McMillen remembered by family, friends
George McMillen said he can’t think of just one good memory about Brian McMillen, his smart, caring son who could do anything.
“All the thoughts are racing through my mind and they race so fast,” George McMillen said. “I could go on and on. We’re going to miss the hell out of him.”
Brian McMillen, an environmental soil science and chemistry senior, died early Saturday morning at the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity house, 432 Evergreen Ave. A roommate found him cold to the touch and unresponsive on a couch in their bedroom. Police responded to the call at about 5:30 a.m. and tried unsuccessfully to revive Brian McMillen before transporting him to Lansing’s Sparrow Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Police are investigating the death, but have ruled out foul play. East Lansing police Lt. Kevin Daley said police believe alcohol might have been a factor.
Ingham County Medical Examiner Dean Sienko said the cause of death has been labeled as pending as he awaits additional tests, which could take “a few days.”
Members of the Panhellenic Council and the Interfraternity Council both held meetings Monday night about how to respond to McMillen’s death, which marks the second death within MSU’s greek community this month.
Brian McMillen always loved nature, George McMillen said. Even at a young age, George McMillen said Brian and his grandfather could be found out in the garden, deciding what to plant.
“Him and grandpa wouldn’t agree sometimes about what plant should be planted next to the other plant,” George McMillen said. “But they always worked it out.”
George McMillen said his son planned to attend graduate school at Montana State University and wanted to work on transforming the soil damaged by mining back into nutrient-rich soil.
His father said Brian McMillen was valedictorian of his 2005 graduating class at Adrian High School, an active member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Adrian, Mich., and loved the outdoors.
During a candlelight vigil held Monday night by Alpha Gamma Rho, George McMillen painted Brian’s name on the rock on Farm Lane. He was joined by members of Alpha Gamma Rho and other greek houses.
Agribusiness management senior Martin Villarreal, who also is a brother in Alpha Gamma Rho, said Brian McMillen was a good guy who cared about the environment. Villarreal said he and Brian were roommates for a semester, and enjoyed watching nature shows on television and just hanging around. He said Brian McMillen did very well in school and was gifted in math and science.
“Brian was just a brilliant kid. He was intellectually gifted,” Villarreal said. “I’m not sure if (math and science) were his favorite subjects, but he was sure good at them.”
MSU alumna Kylee Zdunic said she remembered when Brian McMillen offered to help do a friend’s homework simply because he was bored.
“I will never forget that,” she said. “Sitting around bored, and he comes in and said ‘I’ll do your (LON-CAPA).’”
George McMillen said it is hard to lose a child, and the family still is coping with how to continue life without Brian.
“Parents are supposed to go before their children. All kids should lead a long life,” George McMillen said. “But we figure God must’ve had some job up there that was a little more important than the jobs down here.”