Michael McMillen


Michael N. McMillen, 46, died Dec. 16, 2017, at Eastern Maine Medical Center after a short illness. He was surrounded by family and friends. His family wishes to thank the medical staff of the EMMC Intensive Care Unit for their extraordinary level of care of Mike and concern for us, with special appreciation of Dr. Robert Chavko and RN Ken Grunder. We also wish to thank our dear friends and extended family for their comfort and support during our ordeal.

Mike was born in Boston to Michael and Elizabeth McMillen on March 5, 1971. His childhood was spent in Lamoine. He graduated from the Hyde School in Bath and from the University of Montana in Missoula, with a degree in psychology. While in Missoula, he was for two years the primary caregiver for a young man with ALS, a task he carried through until the young man’s death.

Returning to Maine, he spent several years in Portland in the mental health care field. After moving to Bangor, he worked for several years in customer service at MBNA/Bank America, and LL Bean, and also as a painting contractor.

Mike loved the outdoors and was an avid rock climber and fisherman and shared these enthusiasms with friends and family. He was also extremely fond of dogs and always had one as a companion in his life.

He will be remembered by his family and extensive network of friends as an exceedingly kind and compassionate person. He is sorely missed by his mother, Elizabeth Cashin McMillen of Lamoine, by his father and stepmother Mike and Abbie McMillen of Harborside, by his step-siblings David Page of Penobscot and Vivian Page of Cumberland, his longtime partner Kathy Castania and her daughter Rebecca Sanchez of Bangor, and by numerous relatives and friends. He was predeceased by his stepfather, John Jerabek of Lamoine.

The immediate cause of Mike’s death was respiratory failure brought on by a lifelong affliction with asthma, complicated by recent heroin abuse. His family is making this information public in the hope that it will stir other families to seek professional care for loved ones facing similar battles and all families to take with utter seriousness the spiritual, emotional and psychological nurturing of their children.

Dangerous drugs are pervasive in our society. Every household is at risk, and people of all backgrounds and all walks of life. Approximately 60,000 people now die each year in the United States from drug overdoses, more Americans than died in Vietnam during that entire war. Each is a personal tragedy for those who loved them.

To think that we can protect our children and loved ones by keeping them away from drugs is folly in the same way as thinking we can prevent their drowning by keeping them away from water. The only way to do that is to teach swimming. We need to teach our children to swim through the very dark waters of our world. Only then can we hope that they will reach distant shores in safety. Each family will find its own way to do this, but we fail to do it at our peril, and even then the outcome is in the hands of God.

Funeral arrangements will be private. There will be a gathering of friends and family next summer to celebrate Mike’s life.

Meanwhile friends wishing to do something in Mike’s memory may contribute to a scholarship fund established in his name at the Maine Community Foundation. The fund will benefit students from Brooksville with a preference for those entering careers in the caring professions such as: medicine, social work, counseling, early childhood education, and eldercare. Donations may be mailed to the Michael N. McMillen Scholarship Fund, Brooksville Education Foundation c/o the Maine Community Foundation, 245 Main St., Ellsworth, ME 04605.




Know when to pay your respects.