La Grande, Oregon
Carl Richard McMillen, 71, of Spirit Lake, Idaho, and formerly of La Grande, died April 7 in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho. Celebration of life services begin at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Clark Fork Senior Center in Idaho. A private family interment will follow at the Clark Fork Cemetery. Loveland Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.
Carl was born June 26, 1936, to Maxine Petrina Skillingstad and William Hyrum McMillen in Salt Lake City. During WWII the family moved to San Francisco to work in the war effort. Carl attended grade school in San Francisco at Parkside Elementary and at the age of 6 sold newspapers with his brother Phillip on the street corner in the Sunset District in downtown San Francisco.
At 17, Carl enlisted in the Marines and was in active duty during the Korean War. Carl served in the Marine Corps from 1954 to 1962 and received special recognition for sharpshooting.
In 1955, Carl married Maxine Sanders in Oklahoma City and they settled in Woodland, Calif., and had three children. Carl worked for Yolo Engineers as a land surveyor until 1968.
In 1965, Carl married Maurine June Walton, who he had known since she went to high school with his sister Darlene. Maurine had three children that he raised as his own, and together they had three more.
In January 1968, Carl moved his family to Everett, Wash., and worked for Ruskin-Fisher, Group Four and Sadler Surveying. Carl was a licensed land surveyor in Washington, Alaska, Montana, Idaho and Utah. In 1971 Carl worked on a top secret project in Point Barrow, Alaska, for the Navy as a surveyor.
In 1973 after obtaining his Idaho Land surveyors license, Carl and Maurine moved their family to Clark Fork, Idaho, where they started McMillen Land Surveying. During his years running McMillen Land Surveying, Carl was one of the largest local employers at the time. Carl had contracts all over the Northwest for the federal government. Together, Carl and Maurine later purchased and ran the Cedars Café, Playhouse Bar, Bucks Saloon and Alibi Charters.
Carl had a love of the outdoors and enjoyed collecting guns, knives, belt buckles, coins and antique surveying equipment. He received his captain’s license in 1971 and could be found on the weekends cruising around Lake Pend Oreille with his friends and family on the Alibi. Carl was a member of the VFW and the American Legion.
Carl is survived by his sister, Lani Eisemann of Grove, Okla.; brothers, William and Lois McMillen of Lake Havasu, Ariz., and Bobby and Leanne McMillen of California; daughters, Lynn and Tony Bierwagen of Thompson Falls, Mont., Helen and Rick Valenzuela of Round Rock, Texas, Vickie Broeder and Mike Walker of Priest River, Idaho, Michelle and Wayne Becker of Clark Fork, Carla and Kevin Loveland of La Grande; and sons, Thomas Hayden Church of Utopia, Texas, Andy Quesada of Canyon Lake, Texas, Eric Lofstrom of Priest River and Raymond McMillen of Spirit Lake; 14 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. Carl was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Phillip McMillen; sister, Darlene Wolfe; and ex-wives, Maurine McMillen and Shirley “Wilson” McMillen.
La Grande Observer, Obituaries for the week ending April 12, 2008