Cover photo for William Stephen "Steve" McMillen's Obituary
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1945 William 2020

William Stephen "Steve" McMillen

November 24, 1945 — February 1, 2020

William Stephen "Steve" McMillen, 74, of Columbus, Ohio, died at 12:34 a.m. on Saturday, February 1, 2020.

Born on November 24, 1945, in Crossville, Tennessee, he was the son of Gordon A. and Barbara (Resor) McMillen. At the time of his birth, the McMillen family was living in Tennessee while Steve's father worked on the Manhattan Project, an effort to develop a functional atomic weapon.

Steve graduated from Van Wert High School in 1964.

Steve honorably served in the US Army during the Vietnam War and following an injury in November 1967, he was awarded a Purple Heart.

Steve lived life fully, with vigor and without fear. In 1969, he raced across the Bonneville Flats and into the record books, capturing a land speed record of 114.904 mph on his British BSA motorcycle. He was also a licensed pilot and delighted friends and family with trips here and there, once skillfully landing his plane in the darkness without the aid of lighting on the airstrip in Van Wert.

Inheriting his father's inquisitive mind and an aptitude for engineering, he enjoyed figuring things out. Many remember his ability to fix almost anything, a skill that served him well throughout his life.

He worked for the US Postal Service for several years, was employed by a newspaper in Columbus and enjoyed his latter years as a caretaker for the historic Union Cemetery in Columbus. He enjoyed the peace and solitude of the cemetery and helped loved ones find what they were looking for.

Steve had a passion for gardening and was known for his prize-winning sunflowers. He delighted in the migration patterns and habits of hummingbirds, contemplated the paths of airplanes overhead, mused at the beauty of sunset and considered the constellations above. He sought greater understanding and held a deep sense of wonder about the world around him.

He will be remembered for his great kindness, giving nature and living life his own way.

Steve is survived by his daughter, Jennifer, a son-in-law and three grandchildren. He is also survived by a twin sister, Sue (Dan) Knight of Fort Wayne, Indiana; a brother, Kent (Linda Prill) McMillen of Van Wert; a sister Francesca (Ben Lobue) McMillen of Grand Junction, Colorado; and Kathy (Doug) DeCamp of Florida; nieces Erin McMillen, Rhonda Perry, Melissa Friemoth, Theresa Thompson, Angela Parker and Shelley Kohagen; nephews Greg DeCamp and Tim Winans; extended family and many friends. He was preceded in death by his parents.

A Celebration of Life will be held from 2-5 p.m. on Saturday, February 29, 2020, at the Purdue Fort Wayne Alumni Center's Grand Lobby, 1528 East California Road, Fort Wayne.

Memorials may be given to the final expense fund in care of DeMoney-Grimes Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Dr., Columbia City, Indiana 46725. To send Steve's family condolences online, visit www.demoneygrimes.com .

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William Stephen "Steve" McMillen, please visit our flower store.

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