On Thursday, Jan. 11, 7-year-old Brayden Tyler Mills received his angel wings and was called home to be with our Heavenly Father at a moment that many would consider to be before his time. Though we may not understand why, we do know that his winged status was well-earned. Brayden was one of the toughest little guys that God ever created. He fought a constant uphill battle of medical issues, and always persisted and amazed all who watched. During his short time that he blessed us with, he left a deep mark on the heart of every person who knew him. He taught us compassion for others, how to have empathy for those less fortunate than ourselves, gratitude for the blessings we have and to always hold onto hope. His smile was contagious, his heart was pure and his love was genuine. Brayden was born on Aug. 24, 2010, to his parents, Jason Mills and Valerie Lucas, in Durango, Colo. He was preceded in death by his great-grandparents, Gary Lucas, of Pagosa Springs; Phil and Frances Lujan, of Pagosa Springs; and Morris and Fannie Carter, of Marshall, Texas. Brayden leaves behind his loving parents, Jason Mills and Valerie Lucas; his brothers and sister, Denton Mills, Dallas Mills, Katelynn Mills, Jase Mills and Dalton Mills; Aunt Angie Lucas and family, of Pagosa Springs; Uncle William Clark and family, of Pagosa Springs; Aunt and Uncle Tina and Brandon Hamblin and family, of Phoenix, Ariz.; grandparents Lance and Elisha Lucas, of Pagosa Springs; Kathy Maestas, of Pagosa Springs; Walter Mills, of Longview, Texas; and great-grandmother Firma Lucas, of Pagosa Springs. He is also survived by numerous cousins and other relatives. A memorial service will be held Saturday, Jan. 20, at 10 a.m. at Pope John Paul II Catholic Church in Pagosa Springs. Following services, there will be a balloon release downtown and meal served at the Parish Hall. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made at Citizens Bank in Pagosa Springs with checks being made to Valerie Lucas for the Brayden Mills Memorial Account, at both Everyday gas stations in Pagosa Springs, the Sonoco gas station in Pagosa Springs, the Turkey Springs Trading Post in Aspen Springs or through his Go Fund Me account at www.gofundme.com/e5zk9-braydens-angel-wing-fund.