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Billy “Bill” Joe Millican - husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, marine, carpenter and avid golfer - departed this life on the morning of Friday, March 23rd, 2018 at his home in Oakland, Tennessee after a courageous battle with cancer. He was 83.
Bill was born in Wilson, Arkansas on April 12th, 1934 to Florine 'Garey' Millican and Sam Abner Millican. He attended Messick High School and was a proud member of the graduating class of 1953. Love walked into his life in the form of his wife, Shirley Stewart Millican, at the age of 15, when his eyes fell on a beautiful young lady in red pedal pushers as he stocked cokes on the shelves in Williams Grocery Store. That young lady would become “the love of my life” and he spent the next 69 years in love with her. They were married in July 1953,and celebrated 64 years of marriage, 2 children, 6 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren together.
Bill and Shirley welcomed their first child together into the world in 1955 and Bill found that he had fallen in love again when he first laid eyes on his little girl, Cheryl Ann. He later broke her heart when she learned that he couldn’t marry her and she had to settle for being his partner in crime, working on cars and going fishing together. Cheryl would continue to enjoy her dad’s company throughout her life. Last November, they were knee deep in sawdust together building a potting shed at the home shared by Cheryl and her husband Jim Haas. In 1957, they were blessed by a son, Rick Millican. Bill coached Rick’s softball team and shared his love for water skiing and camping with his son. They were often found working on Rick's first love, his motorcycle. Bill and Rick shared a special bond of father and son, as well as the position that most things could be fixed with hard work and duct tape.
Bill retired as Corporate Director from Promus Hotel in April 1997 after 28 years of service in Hospitality. Those that worked and knew him would say that his hospitality lived on outside the walls of the office and into the lives of others. Known for his shining smile and infectious laughter, he was a man of genuine kindness and quick wit, though known to throw a few good natured jabs your way if you were at his side during a round of golf. His love of golf was passed down to his sons and grandsons.
Building things with his hands was one of Bill’s greatest joys, second only to the love of his friends and family, who were often the beneficiaries of his works. He could often be found in his garage making custom furniture for his kids accompanied by Shirley, who always made sure that he wasn’t lacking any good advice or instruction. His projects were always built with amazing craftsmanship. His family would loving joke though that sometimes he measured only once and never considered that high quality was paid in pounds and 1 bookshelf may require 4 strong men to move.
Bill will be remembered for his wit and generosity, as well as having the best corny jokes and making the best burgers. He loved golf, woodwork, water skiing and his family most of all. The people he called friends and family were blessed to know him, to receive his love and enjoy his laughter. The world was better for him, he will be missed and loved forever.
Bill is survived by his wife, Shirley Stewart Millican ‘Nana’ of Oakland, TN; his daughter and son-in-law, Cheryl Millican Haas and Jim Dalton Haas of Somerville, TN; his son, Richard W. Millican ‘Rick’ of Germantown, TN; his sister-in-law, MaryAnn Millican of Reseda, CA; grandchildren, Melissa Martin (Adam) of Collierville, TN, Erik Haas (Lesley) of Memphis, TN, Kris Haas (Stacy) of Collierville, TN, Kristy Millican of Germantown, TN, Michelle Millican of Germantown, TN and Katrina ‘Katie’ Ashley (Shawn) of Collierville, TN.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Florine G. Millican and Sam A. Millican; his brothers, Sam A. Millican, Jr. and Jim B. Millican; and his daughter-in-law, Diana M. Millican.
A Celebration of Life Service for Mr. Millican was held at 4 P.M. Monday, March 26, 2018 at the Peebles West Funeral Chapel at Oakland with Reverend Canon Louis H Hayden, officiating. Interment was private. Arrangements were provided by Peebles Fayette County Funeral Homes & Cremation Center - West Chapel at Oakland.
The family requests memorials be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105-9959.