Allen Wayne Mills
Born in Oxnard, California, Allen was the oldest of four children of parents Bill and Arlene (Ross) Mills. Allen passed away at home with his son and wife at his side with the help of VNA Health Hospice.
He was 72 years old.
Allen grew up in Port Hueneme when it was full of lemon groves, not houses. He lived near the ocean and spent many hours at the beach and was a lifelong surfer. His grandparents from his mother’s side had a small farm in Ojai, and Allen spent many summers wandering in the oak trees and fishing at Lake Casitas. He also spent many hours Grandma Kurtz’s house in Port Hueneme learning to cook.
Allen graduated from Hueneme High School in 1966. At that time, the war was escalating in Vietnam and many young men, to avoid being drafted, fled to Canada or were sent to jail. Allen was told that if he joined, they would send him to Germany. Although promised that he would not go, he was sent to Vietnam. He was nineteen. While there, he was exposed to Agent Orange, a carcinogenic herbicide sprayed on the forests of Vietnam to cause deforestation to better see the enemy. This cancerous
chemical caused many of our young men to develop cancers early in their lives, cutting their lives short. Allen developed early prostate cancer in his late fourties due to this exposure. When he was discharged from the Army, he became an avid antiwar supporter and environmentalist.
In 1970, he married his high school sweetheart, Anita Tricomo, the little Italian girl that had recently moved to Oxnard from Michigan. They were happily married for fifty years and nine months. They moved to Berkeley, CA where Allen attended UC Berkeley. In 1976 they had their only child, Erek. Allen so loved being a father and enjoyed coaching baseball, camping, surfing, Boy Scouts and fishing with his son. He also taught Erek to cook and bar-b-q. Later, Erek’s career as a Firefighter made Allen very proud.
Allen’s cooking skills were legendary with many dinner parties and lively conversations. He met two Italians that were living next door to him and they taught him many new cooking skills. These friends have returned to Italy and Allen and Anita have visited them several times in Italy and enjoyed cooking together again. Thanks to Max and Laura for this time of wonderful cooking and eating fests!
In his early fourties, after trying several careers, Allen wanted to enter the alternative health field and studied to be a Naturopathic Doctor. While pursing this career, Anita developed a breast problem and they went on the search for the cause. An herbalist friend told them about a Lymphatic Therapist in Ojai and upon the first visit, Anita experienced a dramatic reduction in her swelling and pain. Allen immediately saw the potential of a powerful therapy and began his study of the Lymphatic System. He discovered the Vodder Method, around since the 1930’s and widely used in Europe. Lymphatics are taught in the massage schools across the country. Allen had found his life’s work and developed a method of non-invasive lymphatic drainage using manual techniques and an electric handheld device to move the stuck lymph fluid. He opened the Center for Lymphatic Health in downtown Santa Barbara in 1995 and was in business for 23 years with his wife Anita managing the business. They offered lymphatic sessions, classes to teach the Mills Method and the sale of instruments. People came from all over the US and other countries from the website. Many people received the natural healing from their lymphatic sessions and improved their immune systems. Allen became known as a great healer, teacher and friend.
He leaves behind his wife, Anita, son Erek (Misty), grandsons Mike and Erek, Jr., sister Carol Scott (Dan) and many family members and friends.
A big thank you to wonderful doctors, nurses and therapists in our community. The Sansum Team:
Dr. Abate and Dr. Phreaner; VNA Palliative and Hospice Care: Amy, Elizabeth, Marcella; Hospice of Santa Barbara: Ginny and Gwen; Alternative Health Practictioners Julia, Annelie and Brenda.
A celebration of Allen’s life is planned for Spring 2021. Send mail to: Anita Mills at P.O. Box 1027, Santa Barbara, CA 93102.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift to the Iverson Foundation for Active Awareness (iversonfaa.org) for raising awareness of the mental and emotional state within first responders, removing the stigma and shifting the culture of PTSD.