Cover photo for Dr. John "Jack" Steven Millar's Obituary
Dr. John "Jack" Steven Millar Profile Photo

Dr. John "Jack" Steven Millar

December 21, 1942 — September 14, 2021


It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden passing of Jack Millar in Ottawa on September 14, 2021, at the age of 78. Born to John and Lillian Millar on December 21, 1942, in Duncan, BC, and raised in Mesachie Lake, BC, he earned a BA and MSc in Zoology from UBC. After marrying Donna Elliott in 1968, they moved to Alberta where he began his PhD studies at the University of Alberta. After their son Jay arrived in 1971, they moved to London, Ontario, where Jack started his career at the University of Western Ontario as an Assistant Professor of Zoology. Their second son Darren was born in 1973, followed by Steven in 1977.

In his long career as a Professor of Zoology at Western, he was a well-respected teacher. He mentored countless students and conducted an extensive research program involving small mammals, mostly mice, in the Kananaskis region of Alberta. He was instrumental in designing and delivering an inter-university course in Alpine Ecology, and was active in administration, serving as Chair of the Zoology Department for ten years. He also served on the granting committee of NSERC for many years, and, toward the end of his career, on the Safety Council at Western.

While his academic career was central to his life, he spent much time with his family and pursued interests in photography, genealogy, armchair history, bird feeding, pumpkin growing, DIY carpentry, reading, writing, and farm maintenance. He retired from the university in 2013 and adjusted to the life of a gentleman farmer at his Windswept Farm near Lucan, Ontario. In the last years of his life, Jack worked diligently compiling and writing a chronicle of Mesachie Lake, which he completed in early 2021.

Jack will be greatly missed by all who knew him, especially by Donna, his wife of 53 years; his three sons and their families: Jay and Hazel and their children Reid and Cole of Toronto; Darren and Catherine and their children Joey, Nora, and Patrick of Pointe-Claire, QC; Steven and Becky and their children Salem, Luella, and Rosemary of Wakefield, QC. Jack also leaves behind his sister Marilyn and her husband Doug Hudson of Port Alberni, BC, their children Michael Hudson and Lynn Gould and their families, and his long-time friend and brother-in-law Duncan Elliott and his wife Betsy MacDonald of North Vancouver, BC.

Cremation to take place in Ottawa on September 20, 2021. A celebration of his life will occur in London, Ontario, at a later date, as COVID allows. Details to follow at a later time.

In lieu of flowers and other tributes, there will be an opportunity to support a biology scholarship that will be set up at Western University in memory of Jack. Details to follow at a later time.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Dr. John "Jack" Steven Millar, please visit our flower store.

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