Franklin H. Mills, father of R.E.M. bassist/co-founder Mike Mills and a singer in his own right who had appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” died Sept. 25 of natural causes in Greensboro, Ga. He was 65.
Mills, a former Marine pilot, sold construction machinery in Atlanta and Tulsa, Okla., and later had a road-grading business in Macon. He had retired recently.
He performed with the Naval Aviation Choir and in a quartet from the choir at Miss America and Miss Universe pageants, and sang under former Atlanta Symphony Orchestra conductor Robert Shaw with the Atlanta Choral Guild.
Mills’ son and drummer Bill Berry founded rock band R.E.M. with singer Michael Stipe and guitarist Peter Buck.