Porch & Parish Magazine - Serving the Zachary, LA Community

Zachary Stories

Healthy Aging: What You Focus on Grows

At 78, Dottie Mills exemplifies healthy aging and a zest for life.

Dottie grew up in South Georgia. After completing high school in Titusville, FL, she pursued her love for the arts at Florida Southern College, renowned for its esteemed art school and architecture designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

In 1977, Dottie and her late husband, Albert Mills III, settled in Zachary. For Albert, it was a homecoming, as he grew up here, and together they established Millwood Farms, where they raised award-winning Simbrah cattle.


Photography by Jen Gennaro | Dottie Mills grows Gardenias, Gerber Daisies, Sunflowers, and more at her home in Americana. She also eagerly awaits her first ripe tomato.

Today, Dottie finds solace in her garden in Americana. What started as a fence to protect her dogs has transformed into a serene oasis. Simplicity is her gardening mantra. Her favorite flowers to grow are Gardenias, Gerber Daisies, and Sunflowers. She also eagerly awaits her first ripe tomato.

Dottie stresses the importance of an active lifestyle for healthy aging. In addition to gardening, she enjoys painting and drawing with pen and ink. She advocates for daily walks to keep the body in motion. When it comes to meeting friends, her favorite spot is CC’s Coffee, where she gathers weekly with her knitting group, the Knit Wits. On weekends, she cherishes time spent with her children, grandchildren, and loved ones.

Dottie’s words of wisdom are, “Count it all joy! I also just want to tell everyone to make this community the place you want to live. We can all play a role in making Zachary a wonderful place.”

To see more articles in the Healthy Aging Special Section in the July 2023 edition, click here.

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