based in Wichita, Kansas, was a deputy sheriff with the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department and served as a Montgomery County Commissioner. His entrepreneurial spirit shone through when he owned and operated Central States Auction Company. Beyond his professional life, Rex was deeply involved in community service, and he was a proud former member and Past Master in 1996 of the Caney Masonic Lodge.


Rex's heart belonged to his family. He married the love of his life, Diane Foster, on June 16, 1963, at Sedan, Kansas. Together, they lived in Independence for nine years, before returning to their hometown Caney to build their loving home. They raised their children, Anita, and Scott, with the same values of hard work, dedication, and love that Rex lived by.


He leaves behind his wife, Diane, his daughter Anita (Justin) Chitwood, and his son Scott (Kelli) Mills, grandchildren Madelyn Mills, Cooper Mills, and Audrey (Bobby) Powell, and great-grandson, Carson Powell. He is preceded in death by his parents Fred and Beulah Mills and his siblings Marilyn Martin, Melba Labadie, and Junior Mills. Rex's legacy continues through the love and memories he leaves behind.


A Memorial Service celebrating Rex's life will be at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, July 29, 2023, at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Caney with Wayne Blakemore officiating. Following Rex's wishes cremation has taken place under the direction of the David W. Barnes Funeral Home in Coffeyville. 


Rex's life was a testament to the power of love, commitment, and service. His warm smile, kindness, and love for his family and community will always be remembered. We invite all who knew Rex to leave memories and upload photos on his memorial page at  as we continue to celebrate his remarkable life.


David W. Barnes Funeral Home of Coffeyville is in charge of arrangements.


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