Ernest Joseph “Pops” MacMillan of New Waterford, passed away peacefully after a brief illness Sunday March 3, 2019, with his family by his side at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital, one day before his 82nd birthday.
He was born on March 4,1937 in New Waterford to the late Arthur and Mary Bernadette “Bernie” (Boudreau) MacMillan.
While still in his teenage years, Ernie enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1954, a vocation that ultimately shaped much of his life’s journey. It was in the RCAF that he met the love of his life, Doreen, whom he married in May of 1961. Together they raised four children, while stationed in Ottawa and later Summerside, before they ultimately returned to New Waterford in 1975.
Ernie was deeply proud of his family. He reveled in the lives of every one of his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. To each of them he was a shining model of gracious love, patience and kindness and he will be forever missed.
Having spent much of his service in Europe, he fostered a great love of travel. He enjoyed accompanying family and friends on vacations and road trips, regularly travelling hundreds of kilometers to spend time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and to keep in touch with old friends.
He lived life to the fullest, and until his death chose to joyfully embrace the gifts that each day brought with enthusiasm and humility. He would never miss a good kitchen party, he was rarely beaten in a game of cards, and among his many passions were golf, wine, gardening, and giving back to his community by serving with the Knights of Columbus.
Left to celebrate his life and mourn his passing are his wife Doreen (Clarke) MacMillan; children Kevin MacMillan, Jeannette (Kenneth) Pearson, Darren MacMillan, all of New Waterford and David (Barbara-Ann) MacMillan of Trenton. He is also survived by his grandchildren Jason (Alison) Pearson, Michelle Passmore, Troy MacMillan, Andrew (Kirstie) Pearson, Shannon Puddicombe, Anthony MacMillan, Gregory Grace, Jordan Pearson, Justin MacMillan, Taylor MacMillan, Jessica MacMillan, Kerri MacMillan, and Emily MacMillan; great-grandchildren Brandi MacMillan, Logan Saunders, Abbey Saunders, Aidan MacDonald, Landon MacMillan, Emily Dueyer, Benjamin Pearson, Claire Pearson, Zoey Corbett, Maria Pearson, Kiona Passmore, Jessie Corbett and Bailey MacMillan; his great-great-grandchild Dante MacMillan; and his sisters, Mary MacMillan, Grace White, and Peggy (Pierce) Sampson.
He was predeceased by his parents (1998), and sister Joan MacMillan (2014).
At his request, no funeral service will be held and there will be no visitation. Cremation has taken place under the care and direction of V.J. McGillivray Funeral Home, 380 Smith St., New Waterford. Donations in his memory may be made to the An Cala Palliative Care Unit at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital, Sydney or a charity of one's choice. Online expressions of sympathy may be sent to the family at www.vjmcgillivray.ca.