Thomas Marion McMillin, 85, of Fairborn, Ohio, passed away May 9, 2013.
Tom was born Feb. 23, 1928 in Rush County, a son of Harry A. and Nelle A. (Kennedy) McMillin and a grandson of famed Indiana covered bridge builder Emmett L. Kennedy.
A 1945 graduate of Rushville High School, Tom then graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1949 from Purdue University. While attending Purdue, Tom was enrolled in Air Force ROTC and earned Distinguished Military Student recognition. He served in the United States Air Force from 1952 to 1954; upon discharge from active duty, Tom entered the Air Force Civil Service at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, where his first work was with bombers from B-17’s to B-70’s.
Mr. McMillin earned a Master’s Degree in Aeronautical Engineering in 1964 from the Air Force Institute of Technology. While at Wright-Patterson AFB, he was involved with the research development and production of a wide variety of military weapons systems. He attained the level of Director of Aeronautical Systems Division’s AGM-65 “Maverick Missile” System Program Office, earning him the nickname “Mr. Maverick,” contributed on the development of other military armament systems and worked on the development of mid-air refueling for aircraft. Tom received several commendations throughout his 37 years of federal service including the William R. Mosley Award for his contributions to engineering in ammunition production for $240 million in savings to the U. S. government in 1988. In 2005, Tom was awarded a Distinguished Alumnus Award from his high school.
Tom loved flying in all forms, having piloted single engine aircraft most of his life and been a member of the Flying Angels flying club. He also flew model airplanes, enjoyed square dancing, water skiing, fishing, gardening and loved his family.
Tom is survived by Celia, his wife of 34 years; a son, James and wife Louella McMillin of Fairborn, Ohio; daughters, Carol and husband Don Jackson of Ocala, Fla. and Margaret Nevarez of Fairborn, Ohio; step sons, Jack Avery of Kettering, Ohio, and Michael and wife Lori Wright of Xenia, Ohio; 19 grandchildren; 34 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.
In addition to his parents, Tom was preceded in death by brothers, Richard McMillin and William (Bob) McMillin; and sisters, Mildred Benson and Marjorie Suttle, all of Rush County.
At this time, no service is planned.
In lieu of flowers, a donation to a charity of the donor’s choice is suggested by the family.