- The Washington Times - Friday, July 6, 2007

Barbara Kettler-Mills, 82, philanthropist

Barbara Walker Kettler-Mills, a philanthropist, fundraiser and longtime Washington area resident, died of cancer June 24 at her home on Kent Island, Md. She was 82.

Born and raised in Gaithersburg in 1924, Mrs. Kettler-Mills” ancestors trace back to the 1600s in the Washington area. She graduated from Gaithersburg High School in 1942.

As a youth, she was active in 4-H and youth group activities at Grace Methodist Church in Gaithersburg. In high school, she participated in athletics, particularly basketball.

After graduating from Penn Hall in Chambersburg, Pa., in 1945, she worked at the H.L. Rust Co. in the District. She married Milton E. Kettler in 1947.

In 1952, Milton, Clarence and Charles Kettler began Kettler Brothers Inc., a home builder that developed Montgomery Village in the late 1960s and many other residential communities.

Mrs. Kettler-Mills lived with her husband in Bethesda from 1950 until his death in 1982. They founded the Cove Creek Club in 1980, a community on Kent Island where she had lived since 1992.

In 1986, she married James H. Mills, a residential housing marketing expert and author who introduced the concept of “target marketing” to the building industry in 1955. They lived together at Cove Creek until his death in 2000.

Mrs. Kettler-Mills supported the Crittendon home in the District for many years by volunteering and fundraising. Mr. Kettler and she helped found St. Andrews United Methodist Church in Bethesda in the early 1960s, and she served as the first female chairman of the Board of Trustees.

In the 1970s, she was on the board of Asbury Methodist Village in Gaithersburg. Mrs. Kettler-Mills later served on the board of Wesley Theological Seminary in the District from 1983 to 1995, where she was chairwoman of the Institutional Advancement Committee and Wesley”s first capital campaign.

She was a member of Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church and Columbia Country Club.

Her hobbies included gardening, bird watching, golf, boating, bicycling, walking with her dog, McCabe, and collecting antiques.

She greatly enjoyed traveling with friends and visiting her children and grandchildren.

Mrs. Kettler-Mills is survived by three children, Ellen Luise Kettler Paseltiner of Wilmette, Ill., Robert Charles Kettler of McLean and Peter Brookes Kettler of Wilmington, Del.; two stepchildren, Tim Mills of Irasburg, Vt., and Susan Mills of Waltham, Mass.; 10 grandchildren; and six step-grandchildren.

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