Eric McMillan

Eric McMillan
Eric C. McMillan - Eric was born and raised in Toronto spending the majority of his 92 years with his family in Stratford, the last few at Spruce Lodge. Beloved husband of Betty (Ashbourne) and father of four: son Eric G. McMillan (Wendy), their children Erin (Chris) and their daughter Zoe, Owen (Lan) and their son Aiden, and Richard; daughter Suzanne Kelly (Chris) and their children Baird, Liam, and Sydney; daughter Beatrice McMillan and her children Jaymeson and Matheson Denboer; and daughter Judith Gilbert (John) and their children James, Alyse (Tom), Michelle Thompson (Chad), and Jules. Also survived by sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, and many nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews. Eric was predeceased by his parents, Jean and James McMillan and Ada Carruthers, brother George Marks (Irene), and sister Jean Morrison (Harry).

Sports were a central part of Eric’s life. He played on high school teams at North Toronto Collegiate and for City teams. In 1949, while a varsity football player at U of T, his team won the Vanier Cup.
 
His studies were interrupted with WWII when he joined the Canadian Navy serving on a convoy ship as a Morse Code Operator. He returned to finish school and, although drafted by the Hamilton Tiger Cats, Eric chose to move to Stratford to teach Phys Ed and raise their family. As a young graduate from Teacher’s College, Eric accepted the physical education department head position at The Stratford Collegiate Vocational Institute (Now Stratford Central Secondary School) and at Northwestern Secondary School when it first opened in the 1960s. He chose Northwestern’s team colours garnet and grey and the school’s mascot, the Husky. He related well to students and loved coaching both boys and girls teams including football, basketball and volleyball and went on to teach social studies and geography and became a Guidance Counsellor. He was rarely idle, often riding his bike to the Stratford Public Library and around town, enjoying yard work and tending to the family’s flower beds.
 
Many summers were enjoyed with his family, relatives, and friends at Kettle Point. He was Captain of Watermanship at The Ipperwash Army Cadet Camp. Close friends will remember spending time with Eric and Betty in Florida, and more so over winters once he retired. There, he continued to play tennis, golf, and cards, and enjoy dancing and fishing.
Eric was past-president of the Kiwanis Club of Stratford, a long-time member of Avondale United Church, and contributed behind the scenes during many election campaigns. In his later years he made a strong connection with others through music.
 
The family would like to thank Dr. Thompson and the Spruce Lodge staff who kindly took such good care of Eric. Eric always had a winning smile and a cheerful greeting of “Hi there big gal/guy” for everyone he encountered. Friends and relatives are invited to the memorial service at 2 pm on Saturday, July 8, 2017 at the W.G. Young Funeral Home, 430 Huron Street, Stratford, 519.271.7411 www.wgyoungfuneralhome.com. Eric's ashes will be spread in God's Holy Acre, St. James United Church. Donations may be made through the funeral home to The Alzheimer Society of Perth County and to Spruce Lodge, specifically for their gardens which he often enjoyed.

Additional Info

  • Service Information:
    Memorial Service
    Saturday, July 8, at 2 p.m.
    W.G. Young Funeral Home

    Reception
    W.G. Young Funeral Home Reception Centre

    Memorial Donations
    Alzheimer Society of Perth County
    Spruce Lodge Gardens