Ronald Allen McMillin was born in Mankato, MN and raised on a farm outside of Ruthven, Iowa. He attended grade school in Ruthven and graduated with the class of 1962 from Ruthven-Ayrshire High School. After graduation he went to Iowa State University before joining the Navy. While in training with the Navy, he was found to have an aptitude for languages and was assigned to learn Chinese to assist in translating coded messages during the Vietnam War. After the Navy he worked many jobs in the community, always wanting to learn new things. In his 60s he went back to school at Iowa Lakes Community College and earned his degree.
While Ron enjoyed learning about many things, his passion was genealogy. Anytime you would sit down with him he would tell you a story of distant relatives; where they originated from and how they came to settle in another area. He could tell you how you were related to royalty or presidents. Ron traveled to cemeteries and historical societies across the country to hunt down information about his ancestors. He loved sharing the information he learned with everyone. Ron didn’t have any children of his own, but will always be remembered as the fun, silly Uncle Ron. He loved to play with the kids and always had a fun toy with him. He was never afraid to be silly. Ron was known to put Christmas bows on his head or wear a basket for a hat and get others to do it too! He had an uncanny way of knowing what kids would like; whether it be a box of rocks, a good book, a guitar, a stuffed animal, or a giant box of legos from a garage sale; Ron’s gifts were always enjoyed.
Ron passed away at the age of 78 on Thursday the 26th of January 2023 at his home in Everly, Iowa.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Lester and Gladys (Goodrich) McMillin; by two sisters: Patricia McMillin and Marjorie (McMillin) Vaagen; by two brothers-in-law: Richard Wilson of Flourtown, Pennsylvania and Russell Vaagen of Adel, Iowa; and nephew-in-law Joshua Miller.
He is survived by his sister Janis (McMillin) Wilson; niece Kathryn (Vaagen) Franz, her husband Robert and their children Tobin, Jasper, Elias, Gideon and Sylvia Franz; niece Sarah (Vaagen) Miller and her children Evelyn and Adelaide Miller; as well as many cousins and friends.