November 20, 1953 – December 13, 2019
Michael was born and raised in Saanich, BC, the youngest of 4 sons born to Alfred and Margaret McMillin.
He was blessed with a stable childhood, complete with a “100 acre woods” in which to play and the ocean and beaches were never far.
Being the youngest sibling and often the smallest amongst childhood friends, he learned to compete by this wits and powers of observation.
In his teenage years and beyond he did much hiking up island spending time at all the not yet busy coast lines………the West Coast Trail.
He attended the University of Victoria and obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology in 1975. It was there he met his wife to be, Arlene Otterbein taking the same program. They married in 1977 in the McMillin gardens and moved to the Slocan Valley in 1978 where they lived for many years on their beautiful land, on the back road of Slocan Park. Michael worked the land…creating gardens, rock walls, and many creations from wood. It was often said the place looked like a park. He enjoyed his early years learning and playing in the rapids with his white water skills. He was an instructor in the art of the canoe. Rivers and lakes all beckoned. There were fish to find, beaver wood to collect, berries and mushrooms to pick. It was a good life in the valley.
Michael acquired his family’s logical mind. He knew his way around construction starting with work he did on the island and then in the Kootenays.
He worked for many years in social work for the Provincial Government all over the West Kootenay region, where he honed his understanding of the human condition.
Michael enjoyed NHL hockey, card games, telling stories and his many motorcycle adventures.
He had a good sense of humour plus a passion for the British dramas and Nordic Noir. He was a kind and generous man and was often the first to offer a helping hand generally without having to be asked and was the last to ask for help for himself.
Michael suffered in the last years of his life with a neurological disorder.
Michael is forever loved and cherished in the hearts of many including:
His wife of 46 years , Arlene…and his family : brothers Doug, Ron (Nan).
Nieces and nephews : Paul (Beth) McMillin, Christa McMillin (Rob), Leah (Corey) Smith, Ange (Mack) Friesen, Tammy (Dylan) Gunning, Wayne McMillin, Erik (Nikki) Peterson, Kevin Peterson.
Grandnieces: Charlotte Peterson, Bronwyn, Zoe McMillin, Sarah, Breanne Smith, Mikayla Langer, Arcadia Gunning, Rachel, Emily McMillin.
Grandnephews: Zach Langer, Oscar, Wyatt Friesen, Perrin Gunning.
Cousins: David, Bob Barlow, Rick Bennett, Dorrie Rock, Sue Velichko….Brother in law Denny Peterson.
Michael was predeceased by his aunts, uncles, grandparents, parents Alfred and Margaret McMillin and brother Ian.
Also by very good friends Davie Gagnon and Bryce Hyatt.
One may leave memories and sympathies at www.thompsonfs.ca
The honouring of Michael, memorial event will take place on the long weekend in May. Details to follow.
Any donations in memory of Michael to the SPCA in BC or to the Knowledge Network please.
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