Pearl Lucile McMillan, 95, passed away on June 4, 2008 at the home of her younger daughter, Karen Young, in Kirkwood, Missouri, where she had resided for almost 16 years.
She was born on February 3, 1913 in Quinlan, Oklahoma, the daughter of George and Nellie (Anthony) Emrich.
After the sudden death of her young mother, 18-month-old Pearl and her older brother, Ervin, were raised by their grandmother, Emilie Emrich of Longford, Kansas. When their father returned to Kansas and remarried, he and his wife, Nellie Young, raised Pearl, Ervin and their four siblings. Pearl graduated from Longford High School and married Earl Ira McMillan, her former high school principal, on August 12, 1931. She taught all eight grades in a one-room school house for a school term before the birth of their first child, Betty Jean.
A dream to get away from the Kansas dust storms and use Earl’s agriculture degree led them to buy a farm on Mt. Ararat Ridge south of Cabool, Missouri, in 1935. It was a beautiful community, centered on the church and school, and a wonderful place to raise their daughters. They worked their farm side by side and were mainly dairy farmers. Later in life they became beef farmers, as a sort of retirement. For many years they opened their home on election days as the polling place for voters in the area. They were active in the community and Mt. Ararat Missionary Baptist Church for the 57 years they lived there.
Pearl gave her heavy heart to the Lord while praying in a brooder house and was baptized in the North Fork River. She taught Sunday school, played the piano and enjoyed the fellowship of her church. She was a charter member of the Better Homemaker’s Extension Club, Douglas County Extension Club and helped organize the local 4-H club. Pearl enjoyed many types of arts and crafts through the years, including crochet, embroidery, sewing and quilt making, plaster plaques, candle making and tole and oil painting.
Pearl had a vivacious personality, joyful heart and a gentle spirit. Earl always said she would raise her hand to go somewhere before she knew where they were going. She was a “go, go girl.” Friends, neighbors, family and sometimes strangers were welcomed at their table with hearty meals from the farm. The garden and livestock provided most food for the family and many guests. Her grandchildren especially loved her cinnamon rolls and fondly remember times spent with their grandparents on the farm.
Pearl was preceded in death by her parents; Earl, her husband of 64 years; a brother, Ervin Emrich; a sister, Dot Kiem; and her sons-in-law, Allan Morris and Steve Young.
She is survived by her two daughters, Jean Morris DeWitt of Hollister, Missouri, and Karen Young of Kirkwood; grandchildren Pam and Ray Jones, Cindy and Bob DiStefano, Greg and Cindy Morris, Lucinda and Brad Wadle, and Tammy and David Dowell; great-grandchildren Valerie, Will, Michelle, Anson, Trevor, Jessica, Conor, Ashlyn and Abigail; one great-great-grandson, J.J; siblings Arlene Smith, Lorene Cecil and Jim Emrich; and many nieces and nephews.
Services were held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, June 7, 2008, at Mt. Ararat Missionary Baptist Church with Pastor Ed Plants officiating. Pallbearers were Greg Morris, Ray Jones, Bob DiStefano, Brad Wadle and David Dowell. Interment was in Mt. Ararat Cemetery under the direction of the Elliott-Gentry-Carder Funeral Home of Cabool.
Memorials may be given to Mt. Ararat Missionary Baptist Church or to Mt. Ararat Cemetery. Those may be left at the funeral home or in care of Verlin Rogers, Route 1 Box 94, Mtn. Grove, MO 65711.