LISBON, Ohio – Longtime Farm and Dairy employee Avis J. McMillan, of 6319 State Route 45, died at her home Monday, June 2. She was 75.
Lifetime of printing. McMillan’s veins were filled with as much printer’s ink as blood. She worked at Farm and Dairy for 25 years, from July 1968 to July 1993, retiring as layout editor and manager of the composition department.
Prior to joining Farm and Dairy, she had learned how to operate a Linotype, or hot type, printing machine at The Evening Journal. She also ran a Linotype at the Columbiana Ledger and worked at Moore Printing.
During the 75th anniversary Farm and Dairy open house in 1989, she demonstrated how the old Linotype worked, amazing visitors who had never seen one in operation and delighting children, as she typed in their names and gave each child a metal line of type imprinted with their name.
“You had to learn how to read backward and upside-down,” Avis often said of operating a Linotype.
During her tenure at Farm and Dairy, she witnessed and had to learn numerous printing technology changes, from the old hot type machines to the newer offset, or “cold,” typesetters and then to the personal computer of today.
“I hired her as a Linotype operator,” said company CEO and Publisher Emeritus Wayne Darling, “but when we switched to offset printing, she just moved right into that, too.
“She was a dedicated employee for many, many years.”
Company pillar. “She was the bedrock foundation of our production line,” said Scot Darling, Farm and Dairy publisher. He first met Avis when he came into work with his father as a child.
“I can still hear her say, ‘We’ve got a paper to get out and we’re staying ’til it’s done.’ And she always did.”
Lifelong resident. She was born April 23, 1928, in Lisbon, the daughter of the late Lee and Mary (Cox) Ikirt. She lived her entire life in the Lisbon area and was a 1946 graduate of Lisbon David Anderson High School.
She was a member of the Lisbon First Christian Church and the Wilfred J. Clunk VFW Post 4111 auxiliary.
Her husband, Lloyd H. McMillan, whom she married Feb. 13, 1949, preceded her in death May 7, 1980.
She is survived by three sons, Alan McMillan of Columbiana; and Glenn and Bryan McMillan, both of Lisbon; a daughter, Marlene Lewis of Lisbon; a brother, Glendon Ikirt of Lisbon; sisters Joan Ruby of Lancaster, Ohio; and Meretta Stockman of Washington, Pa.; and eight grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by a brother, Kenneth Ikirt, and sister, Dolores Cushman.
Funeral services were June 5 at Eells-Leggett-Stauffer Funeral Home, officiated by Rev. Mark Wilds of the New Lisbon Presbyterian Church.
Our face at the fair. In recent years, many Farm and Dairy readers might have met Avis while she was working at the company’s fair booths.
“She was always telling me how much people liked the paper,” said Scot Darling. ” I know it was gratifying for me to hear those comments, but I also know it meant a great deal to her.”
“She gave a lot to Farm and Dairy and to the people in her life,” he added. “We’ll miss her being part of the Farm and Dairy family.”
The family suggests memorial tributes be made to Hospice of the Valley, 2235 E. Pershing Ave., Suite D, Salem, OH 44460.
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