Tributes to famed Burnham-On-Sea gift shop owner who sadly passed away

Tributes have been paid to a well-known shop owner from Burnham-On-Sea who has sadly passed away.

Rhonda Mills, 70, had run the popular Seabreeze gallery and gift shop in Burnham’s Victoria Street with her family since 2005.

She was also secretary and president of the Burnham Chamber of Trade after several years of involvement.

Born in Islington in April 1952, Rhonda spent her youth in London where she met her husband Paul.

After getting married and having their first child, they moved from London to Somerset for Paul’s job and a quieter life with their 3-year-old daughter, Caroline. They had two more daughters before Rhonda returned to college.

Rhonda then started working at British Cellophane as a lab technician, before joining Bishop Fox’s for a more fulfilling role helping young people in science labs.

Rhonda clearly took great pleasure in helping young people while working at Cannington College as a food technologist for several years.

She remained at Cannington College, changing roles to work for Somerset Careers as a work placement assessor, ensuring work experience settings were safe. Then, in 2005, Rhonda decided to try something completely different and opened up.

‘Seabreeze’ gallery and gift shop with daughter Lizzie in Burnham-On-Sea, selling local crafts and fair trade gifts. Seabreeze has been run by three generations and is still run today by Lizzie and her youngest daughter Vicky.

During Rhonda’s time working in Burnham-on-Sea she spent time helping the Chamber of Commerce as Secretary and President, supporting many projects for the town centre. She was president from 2010 to 2012.

Rhonda managed to reach a milestone earlier this year and celebrated her 70th birthday while remembering with her family and friends.

Rhonda continued to enjoy life as much as she could, spending lots of time with her family, including her seven grandchildren, creating other fond memories.

Rhonda gradually weakened and sadly passed away in the early hours of July 12. She will be greatly missed by the many people who knew her.

A Burnham Chamber of Commerce spokesperson said: “Rhonda will be greatly missed. She has always had a keen interest in Burnham town center and has supported many projects over the years to encourage commerce and help local shops and businesses, playing a leading role in the production of our publications regular buying guides. Our thoughts are with his family at this time.