Joel DeWitt Mills-Borrase - 1995 - 2019


No parent should ever have to write about the death of their child, but today we must. With profound sorrow we must tell you of the passing and life achievements of our dear and youngest son, Joel DeWitt Mills-Borrase. He died July 17, 2019.
Joel was deeply loved by his mother, Carmen Borrasé; his father, Ronald DeWitt Mills; his brother, Ruben José; by his eldest brother, Paul Anthony; by his Costa Rican family; and Ron’s wife, Isabel Pinyas-Mills.
Joel was born in 1995 in San José, Costa Rica. Spending time in both Oregon and Costa Rica, his childhood was mostly in Oregon. Later, he spent most of his high school years in Costa Rica before returning to Oregon to graduate from high school and college. Joel made great friends during his early years at McMinnville Montessori School, during his time at Patton Middle School, and later at Colegio Bilingüe Santa Cecilia in Costa Rica. He returned to graduate from McMinnville High School in 2014 before starting at Linfield College, where he graduated in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in studio art and a minor in visual studies.
Joel was distinguished by his professors in graduation for his artistic promise, his professionalism and his prolific practice as a painter and printmaker. Joel aspired to be an art therapist and a life-long practicing artist. He was well on his way. His paintings are currently hanging in Blackfish Gallery in Portland and at MECA, McMinnville Center for the Arts. Joel found exuberant pleasure and spiritual connection in the serenity of the Eola forest and in the beaches of Costa Rica, where he grew up playing with his friends, his brother Ruben and Costa Rican friends. Joel made many enduring friendships and cultivated family ties. Indeed, Joel’s spirit shall be cherished by all who knew him.
A fund created in his name for future art students shall be established at Linfield College. Those wishing to contribute may contact his father at
A service to celebrate Joel’s life will be held at 2:00 p.m. Thursday, July 25, at Macy & Son Funeral Home. To leave condolences, visit

With you a part of me hath passed away;
For in the peopled forest of my mind
A tree made leafless by this wintry wind
Shall never don again its green array.
- George Santayana, 1863 - 1952




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