69th McMillin and related Families Reunion held 2019

By SUBMITTED BY SYLVIA MCMILLIN SECRETARY,

Ninety-four McMillin kin gathered for a two day annual reunion on July 28th & 29th at Lake Tiak O’Khata.  There were 25 children attending this year – the largest number in many years.  This annual gathering first began in 1951 and is a branch of the Clan McMillin Society of North America, which itself was founded in 1958.  Both groups are branches of Clan MacMillan International.  founded in 1892.  The MacMillan clan is one of the oldest clans in Scotland.

Saturday evening, the McMillins enjoyed the traditional cookout in the Pine Ridge Lodge… and it was  again gifted by an anonymous donor.   President, David Carlton McMillin of Monroe, LA, pleased his group with hamburgers, hotdogs, and bratwurst.  Mrs. Carol McMillin of Vicksburg,  brought an entire  sheet cake decorated in MacMillan colors depicting the 69th reunion.  Once again, Mrs. Shirley McMillin, of Carthage, delighted all with her Vanilla Wafer Cake.  Others brought side dishes and other desserts to share.   MacMillan tartans and the McMillin banner hung outside to greet the guests.

Day two began on Sunday morning as Tim Gordon, native of Carthage and frequent traveler to Scotland welcomed the group under the pines with his melodious sounds on the bagpipes.

Bonnie Broadway of Pascagoula and Janet Donoho of Dallas, TX, once again assisted with the registration and name tags.

The Colonial Room was splendidly decorated with MacMillan tartans, the American and Scottish flags and the McMillin banner.   Centerpieces, arranged by Sylvia McMillin of Chattanooga, TN and daughter, Melissa McMillin Crew of Ringgold, GA.  were filled with  sunflowers, Scottish thistle, red hypericum berries, and little white daisies complementing the colors of the tartans.

The gathering began with the McMillin Grands  marching in to the Colonial Room singing “The MacMillan Rally Song”.  Johnny McMillin’s grandchildren passed the “sword,” so as to speak, to younger McMillin Grands.  Participating and all dressed in MacMillan plaids were Lyla and Lynlee McMillin, daughters of Stephen & Jennifer Lynne McMillin of Vicksburg,; Grayson, Millin, and Charleston Moomaw, children of  Charlie & Ashley McMillin Moomaw of Madison; Ethan McMillin, son of David Lamar and Grace Lo McMillin of Dallas, TX; River & Cash Smith, children of Hope and Robert Smith of Walker, LA; Fielder, Vaida & Raina Bahm, children of Kip and Whitney Bahm of Franklinton, LA; and assisting were Mac Faulkner, son of Andrew and Jamie Faulkner of Houston, TX, and   Samuel, Eleanor, Eli, and Isaac Crew, children of Melissa McMillin Crew of Ringgold, GA.  Proud grandparents were Carol McMillin, wife of the late Dr. F. Lamar McMillin, Jr.,   Faith Frazier Bahm, Percy Mac Frazier,  Sue McMillin Faulkner, and Johnny McMillin.

President, David Carlton McMillin welcome all in attendance and presided over the day’s events.  He thanked the people involved with Saturday’s cook out and Sunday’s meeting.

“Leaving a Legacy” was the devotional title given by Johnny McMillin of Chattanooga, TN.  He reflected on the celebration of life of Dr. Fitten Lamar McMillin, Jr. who was loved and respected by his family, close friends, and community--one who has left a lasting legacy.  John emphasized that everyone leaves a legacy whether they plan to or not. Everything that one says or does leaves the imprint of our lives on those around us.  He encouraged all to live in the fullness that God created each person to experience so as to leave a lasting legacy.

Following the devotional, Tim Gordon presented “Highland Cathedral” and “Scotland the Brave” on the bagpipes.

Keeping with a longstanding tradition, awards were given in recognition of special guests:  Mr. R.H. “Bob” Moore (92) of Arlington, TN was the most senior kin present.  Bob attended the first McMillin Reunion at Choctaw Lake with his son, Jimmy in 1952.    Youngest in attendance was 5 month old Ava Frances McMillin, daughter of Jay and Megan of Louisville and granddaughter of Jamie and Lisa McMillin of Louisville.  Sisters Jane McMillin and Sue Faulkner once again drove the 10 hour route from Lampasas, TX to receive recognition for traveling the greatest distance.  Sue’s son, Andrew Faulkner and his son, Mac traveled from Houston, TX.  Percy Mac Frazier’s kin did not disappoint!  Twenty of Percy Mac’s family attended to give him the coveted award of having the most descendants present!  Jamie McMillin and Johnny McMillin applauded this accomplishment since they have been the recipient of this award several times.

David Lamar McMillin offered the prayer for our luncheon….one that he explained his father, Dr. F. Lamar McMillin, Jr. had taught him.

A delicious Lake Tiak O’Khata luncheon was followed by an introduction of families and a brief description of how each was related to William McMillin, the Scotch-Irish immigrant who settled in Winston County in the mid 1830’s.

With sadness, it was reported that five of our McMillin Kin had passed away since the last reunion:   Dr. F. Lamar McMillin, Jr. from Vicksburg on Dec 3, 2018; O.V. Hull of Louisville on March 11. 2019; Thomas McCully of Birmingham, AL on March 12, 2019; Dale Clark Bennett of Louisville on April 6, 2019; and Bill Barefoot of Clinton, MS  on April 11, 2019.

With joy, two little girls were welcomed:  Charleston McMillin Moomaw, born Jan 27 to Charlie and Ashley McMillin Moomaw of Madison, MS; and Ava Frances McMillin, born Feb 7 to Jay and Megan McMillin of Louisville.

An exceptional presentation of “A Tribute to Lamar” was given by Mrs. Carol McMillin, Lamar’s wife.  Saturday, July 27 would have been their 45th wedding anniversary.  Carol’s video presentation begins with “Fitten Lamar McMillin, Jr. was born in 1944 and died in 2018.  This video is about “The Dash Between” or how he filled his 74 years with so much living and so much love.”  The group learned much about the life of their dearly departed kin.

Lamar was born in Little Rock, Arkansas on July 25, 1944 to Dr. Fitten Lamar McMillin, Sr.  and Claudia Howard McMillin.  He graduated from Sewanee Military Academy in 1964 as a Cadet 1st Lieutenant.   He earned his BA degree in 1966 from the University of the South at Sewanee, TN and his Master’s Degree from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.  Because he was not sure if he would be admitted to medical school, Lamar applied to law school as well as medical school.  He was admitted to both, but chose medical school.  After four years at the University of Arkansas School of Medicine in Little Rock, he graduated with his medical doctor degree in 1971.  Lamar was chosen to do his residency in Family Practice at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, where he worked from 1971 – 1974.    It was in Minneapolis where he met his wife, Carol Ellingson McMillin.

Lamar practiced family medicine in Vicksburg from July 1, 1975 to 2010.  He worked in the clinic and in the hospital all of his 35 years.  For at least 15 years of his career, he also worked all night every Wednesday in the Vicksburg Emergency Room.

Carol explains that Lamar had many loves:  Antiques, the Arts, Architecture, Clan MacMillan, Mississippi & Related Families of Winston County, Scotland, Entertaining, Giving, Healing, Preservation, Travel, Music, Vicksburg, Genealogy, Learning, History, Membership, Retirement, the South, Travel, God and Church, and most importantly Friends and Family.

Lamar was very active in the Clan MacMillan International organization.  He was a personal friend to the former chief, Gordon MacMillan and his wife Marion, and also the current chief George and his late wife, Jane.  Here is what Chief George wrote upon learning of Lamar’s death:  “It’s hard to imagine a world without Dr. Lamar, whose wisdom, integrity, loyalty, and immense generosity inspired affection and respect in equal measure.  Dr. Lamar was my ideal of a Southern Gentleman.”

Lamar was somewhat of an architect and a bit of an engineer, Carol adds.  While he made a living as a Family Physician, his hobby was drawing plans for his buildings and his restoration projects.  His greatest and most extensive works were the preliminary architectural drawings for the renovation of two old houses, The Mary Harwood and Catherine’s Palace. “The Mary Harwood” is an 1825 antebellum home he and Carol lovingly restored and where they have lived and raised their family.  “Catherine’s Palace”, an 1839, very run down grocery store and residence in Vicksburg was Lamar’s dream to restore and make it into a Bed and Breakfast; however, he unfortunately did not get to complete his dream.  The house is preserved by his efforts, but not restored to completion.

Of the many loves of Lamar, the greatest was for family, Carol says.  The beginning of the family was on July 27, 1974.  Three children were added to the family and as years passed,  new additions came. Ashley Elizabeth married Charlie Moomaw  and  have three children:  Grayson, Millin, and Baby Charleston McMillin, born two months after  Lamar’s death on January 27..   Charleston McMillin Moomaw was named in memory and honor of  her “Poppy”.   David Lamar married Grace Lo and they have one son, Ethan Lamar;  Stephen Lee and Jennifer Lynn married and they have two daughters,  Lynlee and Lyla.  Lamar loved his family and their love was returned to this wonderful husband, father, and granddad.

This group that meets annually in Louisville  know Lamar as one who was relentless in keeping the McMillin and Related Families of Louisville and Winston County going.  He never ceased to attend a reunion and probably only missed one or two reunions since its inception.  He urged his kin to become involved  and  learn the history of the McMillin family.     This year as kin celebrated 69 years of the McMillin & Related Families of Louisville & Winston County, they recall the lasting legacy of Dr. Fitten Lamar McMillin, Jr. and will miss him terribly.

Jane McMillin, of Lampasas, TX followed with a personal tribute to Lamar:  “To gage the enormity of the impact Lamar made on all our lives, it might be useful to consider the example of us two Texas sisters.  Sue and I grew up in the middle of cow country, in a little central Texas town about the size of Louisville.  With no other McMillin relatives there, we grew up not knowing a lot about this family’s heritage.  We didn’t make it to Louisville until we were both past 50.

That first trip – 20 years ago this year – was all due to Lamar.  He’d never given up on us.  He had kept our father’s address for decades; and although we had never before attended a Winston County reunion. Lamar always sent invitations and other McMillin news.  In 1999, when he was President of the Clan McMillan Society of North American and was hosting its annual gathering here in Mississippi, Lamar, as faithful as ever, sent us yet another invitation.  I knew my 82 year old father wanted to go, so I said, ‘Let’s go!”  I called my nephew, Andrew, then a student at Texas State University, to help me with the driving.

That was my father’s last trip to Winston County – and my first.

At our first Saturday night cookout, we met the Bennett sisters and their niece, Jane Bennett Barefoot.  I wish you could have seen Virginia Ward’s face light up when she met my father.  ‘Oh, it’s my Cousin Rush! ’ she cried.  ‘I thought I’d never get to meet you!’  Virginia and her cousin Rush McMillin were both in their 80’s.

For the first time in my life I saw – and actually felt – that I did indeed fit in somewhere.  It was life-changing.  Lamar had opened the door – and Virginia had led us through it.

During subsequent reunions, Lamar astounded me with his stories and encyclopedic knowledge of McMillin history and genealogy.  And he inspired me to learn as much as I possibly can.

Thank you, Lamar, for preserving and giving us the great gift of our heritage – this roomful of blessings I see before me, this property that Shakespeare described as ‘the grace of kinsmen.’    Thank you for being so impassioned and so insistent that we learn about the bonds we share; that we share that learning with each other; and that we pass it on in due time to future generations.

By so doing, we honor Lamar and perpetuate his very precious legacy.   To Lamar!”

Reports were given during the business meeting.  Jamie McMillin, Cemetery Fund Chairman, will  do some research needed to begin either restoring or replacing damaged monuments  in Louisville cemeteries of early McMillin descendants.

The same slate of officers were kept for the upcoming 2019 -2020 year:  David Carlton McMillin, President; Jonathan McMillin of Madison, Vice President;  Claire Crowell of Louisville, Treasurer; and Sylvia McMillin, Secretary.

The 70th reunion’s date was set:  July 25 and 26th, 2020.

Stephen Lee McMillin, son of Lamar, led the group in “A MacMillan Exhortation” written by his dad in 1999 to conclude the reunion:  “Remember the poor, pray for the sick….continue to learn to aid the distressed.”

From Louisville:  Claire Crowell, Patrick & Barbara McMillin Ezell, Charles William Haggard, Kevin Hudson, Linda Hudson, Jamie & Lisa McMillin, Jay & Megan McMillin & children  Jayson, Parker & Ava;  Paul &  Hannah McMillin & son, Grayson;  Daniel & Tia Parker & son, Ellis;  Johnny Woodward;  Larry & Margaret Woodward

From Alabama:  Hallie Jean Blalock, Tuscaloosa; Ken & Libby Blalock, Tuscaloosa;

From Georgia:  Missy McMillin Crew and children, Maggie, Samuel, Eleanor, Eli and Isaac, Ringgold; Byron, Ashley, Audrey, Buddy & Edith Gatewood, Marietta;  David, Ashley & Cole Haggard, Cumming;

From Louisiana:  Faith & Frazier Bahm, Franklinton;  Whitney Bahm & children, Fielder, Vaida, Raina, Franklinton; Percy Mac & Lenora Frazier, Franklinton;  Larry & Patri Gast, Folsom;  Robert Thomas, Saint Charles; Suzanne Haggard, Metarie, LA;  David & Leesa McMillin, Monroe; Robert & Hope Smith & children, River & Cash,  Walker;

From Mississippi (other than Louisville):  Jane Bennett Barefoot, Clinton; Bonnie Broadway, Pascagoula;  Tim Gordon (bagpiper), Carthage; Thomas Hammack, Gulfport; Mike & Mary Lynn McCully, Eupora; Carol McMillin, Vicksburg;  Shirley McMillin, Carthage; Stephen & Jennifer Lynn McMillin & children, Lynlee & Lyla, Vicksburg; Charlie & Ashley McMillin Moomaw & children Grayson, Millin & Charleston, Madison; Laura Mullens, Clinton; Dave & Carol Bennett Peebles, Starkville; Sherron Bennett Somerville, Tupelo;

From Tennessee:  Danna McMillin Bennett, Mt. Juliet;  Ann McMillin, Ooltewah, John & Sylvia McMillin, Ooltewah; Bob Moore, Collierville; Jimmy Moore, Collierville; Keith Moore, Memphis

From Texas:  Alan Donoho, Dallas; Janet Donoho, Dallas; Andrew Faulkner & son, Mac, Houston;  Sue  McMillin Faulkner, Lampasas;  David Lamar and Grace Lo McMillin & son, Ethan Lamar, Dallas; Jane McMillin, Lampasas.