Obituary: John Milliken 24.08.35-15.11.19

John Milliken.

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John Milliken was born in 1935 in Renfrew, the middle child of William and Mary Milliken. He was born prematurely and was not expected to live – but he survived and went on to live a very active and fulfilling life.

His childhood was a happy one, attending Moorpark Primary School and later Hutcheson’s Boys School in Glasgow. His father William was a master hairdresser and owned a traditional gents’ barber shop in Renfrew.

John’s first job as a schoolboy was as a ‘soap-boy’ in his father’s shop, which he did not enjoy! Later John joined the BB and eventually became captain. He loved sport and as well as being a regular swimmer at Renfrew baths, he played football in the BB team.

In 1957, he married Morag Milne while training to be a chartered accountant. Shortly after the marriage, he was called up for National Service and served two years in the RAF, based mostly in the South of England. He sent postcards to Morag (where possible) every day for those two years.

John and Morag spent their honeymoon in Oban in 1957 and fell in love with the town and planned to return and set up home there. Tragedy was just around the corner when both John’s parents died suddenly and unexpectedly within five months of each other. This was followed shortly afterwards by his brother William dying in an accident aged just 22. (John’s sister Anne had passed away from illness aged nine).

Despite these sad circumstances, John continued to work hard to build a life for himself, Morag and their three children.

He was able to make the move to Oban in 1961 with Morag and their first child when he was appointed as chartered accountant with McArthur, Stewart and Orr. Later and with two more children born in Oban, John was offered a partnership in the company, but to accept this he had to train as a solicitor. He achieved this and was at that time one of only two people in Scotland to hold the posts of both chartered accountant and solicitor.

He spent almost his entire working life in McArthur, Stewart and later thankfully was able to enjoy many years of retirement.

Despite a busy working life he had very many outside interests which included singing, golf and climbing. He inherited a great joy of singing from his musical mother Mary and was a long-term member of both the parish church choir and Oban Bach Choir (becoming the first honorary member of the Bach choir).

The church was a big part of his life and he was Treasurer of Oban Parish church for many years. He also held the post of treasurer of the Bach Choir.

John also enjoyed being president of Oban Rotary Club as well as secretary, treasurer and later president of Glencruitten Golf Club. Golf was a huge part of his life.

Due to a brief health scare, John decided to get fit and started running. At the age of 50, he completed his first Glasgow marathon (one of three) and over the years completed 16 half-marathons. Climbing was also a huge part of his life and he bagged 100 Munros over the years.

Six grandchildren between 1984 and 1999 brought great joy to him and Morag. John loved to show them around Scotland and it would not be uncommon for grandchildren to find themselves at the top of Ben Nevis.

He and Morag enjoyed many cruises and holidays during his retirement and before ill health befell both of them around the same time in their early eighties.

Morag passed away in July 2017 after a short illness and just four weeks after they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary surrounded by family.

Sadly, in 2017 John fell in Shore Street, fracturing his femur and required emergency surgery at the RAH, Paisley. During this admission, he suffered a stroke and never recovered. His health deteriorated slowly and he was lovingly cared for by compassionate staff at Lochside Care Home in Helensburgh.

He endured a long battle over more than two years before he died peacefully on November 15, 2019, and was able to be returned to his beloved Oban and be laid to rest at Pennyfuir Cemetery.

John is survived by daughters Kerry and Rona, son Gregor, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Kerry Crawford