In memory of those who have Crossed the Bar


James Randolph (J.R. / Jim) McMillan


Stoker, RCN


Born: 1927, Horse Lake, British Columbia


Died: 11 Feb 2022, Kamloops, British Columbia


McMILLAN, James Randolph (J.R. / Jim) - We are saddened to announce the death of Jim McMillan, age 94, on February 11, 2022 in Kamloops, BC. He passed at Kamloops Seniors Village.


Jim was born at the family ranch at Horse Lake, BC. He was the second youngest of nine children born to Oma Augusta and Robert Davidson McMillan. He spent much of his life in the Cariboo. Jim did most of his schooling in Lone Butte. After completing grade 8 in 1944, he joined four of his brothers in the sawmilling business at Horse Lake. From February 1946 to March 1947, Jim served in the Navy, as a Stoker on the HMCS UGANDA. He then returned to Horse Lake and the sawmilling industry, working with his brothers. In 1949, Jim and his younger brother Glenn logged for the Jens brothers of Canim Lake Sawmills. In 1950, they incorporated their business as McMillan Contractors and soon after started a portable bush mill before building a permanent mill at Lone Butte in the early 1960s.


In 1949, Jim met Sheila Boyd of North Vancouver at a dance at the Watch Lake Hall. The couple were married in April 1951. Jim and Sheila's first home was the cookhouse at Jim's logging camp on the East end of Canim Lake. They moved to Lone Butte in November 1951, to the 108 Mile Ranch in 1975, and then to Kamloops in 2011.


Jim was a very ingenious man, who was determined to improve the efficiency of his sawmill. With the help of many like-minded people, he succeeded, with his use of narrow kerf saws and the subsequent high recovery documented by the Forest Products Laboratory in the British Columbia Lumberman (February and November 1969) and by Canadian Forest Industries in March 1969 Visitors (111 in seven months) came from around the world to tour the mill, and Jim was hired by Evans Products to design their mill at Lillooet. After Jim and Glenn sold the company in 1978, Jim also designed a mill in Lytton for Lew McArthur.


Jim loved to golf. He learned to play at Williams Lake, practiced at the 9 hole course at the 103 Mile (and sometimes in a field on the Watch Lake Road near the Hinsche ranch), and became a member of the 108 Golf Club when it first opened. He was the chair of the Cariboo Open Golf Tournament for several years in the early 1970s, in the days when the pros came to play!


In the early 1980s he worked on the revitalization of the 100 Mile Hall with members of the 100 Community Association, after the hall had fallen into disrepair following the opening of the 100 Mile Arena.


Jim generously supported a number of charities over the years, including the Shriner Children's Hospitals, the South Cariboo Health Foundation (SCHF), the Royal Inland Hospital Foundation in Kamloops, and the B.C. Children's Hospital Foundation.


For over 30 years Jim and Sheila wintered in Palm Desert, California, enjoying the warmth and the golf. They played regularly with the 'Brown Baggers'; many of whom were fellow BC snowbirds. They also enjoyed travelling and were able to see many parts of the world including the traditional motorhome trip across Canada.


Jim leaves behind to cherish his memory his daughters Lorna McMillan (Robin Johnson), Leslie Watson (Jamie), and Barbara McMillan (Yen Jong) and grandchildren Sheila and Ian Johnson, Alex and Michael Watson, and Sophia and Brian Jong, brother-in-law Alan Boyd (Janet), sisters-in-law Shirley McMillan and Leslie Ginther, and numerous nieces and nephews. Jim was predeceased by his wife Sheila, his parents and his siblings Archie, Alex, Ross, Mary Higgins, Clarence and Glenn.


Thanks to Lisa and all the staff at Kamloops Seniors Village for their kindness and support during Dad's residence there. Thank you to Dr. Malan for his treatment of Dad and to Dr. De Villiers and Brianna for their compassion in delivering MAiD to Dad.


A celebration of Jim and Sheila's lives will take place later, when we can gather in large numbers. Donations in Jim's memory can be made to the Canadian Red Cross or a charity dear to your heart. (Kamloops This Week 01 Mar 2022)


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