MARIE MCMILLAN Marie Elizabeth Stever Daly McMillan, age 92, of Las Vegas, a pioneer in women's aviation, passed away peacefully March 24, 2019 at Pacifica Senior Living in Las Vegas. She was born August 1, 1926 in Exeter, CA and was a Las Vegas resident for more than 50 years. Mrs. McMillan's passion for flight began at a young age watching, listening, and studying aircraft and flight history. She earned her A.A. Degree from U.C. Berkley and worked for the University after graduation. She then went on to work with the National Laboratory in Livermore California, where she worked with physicists. Afterwards, she worked at the Nevada Test Site in 1957. She also worked for the Atomic Energy Commission all while owning and running a ranch in Fresno, CA. Mrs. McMillan realized her dream for flight in 1963 when she completed ground school at Thunderbird Field in N. Las Vegas and completed her first solo flight on Memorial Day of that year. She received her private pilot license at the age of 44 in 1970. She then went on to earn her U.S.F.A.A. Commercial Certificate, her Single Multi-engine Land and Sea License, her Instrument and Glider Ratings License and her Certified Flight Instructor Certificate. In 1978, she set her first flight speed record from Fresno to Las Vegas. She went on to set a total of 328 U.S. National Records and 328 International/World records throughout her life! She is a world record holder with The Federation Aeronautique International and set records for Speed over a Recognized Course in the Caribbean and over Mexico. She was the first woman to establish records in Mexico, only second to Charles Lindbergh. The watch she wore on that flight is now displayed in the Rolex Museum in Geneva. She was a U.S. Delegate to the Federation Aeronautique International World Conferences in Czechoslovakia, India, Bulgaria and Hungary. She then became a certifying representative for the Federation's record-breaking "Voyager" around-the-world flight. She was a member of the Flying Ninety-Nines, instructing and mentoring many young female pilots. She instructed many flight students over 25 years including teenagers and Las Vegas Metro Police. She served as the Clark County Department of Aviation public information representative at McCarran Airport and contributed to her community by speaking to young people and civic organizations. Marie carried out various mercy missions, carrying doctors, nurses, medical supplies and equipment to Mexico while directing Liga International, Inc. She also worked with Wings for Direct Relief, shipping medical supplies to South America via a California port. Mrs. McMillan then continued her education, earning a BA in Anthropology and Ethnic Studies from UNLV in 1994 and a BA in Gerontology from UNLV in 2004. She received many awards including the Angel Derby, Award of Merit, the Amelia Earhart Medal (twice), various Powder Puff Derby Las Vegas, Award of Merit, Woman Pilot of the Year, Foremost Women of the 20th Century, Notable American Women, National Aeronautique Association Elder Statesman of Aviation and "99" International Forest of Friendship. She was a member of the National Anthropology Honor Society (Lambda Alpha), National Omicron (Psi Honor Society), Order of Artic Adventures North of 60 Degrees Chapter, the Federal Aeronautic International, National Aeronautic Association, Civil Air Patrol, Soaring Society of America, Women in Aviation and Silver Wings Fraternity. Her husband, James McMillan, died in 1999. She was preceded in death by three children, Michelle Daly, Jack Daly and Jacqueline McMillan; and brothers, James and Duke Stever. Marie is survived by four children, Jeffrey (Tamina) McMillan, James B McMillan III, Jarmilla McMillan-Arnold, and Christopher Bramley; daughter-in-law, Fay Daly; along with eight grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. Family will receive friends to celebrate Marie's life from 3-7 pm Thu, April 4. Services will be at 9 a.m. Fri., April 5, both at Palm Southwest Mortuary, 7979 W. Warm Springs Road, Las Vegas, NV 89113. Interment, Davis Memorial Park.
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Published in Las Vegas Review-Journal on Mar. 31, 2019.