Robin Dennis McMillen | Chief of Port Townsend

Robin McMillen was known as a man of strong will and conviction. Admired by many and despised by some, he left a lasting mark on the hearts of those who knew him.

Born to Barbara Kay and Pete McMillen on January 9, 1951, the eldest of three boys. He grew up along the forests and lakes of Michigan, more at home in the wilderness. As a young man, he worked for Oldsmobile, just like his father, where he developed a keen eye for automobiles and learned to navigate his way through many engines. It’s always had a good ride, whether it’s a truck for work, a motorhome for the family, or a custom-painted Moto Guzzi.

Robin was an avid outdoorsman racing canoes. He had quite a few adventures boating and rowing the lakes of Michigan, then later along the coastal waters and rivers of Oregon and Washington. Like the Capricorn Sea Goat, he was equally at home on water as on land. He was also a craftsman and builder of several houses, often living in communities of like-minded people.

You could say he was part of the back-to-the-earth movement, but for him, it was his true nature to commune with the elements. As a member of Earth First! he met others who aligned themselves with his political views as a rebel and protector. He stood up for what he believed to be true, often without compromise, and exposed deception and distrust of government bodies of thought. Howard Zinn was one of his heroes. Later in life he called himself an iconoclast and had a rare perspective on history. His dry sense of humor was evident in his many Facebook posts as RawBean (otherwise known as Uncooked Lentil).

At the height of his career, he was a self-taught landscape architect with a unique style. Many of its ponds, patios, and rock faces are still found in Jefferson County. His appreciation of the beauty and love of women was a force of attraction in many relationships. He was blessed with two sons, Raven and Ariol, whom he loved very much. Raising her two sons had always been a source of joy and pleasure, taking them on adventures to barter fairs, pagan gatherings and, later, raves. A great lover of music and dancing, he often dressed as a wild man of the woods and conducted ceremonies at Celtic festivals. It was as if he carried the legends of the ancients and brought them to life for those who followed the same path.

The meaning of a robin bird is hope, renewal and rebirth. These traits came to his aid during the 13 years after Guillain-Barré syndrome left him paralyzed. His life was suddenly and irrevocably changed. Although he retained his quick wit and humor, it was his strength of will that allowed him to return home, bound to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Such a tragedy was also the testing ground for a soul that cherished its freedom above all else. He became dependent on the many caregivers who helped him regain some semblance of independence, tending his gardens, preparing his food, and all the many ways he received their care. A humbling experience that was not always greeted with grace for a man once so capable of being at the mercy of others. Equal measures of bravado and humility, though his pride never faded and his humor prevailed.

He was found on the morning of January 28, 2022, along with his beloved cats. He is survived by his brothers, Kevin and Kerry McMillen; mother-in-law, Sheila McMillen; sons, Raven and Ari McMillen; and many others who loved him.

A celebration of life will be held May 15, 2022 with family and friends at the Barter Circle Spring Gathering near Lake Leland at 260 Munn Road. Visit our kiosk and altar starting at noon. No charge for those coming just for the memorial (although financial support is always appreciated.) Join us in a circle around 4 p.m. to share words of tribute. Dress warmly for being outside, BYO food and drink, sacred intentions and a loving heart. For more information, contact Katy Morse at [email protected]

About Carl Schroeder

Check Also

Entrepreneurs Graduate from TWU’s Inaugural TX Women Owned Incubator Program » Dallas Innovates

The first class of female entrepreneurs graduated from the TX Women Owned Incubator program. Selected …