Longtime Key Peninsula resident Janice Lucille McMillan died Aug. 1 after a lengthy illness.
Janice was born at Tacoma General Hospital June 2, 1930, to Ella and Vernon Grosser. She graduated from Stadium High School and the University of Puget Sound, and married her college sweetheart, Hugh McMillan, in June 1952. She followed him around the world in his career as a United States diplomat, living for extended periods in Japan, India, Egypt, Greece and Turkey. The couple settled in the small town of Home on the Key Peninsula, where they lived together for the next 42 years.
Internationally acclaimed as “the hostess with the mostest,” Janice was an engaging conversationalist who made guests feel welcome and put everyone at ease. She was an accomplished gourmet chef, Japanese ikebana flower arranger, seamstress and interior decorator. She enjoyed gardening and was a voracious reader. Everyone who visited the McMillan household delighted in the bottomless cookie jar, and the few special friends lucky enough to taste one of her apple or marionberry pies knew they had experienced a piece of perfection.
Devoted to community service, Janice was a volunteer for the U.S. Information Service and a fundraiser for English language libraries in Japan, India and Greece. She later served as a senior member of the Key Peninsula Health Board and the Key Peninsula Orthopedics Guild, and volunteered at the Angel Guild in Key Center. However, she proudly maintained that her most significant accomplishments were as a homemaker and devoted mother of her two sons, Lance and Marshall. When her husband Hugh was recognized as Citizen of the Year by the Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce, he remarked that “while some of you have jokingly said that I walk on water, it’s only because my beloved wife, Janice, has always been there below the surface, holding me up so that it would look that way.”
Janice is survived by her husband Hugh and son Lance. She will be deeply missed by her family and many close friends.
A celebration of life will be held at the KP Civic Center in Vaughn Oct. 3 at 3 p.m. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to the Peninsula Schools Education Foundation or The Mustard Seed Project.
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