Sunday, January 29, 2017

James F. "Jim" McMillin

James Frank “Jim” McMillin was born in Winston County on February 15, 1938, and went to be with his Lord and Savior on January 29, 2017. Funeral services for Jim will be held at 1:00 P. M. on Wednesday, Feb. 1st, at West Union Presbyterian Church, with interment to follow in Masonic Cemetery. Visitation will be Tuesday from 4:00 to 7:00 P.M. at Porter Funeral Home.  

He was preceded in death by his parents, Oliver Frank McMillin and Alice Irene Robison McMillin, his grandparents Frank Albert McMillin and Ella Watson McMillin, and his wife, Glenda Jolley McMillin.

Jim, or “Smiley” as many of his friends knew him due to his permanent grin and positive, contagious attitude, is survived by his sister, Barbara McMillin Webb; two nieces Amanda Webb Barker and Valerie Webb Calhoun; one nephew, William Webb; and five great nieces and nephews, Erin Gioia, Elizabeth Gioia, Webb Calhoun, Ryan Barker, and Marti Calhoun. He is also survived by five loving stepchildren: Michael Cravens, Mark Cravens, Keith Cravens, Paul Cravens, and Carol Cravens Swain; eight step grandchildren, and two great step grandchildren.
From the time he was born, Jim grew up working and loving the land in the North Winston County “Highpoint Community” where his family had made their home for several generations. Not only did Jim love the McMillin farm, but having been raised by strong Christian believers, his faith was also very important to him. He and his sister, Barbara, had many countless, fond memories of their days at West Union Presbyterian Church (located just a very short distance from their home) where he was baptized at age 11. Their parents had met for the very first time at West Union when his mom was a Sunday School missionary. Jim was a lifelong member and went on to serve West Union for many years as a deacon.

While they were still children, Jim and Barbara have had many fond memories of “trips to the bottom” with their mother, where they would take a jug of lemonade and sandwiches for a picnic on the “turtle back rock”. Jim would ride on the top of the watermelons on the wagon, and to his Uncle John Robinson’s discouragement, would throw some of the watermelons off just to hear them burst on the road.

Jim attended elementary school and high school in Louisville. He was very active in FFA and showed cows to earn extra spending money. Jim graduated from LHS in 1956. He then attended Mississippi State University, where he obtained his B.S. in Agriculture in 1961. His mother earned her Masters Degree at MSU the very same day.

In 1961 Jim joined Troop A 98th Cavalry of the Mississippi National Guard Armory in Louisville, and in 1962 he completed his U.S. Army Basic Training at the Army Training Center in Fort Jackson, South Carolina. This began a long passion for his involvement with the National Guard where he served for 37 years, many of those as the unit’s supply sergeant. He served active duty in Operation Desert Storm at Ft. Hood, Texas from 1990 to 1991, and retired from the guard in 1998.

Jim had many interests and constantly volunteered to help his fellow man. He loved flying, and as a pilot especially enjoyed flying over Winston County and the surrounding area. He cherished his years as a member of the Louisville Jaycees, and traveled to Washington DC as a representative. He greatly enjoyed his service on the local Mississippi Farm Bureau Board, the Highpoint Water Association Board, serving many years at President, assisting with his friends at Pearson Plumbing, and had many fond memories as a volunteer fireman with the Highpoint Volunteer Fire Department serving as the Assistant Fire Chief for over 30 years. He loved hunting and loved his life as a farmer, spending as much time outside on his family’s 300 acres as possible.

His family and friends will miss him greatly. Our memories of Jim’s smile and his slow, gentle manner will be cherished forever. Pallbearers will be David Mills, Giles Ward, Jerry Pearson, Terry Kelley, Keeny Mayo, Dave Dunlap, Kevin Hudson, and Dr. Jon Boyles. Honorary pallbearers will be Charles Kupis, Darryl Parkes, O.V. Hull, Mike Boyles, Terrell Bell, the former members of Troop A 98th Cavalry of the Mississippi National Guard, and the members of the Highpoint Volunteer Fire Department.

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