Patrick Lawrence McMillan, a beloved father, brother, uncle, friend, and believer, passed away on June 8th, at the age of 69. Pat was born on October 8th, 1950 in Tonasket, Washington to Leota (Michels) and Larry McMillan.Pat grew up in Loomis, Washington on a ranch above Spectacle Lake. He was raised on an orchard, which inspired his love of plants and trees from a young age. Pat spent his early years hunting, fishing and exploring the beautiful landscapes of Palmer Mountain and the rest of Okanogan County. When he wasn’t exploring nature, he enjoyed tying flies and playing baseball; he was also a talented trumpet player. He was drawn to anything that involved time with his dad and, like his father, tended to be successful at anything he put his mind to.
Pat attended Washington State University and earned his degree in Horticulture in 1972. After graduating, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy to be a pilot. He was honorably discharged and then moved to Alaska in 1974. Pat worked as a logger in Anchor Point and moved to Anchorage to work as a horticulturist for the Municipality of Anchorage. There he met his wife, Patricia Kalina. The two were married in 1980 (later divorced) and had two children, Nicole and Whitney and a labrador, Dax. Pat’s daughters will always remember their dad’s love of Alaska and his desire to share that love with them through camping trips, salmon and halibut fishing, clam digging, observing eagles and watching planes at Merrill Field.Pat had many skills; he was a certified welder, held a commercial pilot’s license, and completed a log cabin building school. Pat found his professional calling working on the North Slope as a heavy equipment operator in 1977. Pat worked on the Slope until 1990, when he transitioned to Kulis Air National Guard Base. Pat retired in 2012; he loved working and cherished the many friends he met through work.
Pat returned to Washington in 2013. He bought a house in Tonasket and lived a happy life, spending time with family and friends, tending to his beautiful yard and garden, taking drives (often in his treasured red Chevy pickup), building and flying model airplanes, woodworking, cooking and metal detecting. He always had a box of dog treats in his vehicles and cat food for his neighborhood cats, who came to visit him every morning. He spent his last days doing things he loved and his last waking moments were spent with his sister, Joanne, which undoubtedly brought him great comfort.
Pat will be remembered for his warmth and kindness, bright smile, big hugs, hearty laugh, sound advice and loving cards. He will also be remembered for his deep love of Alaska and Washington, his open heart and the love and compassion he shared with others.
Pat was preceded in death by his mother and father. He is survived by his daughters, Nicole McMillan and Whitney (Richard) Talmage; sister, Joanne (Dal) Dagnon; brothers, Mike (Gretchen) McMillan and Jeff (Marva) McMillan and many cousins, nieces and nephews. They will all hold him in their hearts and miss him deeply. Pat would be touched to know that he will live on not only in the hearts of his loved ones, but also through the gift of his corneas, which were donated after his passing, restoring a woman’s eyesight.
A small family service will be held in late July. The family would like to honor Pat through memorial donations to Trout Unlimited, a cause Pat believed in and donated to himself. To donate, please call 1-800-834-2419 or visit https://www.tu.org/get-involved/donate/ways-to-give/memorial-honorary-donations/. Bergh Funeral Service & Crematory is in care of arrangements.