John Mills, a devoted Malibu community leader and father, died peacefully on Sunday, May 30, surrounded by his family. He was 76.

John began his years in Malibu in the 1970s while living on Topanga Beach, where he enjoyed building catamarans and competing for waves with the surfers until it was outlawed shortly after. He started his family when he married Barbara Hancock in 1981, welcoming daughter Allison and son Blake. They lived on Las Flores Beach in the ‘80s and settled permanently in Central Malibu in the ‘90s.

John was responsible for creating a youth football league for local kids on the Westside, known as the LA Westside Bruins. Founded in 1986, John grew the program to serve local kids ages six to 12 from Malibu and throughout the Westside. The LA Westside Bruins provided a competitive but safe place for kids to learn how to play football. Many of his former players went on to play in high school, college and the NFL. John took immense pride in his program and always worked hard to make sure every one of “his kids” had a chance to play and had a good time.

John also worked for numerous local real estate offices over his years, including Malibu Partners, Jon Douglass, Coldwell Banker and ReMax, before retiring.

John’s greatest accomplishments were his children. Anyone who knew him knew his kids. He was at every sports event, school play and concert, and was often spotted in his big blue Mercedes shuttling his children and their friends to and from Malibu High School, or to his son’s concerts at the Malibu Inn. He was so proud of Blake and Allison for all their accomplishments. His presence and support will be forever remembered, and forever missed, a loved one said.

John is preceded in death by his mother (Rose) and father (Leonard), and survived by his brother (Richard), wife (Barbara), children (Allison, Blake), and grandchildren (Mason, Harley).

John will be honored at a graveside ceremony on Friday, June 18. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in John’s name to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.

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