March 27, 1932 – Nov. 2, 2021
Milton was born in Bellingham, Washington, the youngest of four children. He was an unexpected late addition to the family after his mother was told by her physician that she was undergoing the “change of life” and putting on some weight as well. Imagine her surprise one night when she had a stomach ache that resulted in a much-treasured addition to the family. He was well-loved by his two older brothers, James and Hazen, as well as his sister Mae who thought Milton was too big of a name for her little brother and nicknamed him Mick, which is what he was called for the rest of his life. He spent his childhood getting into mischief with his friends Bob, Bill, Jerry, Jack and Ben who remained the best of friends throughout life.
Mick attended Western Washington University after graduating from high school and obtaining his B.S. degree in Chemistry. He enlisted and served in the Army for 2 ½ years, after which he returned to Western Washington University and obtained his teaching degree. During this time, he convinced a very pretty co-ed Marion Louise Kemp to go for coffee. One year later they married and honeymooned at beautiful Lake Louise. For sixty-one years the honeymoon continued.
The two of them moved to Seattle where Mick earned a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from the University of Washington. He took a job at Battelle Laboratories in Richland, Washington after completing his degree where he made a career running a laboratory that utilized mass spectroscopy to analyze gas samples from the various sites across the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
He and Marion raised two children, Robert and Barbara. He was involved in the Allied Arts Association of Richland alongside Marion, an artist, and enjoyed photography, hiking, travel, bird watching and frequent visits to Orcas Island where they owned property in Deer Harbor. He was a member of Sigma Xi and the American Chemical Society.
Upon retirement, Mick and Marion built their dream home on the property at Orcas Island where they enjoyed 20 happy years of “island life.” He was a board member and jack-of-all-trades at the Orcas Island Community Club, where they enjoyed many events with their neighbors and friends. He was instrumental in preserving and maintaining this historic property, formerly a schoolhouse, for present and future generations.
They also enjoyed a rich family life with their expanded family of Robert and wife Kristen, Barbara and husband Brian, and grandsons Blake, Brice and Bennett.
Mick was healthy and happy until a recent illness took him away from us. We are grateful to the healthcare workers at PeaceHealth and Whatcom Hospice House in Bellingham for all their care during this difficult time. He was much-loved and will be missed by many.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Deer Harbor Community Club, Whatcom Hospice House or The San Juan Preservation Trust.