Kayette Elaine McMillen
Kayette Elaine McMillen
  • August 4, 1937 - September 5, 2017
  • Texas

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Kayette Elaine McMillen was born in Painesville, Ohio, on August 4, 1937 to parents Hilda and Laurie Hakola. Kaye was the baby of the family, growing up with an older brother Mel and older sister, Milly. She graduated from Fairport Harding High School in 1955 in Fairport Harbor, Ohio.

Her marriage to David McMillen brought the family to Texas in 1979. After living in both the Houston and Dallas areas, she eventually settled in Missouri City to be near her children and grandchildren.

Her love for music and her natural musical talents kept her involved with the Zion Lutheran Church's Chancel Choir in Fairport Harbor during her time living in Ohio. After her move to Texas, she sang with the Bay Area Chorus in Clear Lake for many years. Perhaps the best use of her voice was in her annual Thanksgiving morning singing of the Mr. Turkey song to her kids and grandchildren.

Kaye's most important job in life was mother and Mumma (the Finnish word for grandma). Her love and dedication to her family always came first, especially for her five beloved grandchildren. She was so proud to recently see Hailey and Marissa walk across their college graduation stages, had regular dinner and movie dates with her only grandson, Aidan, attended Darian's gymnastics and swim meets and never missed one of Addy's plays. Though she could only claim these five as actual grandchildren, she was affectionately called Mumma by hundreds of others.

Her Finnish Sisu was apparent in her strength and will to fight, in her daily life and especially during her final hospital stay. Sisu is defined as not just momentary courage, but the ability to sustain that courage. Kaye lived Sisu every day. Proud of her Finnish heritage, she enjoyed teaching the family Finnish words and the annual tradition of making Nisu, a Finnish sweet bread, at the holidays with her grandchildren.

Kaye also had a huge network of very close friends, including her monthly Bunco group and 2500 Club friends.

Kaye is survived by: daughter Pamela Swedo and husband Robert, of Bluffton, SC; daughter Laurie Hutchings and husband Timothy, of Missouri City, Texas; son John McMillen and wife Alisha, of Sugar Land, TX; and five grandchildren - Hailey Swedo, Marissa and Aidan Hutchings, and Darian and Addison McMillen. She is also survived by brother Melvin Hakola and sister Mildred Laituri. She is preceded in death by son George William McMillen II, parents Hilda and Laurie Hakola and brother Richard.

Donations may be made in Kaye's memory to: Zion Lutheran Church Memorial Fund, 508 Eagle Street, Fairport Harbor, OH 44077, 440-357-6411; or the Finnish Heritage Museum, 301 High St., Fairport Harbor, OH, http://finnishheritagemuseum.org.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, September 9, 2017 at The Settegast-Kopf Co. @ Sugar Creek, 15015 Southwest Fwy, Sugar Land, TX 77478.