Published January 18, 2020
Published January 18, 2020
JEAN O’DONNELL MICHIE (MACMILLAN) was born in Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland on December 13, 1931. She returned to Canada with her mother and two siblings, Betty (deceased), and, Andy (living), when she was 5 years old. Jean and Ed MacMillan met as children and began their 69 year marriage as dating teenagers. Married on Sept. 1, 1951, she gave birth to Randy in 1952 and Cynthia in 1959. With Ed always by her side, they owned and operated several businesses in Cornwall. Their first confectionary store in 1964 (456 Fourth st. W), then created MacMillan’s Wholesale, MacMillan’s Milk convenience store (Cumberland St.), a Seafood Shop (Second St. W), the Top Dog hot dog stand, The Loose Caboose and MacMillan’s Quik & Easy (Marlborough St.) until she retired in 2006.
Jean was heavily involved with the CCF Party in the 1950″s, then the NDP from 1961 until her death. She was passionately opposed to the Vietnam war and fearlessly pounded the pavement to clear a path for social justice. She was an active and long standing member of the Voice of Women-Canada and associated with many political entities, such as ; Consumer and Corporate Affairs (Cornwall Resource Centre), Landlord and Tenant Advisory Bureau, and, Women’s Aid and Guidance Group (NYC). She donated countless hours of her time, energy, and, money, to social causes and the political entities she believed in. She thoroughly enjoyed travelling to warmer climate in winter, entertaining, attending political conventions, rallies, and protests. Plagued with health issues since birth, she missed her Scottish family immensely and a piece of her heart always remained in the old country. Hit by a car at 65 and her back broken, a tumour removed from her brain twice before 80 yrs old, did not slow her down. She was opinionated, difficult, and, demanding, she was ambitious, compassionate, and, generous. She firmly believed in having as much fun as possible. Her life as she knew it ended when Ed was moved into long term care. Her declining health and mobility were a source of depression that she was unable to recover from. After contracting a serious infection she made a choice to stop all meds keeping her alive, she chose her time to die. She was brave, so very brave, and her wishes were respected. Jean would like to remind us that it is cruel and inhumane to separate elderly couples~companions due to health issues and equally cruel to prolong death. We own the right to choose our last breath because death is inescapable. Jean felt very strongly that when she could no longer move about painlessly and no longer have fun on her own terms, her life was over. She took her last breath on Saturday, January 4, 2020 at 9:10 p.m.