We’ve Moved! 400 Hammond Road West

Bernetta McMillen

April 3, 1933 - December 14, 2019
Grawn, MI


Life Story / Obituary


Bernetta McMillen, 86, died on December 14th, 2019. She was surrounded by her loving family in her home that she shared for fifty years and one day with her husband Jerry.

Bernetta was born in 1933 to Arlene and Nelson Horton in Wexford, Michigan. She was married for eighteen years to John Burkholder, who was a chief warrant officer in the United States Coast Guard. Bernetta and John, along with their three children, Gary, Debbie, and Sue, lived in several states throughout the country.

Bernetta and her children came back home to Northern Michigan in 1967. Bernetta then met Jerry McMillen, the love of her life, while working at Chef Pierre in Traverse City. They married in 1969 and began a lifetime of adventure together. The couple enjoyed outdoor pursuits, especially fishing and camping. They included their grandchildren often in these excursions, creating wonderful memories that remain to this day.

As Bernetta and Jerry grew older, they began escaping Michigan winters by traveling to warmer climates in their RV. The couple made long lasting friends at many of the parks at which they stayed.

Bernetta is known to her family and friends as an avid bird lover, gardener and baker. She sure knew how to make a good pie. Bernetta often surprised people with her cheeky and delightful wit. Even in her final days, she was making her family laugh.

Those left to honor Bernetta's memory include her husband Jerry McMillen, son Gary Burkholder, daughters Debra (Ray) Pahl and Susan (Jim) Nelson, five grandchildren, eleven great grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild. She is preceded in death by her parents, Nelson and Arlene Horton, and her sister, Doris Cadmus.

The family will be having a private graveside service at a later date. Those wishing to make a donation in Bernetta's memory may direct them to Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

The family would love for you to share a memory of Bernetta on her tribute page through Life Story Funeral Home at https://lifestorytc.com.