Monday, June 24, 2024

Donald McMillan, 86

| February 8, 2024 12:00 AM

Donald James McMillan – 1937-2024

Donald James McMillan, 86, passed away peacefully on Jan. 27, 2024, in Sun City, Ariz. He was born Feb. 15, 1937, in Los Angeles, Calif., and raised in Butte, Mont.

Don married Helen Allene Ashley in 1959 and they were married for 64 years. Helen passed away Jan. 17, 2024, just 10 days before Don’s passing.

Don is survived by his daughter, Deanna Tymofichuk of Salt Lake City, Utah. He also leaves behind a brother, John Merrett, of Albuquerque, N.M.; three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, along with numerous nieces and nephews. Don was preceded in death by his wife, Helen, and daughter Dorothy Heil, and his parents, Alexander Neil MacMillan and Helen Margaret (Kalousek) McMillan.

Don attended grade school, high school and college in Butte. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Metallurgical Engineering from Montana School of Mineral Science and Technology in 1961. In 1989 Don obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Accounting from Montana State University.

Don had a very successful professional career spanning over 40 years. Upon graduation in 1961, Don and Helen moved to Columbia Falls, where Don was employed by the Anaconda Aluminum Company/ARCO Metals Company, between 1961 and 1985. As a key member of Anaconda/ARCO, Don held several responsible positions including: Potline Engineer, Paste Plant Superintendent, Potline Superintendent, and Special Projects Manager. 

Following graduation from Montana State University in 1989, Don was hired as the director of Utah Operations for Brush Wellman Inc. located in Delta, Utah. Their mine is the only domestic source of one critical mineral, beryllium, which has many uses, including everything from space technology to household light switches. Don retired in 2002 as president of Brush Resources, Inc.

In addition to his work career, Don was very active in supporting his community, serving on numerous boards and commissions, including: member, United Methodist Church; President, Columbia Falls Jaycees; member, Columbia Falls Zoning Commission; Chairman for CARE (Chemical Awareness through Responsive Education); Trustee, Columbia Falls School Board; Director, Columbia Falls Chamber of Commerce; Chairman, North Valley Hospital; member, Utah Seven County Economic Development Committee; Chairman, Utah BLM Resource Advisory Committee; Chairman, IHC Millard County Hospitals; President, Utah Mining Association – to name just a few.

Upon retirement, Don continued to be involved in his community, both in Polson and at Royal Oaks in Sun City, Ariz.  Don’s attitude about life is expressed in one of his favorite quotes from Winston Churchill, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

A ceremony to honor Don’s life will be held at a later date.

    Helen and Don McMillan