Nancy M. Milliken
May 25, 1955 - Sept. 29, 2012
Resident of Oakland
Nancy M. Milliken passed away at home in Oakland, CA on September 29, 2012 at the age of 57 after a 4-year battle with adrenal cancer. Nancy, the youngest of four children, was born May 25, 1955 in Houston, TX, to parents James S. Milliken and Eunice K. Milliken, where the family had recently moved from Pittsburgh, PA. Just two years later they were transferred back to the Pittsburgh area, where tragedy struck the family when their father James was killed in a commercial airplane crash in Michigan in April 1958. The Millikens were surrounded by friends and family who supported them through this difficult time. Four years later her mother married Harry D. Shephard, who became a second father to Nancy. The family moved to a newly built home in Medina OH where Nancy spent her formative years, graduating from Medina High School and then Ohio University in 1977 in Athens OH with a degree in nutrition. She was a competitive swimmer and worked as a lifeguard at nearby Westfield Country Club during the summers.
Nancy then moved to Eugene, OR where she joined her lifelong friend Robin (Whitam) Mannila, who was studying at the University of Oregon. At that time job opportunities were not plentiful, so Nancy moved to the Bay Area, where she knew her sister Judy and brother-in-law Mike would provide a temporary place to stay. Recommended by a friend, she was hired by Genentech, then a young biotech company, where she worked in the Clinical Data Management division for many years. She loved all that the Bay Area had to offer and lived in many different communities, finally settling permanently in Oakland, where she set down firm roots. In 2000 she met her future husband Larry Aleck Primus from Trinidad, whom she fell madly in love with and married soon after. They were truly soul mates and shared a busy, exciting life, traveling the world together and eventually purchasing a home in the Eastmont Hills area of Oakland. Nancy loved to dance and was an active member of the samba dance community in San Francisco, dancing with various groups every year at San Francisco Carnaval and other venues.
Nancy was preceded in death by her parents, James S. Milliken and Eunice K. Shephard, and stepfather, Harry D. Shephard. She is survived by her loving husband Larry Aleck Primus and faithful dog Deniro, as well as sister Judith M. Sweet (Michael) of Pacifica, CA, brothers James S. Milliken, Jr. (Silke) of Vancouver, B.C. and Bruce G. Milliken (Kathy) of White Plains, NY, and aunt Adelaide Chipman of Victoria, B.C. Nancy is also survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, November 16, 2012 at 1:30 p.m. at the Piedmont Community Hall, 711 Highland Avenue, Piedmont, CA. A reception will follow after the service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the
, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, or German Shepherd Rescue of Northern California.