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Jane d'Entremont (Stokes) McMillan
November 28, 1937 ~ December 29, 2023 (age 86) 86 Years Old
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Jane d’Entremont Stokes McMillan took her final curtain call on December 29, 2023 after a years-long struggle with Parkinsons. A life-long theater lover, Jane has left behind a devoted audience of family and friends, witnesses to her life’s adventures. Family includes sisters Anne McAlaine and her husband Bob and Maggie Stokes and her partner Jim Graham. She also leaves her daughters Margaret McMillan, Betsy Gordon and Lucy McMillan, and her son Edward McMillan, and Traci Higgins who became part of the McMillan family when her own mother passed away. Among her familial admirers are in-laws Pierluigi Balduzzi, Michael Gordon, Jackie McMillan and Edward McKeon and her grandchildren Alex Balduzzi, Nick Gordon, and wife Rory, Teddy Gordon, EG McMillan, Andrew McMillan, Dawson McMillan, Dermot McMillan and Aidan McMillan. Jane also recently welcomed two great-grandchildren, Harrison and Holden Gordon. Jane leaves a host of in-laws, cousins, nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her husband Edward “Reds” McMillan.
Jane was born November 28, 1937, in Manhattan, and grew up with her parents Esther and Thomas Stokes. She attended Convent of the Sacred Heart 91st Street and Manhattanville College. She later followed her husband to Texas for his military service, eventually receiving her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and her law degree from the State University of New York, Buffalo. Their itinerant early family life following Reds’ career as a school administrator took them to Narberth, PA, Wellesley, MA, Shaker Heights, Ohio, Smethport, PA and finally to Middletown Connecticut where they lived for fifty years. In each of their hometowns they made friendships that have lasted a lifetime.
In Connecticut, Jane began her law career at one of Connecticut’s premier firms, Day, Berry & Howard in Hartford. In 1979 she joined a Middletown law firm, Shaw & Howard which later became Howard & McMillan. She retired from the firm in 2017.
In Middletown, Jane continued her lifelong love of learning by pursuing a Master’s degree at Wesleyan University. Jane was a born actress, always ready with a dramatic, and often hilarious retelling of an anecdote. If there was some exaggeration in the retelling, Jane would wink and quote Twain, “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.”
Jane was never happier than when she was attending a theater production. Inspired by her study of Irish literature, Jane created her own local theater company, The Vintage Players, producing highly-anticipated annual shows benefiting local non-profits. Jane discovered a new avocation as producer, director and actor. Though slowed by disease, she continued mounting these productions through the years, the most recent in her Middletown backyard.
Jane was always a community leader. She was elected to Middletown’s Common Council, and served one term. She was a founding director of the Community Foundation of Middlesex County. She was instrumental in saving the legendary O’Rourke’s Diner after a devastating fire, and was a leader in converting Main Street’s old armory into a still-thriving hotel. She sat on the Ethics Committee for Middlesex Hospital, and served on the boards of many local organizations, including Oddfellows Playhouse. In 2000 the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce named Jane and Reds McMillan Citizens of the Year for their tireless work in the community.
Jane was an avid world traveler and was amazingly well-informed, and well-read and was an active member of her local book club whom she hosted for their annual holiday gathering just weeks ago. She worried about the world’s fragile condition, and what it would become for her grandchildren, and so with a boundless generosity donated to arts, social, environmental, religious, health, mental health, educational and progressive political candidates and causes.
Jane was interred at Indian Hill Cemetery in a small Catholic ceremony for the immediate family. Donations in Jane’s memory may be made to Gilead Community Services. https://gileadcs.org/donate/ Checks can be mailed to 222 Main St Ext., Box 1000, Middletown, CT 06457. The family will host a celebration of life honoring Jane on June 29th at Oddfellows Playhouse, Middletown, from 3-7 PM, for one final ovation. To share memories or send condolences to the family, please visit www.doolittlefuneralservice.com