Mills, Ronald A.
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The beginning of a new era for curling, and for the Brier, began in 1980 in Calgary with the first ever Labatt-sponsored national championship. Rick Folk represented Saskatchewan for the third straight year and, in a new three-team playoff format, won the coveted tankard. He finished the round robin in first place with a 9-2 record and then defeated Northern Ontario’s Al Hackner 10-6 to give Saskatchewan its seventh—and last—Brier title.
A few weeks later, Folk’s team traveled to Moncton, New Brunswick, for the men’s world championship, then called the Air Canada Silver Broom. The Canadians finished the round robin with a perfect 9-0 record, then downed defending champion Kristian Soerum of Norway 7-6 in the final. It was not only a great victor for the team but also for Canada, which hadn’t won a world men’s title since 1972.
Playing third for Folk was Ron Mills, who had joined the team in 1980 after Folk’s unsuccessful bids to win the Brier in 1987 and 1979. Sadlt, Mills passed away on December 22, 2008, after a long battle with cancer. He was 65.
In an interview soon after Mills death, Folk said that his time with Mills had been tremendous. “We won the Brier in 1980 and went undefeated at the world championship in Moncton. He was a long-time competitor of ours, but when he joined our team it just clicked. I have nothing but great memories of Ron.”
As a coach, Mills had earned his level IV coaching certification through Canadian Curling Association’s National Coaching Certification Program and had worked with and helped many teams.
An employee of Federated Co-op for more than 40 years. In his business life, he developed strong computer and Internet technology skills. He shared his talent with the CCA and worked on many national championships as a head statistician.
Mills served as head statistician at all but one of six Continental Cups of Curling and was scheduled to handle the head statistician duties in the 2009 Tim Hortons Brier in Calgary.