Loren Keith McMillan passed away January 27, 2024 at Gordon Memorial Hospital at the age of 88.
Loren was born May 3, 1935 in a sod house near Milburn, Nebr. to James and Stella (Peg) McMillan. He joined older brother Ted and sister Roberta followed two years later.
At the young age of seven he had his first job haying for his folks and the neighbor. Working all summer long putting up hay. Loren’s job was to run the stacker team of draft horses. It was hot, the days were long and there were a lot of flies. To the day he died he does not like horses.
Loren went to grade school in Milburn, attending high school in Broken Bow and excelling in football and track. While in high school he met his future wife Eva Jane Chase. After high school he worked for different ranchers in the sand hills. In 1956 he joined the Marine Corps for two years. Loren and Jane were married March 23, 1958, in Broken Bow. They moved to their present location thirteen miles west of Martin, S.D. and began farming in 1959. Loren and Jane recently celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary.
Besides farming Loren always had a second job. He worked for Leo Lowe Construction building terraces and waterways, which began his stewardship of the land. After Leo moved to Eastern South Dakota Loren took over the business. With this stewardship he served on many boards; Soil Conservation Board for 20 years, serving when they won the Conservation District of the Year and went to the National Convention in New Orleans and accepted the award. He also served on the board of South Dakota Association of Conservation Districts Area, Local Telephone Company board (later Bell Telephone Co.), Central School Board, F.H.A. Board, Farmers Coop Elevator Board as well as South Dakota land Improvement Contractors Association Director. In 1965 he was selected and received the award for the outstanding Conservation District Supervisor in South Dakota.
Loren was proud of his over 60 years of volunteering for the Batesland Volunteer Fire Department from 1961 to present. He served as Fire Chief for many of those years.
Loren enjoyed traveling, flying his Cessna 172 and showing his antique cars.
Loren was very honored to receive a Quilt of Valor this last July from the American Legion in Gordon.
He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Jane, daughters Lorna (Joe) Slattery, Cindy Embree, Gin (Darrell) Stelling and grandchildren Dr. Breanna and Dr. Casey Slattery, Nicole Embree, Eva and Stella McMillan-Stelling.
He was proceeded in death by his parents Jim and Stella (Peg), older brother Ted (Betty) and sister Roberta (Tuff).
Service will be held Friday, February 2, at the new American Legion in Martin at 10 a.m. Lunch to follow, burial in the Gordon cemetery followed by cake and coffee at the American Legion in Gordon to visit and share stories.
A memorial has been established at the Bennett Co. Library or donate to the charity of your choice.