Mrs. Rebecca Willis Hackett Mills, age 72, died peacefully at home surrounded by her loving family on Sunday, April 25, 2021, after a long illness. She was the daughter of the late Harley Benjamin Hackett, Jr. and Rebecca Willis Knobeloch. Rebecca was also the stepdaughter of the late John Hazel Knobeloch.
Born in Cairo, Egypt, on December 7, 1948, Rebecca, her mother, and her two brothers returned home to Florence, SC, where she was raised, after the tragic early death of her father. She graduated from McClenaghan High School in Florence, SC, and Winthrop College. Rebecca also received two Master’s degrees from the University of South Carolina. She worked as a teacher in the Richland County public school system for 10 years, and in 1985 began her career in higher education administration at the USC School of Medicine, where she retired in 2004 as the Director of the Office of Admissions and the Registrar.
Rebecca truly enjoyed spending time with her family and friends and maintained several ‘friend groups,’ both old and new, younger and older. Her good nature, sense of humor, and open-mindedness will be missed by many. She was an active member of St. Michaels and All Angels Episcopal Church. After retirement, Rebecca volunteered her time at the Columbia Free Medical Clinic, St Lawrence Place, and with other church outreach programs. She also enjoyed several types of crafting, most recently decoupage.
Rebecca is survived by her beloved husband of almost 50 years, Larry Walker Mills; two children, Susannah Rebecca Mills of Los Angeles, CA, and Caroline Walker Estelle Mills (Paula Gilovich) of Chapel Hill, NC; and she was the world’s proudest Granny to her precious granddaughter, Harley Rainier Gilovich. She is also survived by her brother, Stanley Hackett (Elaine) of Pawley’s Island, SC; step-siblings, Lynn Brown of Florence, SC, Hazel Matheny (Dickie) of Edisto Island, SC, and John Knobeloch (Emily) of Orangeburg, SC; brother-in-law, Jerry Mills (Susan) of Weaverville, NC, and a host of loved nieces, nephews, cousins, and other relatives. In addition to her parents, Rebecca was preceded in death by her brother, Capt. Harley Benjamin Hackett III, (M.I.A.) Southeast Asia.
An outdoor memorial service will be held at 11 o'clock, Tuesday, May 4th, at St. Martin's-in-the-Fields. All are invited to attend; however, masks are required, and social distancing is enforced to maintain a safe environment for all. A livestream may be viewed by visiting Rebecca’s tribute page at ShivesFuneralHome.com. The burial will be later in Christ Episcopal Church cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Columbia Free Medical Clinic (for more information visit freemedclinic.org), 1875 Harden Street, Columbia SC, 29204, or a charity of one’s choice.