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FLETCHER, MILTON BIRDWELL; spent his life investing in others. Born March 14, 1925, Milton passed away Wednesday, March 20, 2013, six days after his 88th birthday, in Fort Worth, Texas. He was one of four children of Mr. and Mrs. W. L. Fletcher, Jr., grew up in Hamlin, Texas, and his leadership skills were evident early. Milton served as President of his junior and senior class, was a member of the National Honor Society, and graduated from Hamlin High School with High Honors in 1942. After participating in the Navy V-12 program at Texas Christian University, he was appointed to the U.S. Naval Midshipmen School at Notre Dame University. Upon completion, he was assigned to the Administrative Command of the Amphibious Forces of the Pacific, and then reported aboard the USS LST 871 as the Assistant Navigator. He eventually served as the Executive Officer and Commanding Officer. On January 29, 1947 Milton began a new adventure, as he married Billie Gene Hunter of Abilene, Texas. Milton and Gene had four children; Eric, Keith, Paul and Phyllis. In January of 1961 (in the dead of winter), Milton, Gene and family moved to Rochester, Michigan where Milton would begin a long relationship with Michigan Christian College (now Rochester College). Milton served as Business Manager until July 1965, when he was named Vice President of the College. In 1972, after more than a decade at Michigan Christian, Milton was named Executive Director of Public Relations and Development for Abilene Christian University. In 1973, he was elected Vice President of Public Relations and Development, serving in that capacity until December of 1980. But Michigan called again. And on December 15, 1980, Milton returned to Michigan Christian College to serve the school for eleven more years as its President. During this period, Gene, his wife, lost a long battle with cancer. In 1985 Milton married Evelyn Templeton of Abilene. Upon retirement from MCC in 1991, Milton and Evelyn moved to Kennedale, Texas. However, Milton did not know how to "retire", evidenced by the fact that in the fall of 1991 he began serving Christian Care Centers as a Development Officer. And, in January of 1992 he accepted the position of Vice President. In 1993, Milton returned to Abilene Christian University where he was elected the Founding Executive Director of the newly organized ACU Foundation, where he served until May of 2001, when he retired...for the second time. But his service was not yet complete. In June 2001, after 15 days of full retirement, Milton went to work as Vice President for Planned Giving and Development at Disability Resources of Abilene. Milton's faith drove his life of service. He served as an Elder for the Rochester Michigan Church of Christ from 1964 to1972; as a Deacon for the University Church of Christ in Abilene from 1974 to 1980, and in 1997, upon returning to Abilene, as an Elder for the Hillcrest Church of Christ. In recognition of his service to Christian Higher Education, Milton was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree by three universities -- Abilene Christian University in 1980, Pepperdine University in 1981, and Lubbock Christian University in 1983. In 1984 Oklahoma Christian University awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Humanities Degree. Milton and Evelyn lived and served in Abilene until Evelyn's death, January 10, 2013. And Milton finally retired, peacefully, the morning of March 20, 2013. He is survived by four children; Eric, Keith, Paul and Phyllis; three daughters-in-law, Darlene Fletcher, Shara Fletcher and Jessica Fletcher; one son-in-law, Mike McNiel; by five grandchildren, Shawna, Briana, Lindsay, Nathan and Zachary; two step-sons, Richard and Steve Templeton; four step-grandchildren, Jess, Seth and Case Templeton and Tessa Templeton Clingenpeel; his siblings and their families, Harold Fletcher, W.L. and Marilyn Fletcher, III, and Marilyn and R.C. Swaim. Milton's children and family invite you to join in a Celebration of his Life on Saturday, March 23, 2013 3 p.m. Central Time, at Chapel On The Hill, located in the Biblical Studies Building on the campus of Abilene Christian University directed by The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road in Abilene, Texas. The family invites you to honor Milton's service with a contribution in his name to Rochester College, 800 West Avon Road, Rochester, Michigan or Abilene Christian University, Abilene, Texas. Online condolences may be posted at
Published in The Oakland Press on Mar. 22, 2013
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"He was my college president. He stood tall in his leadership, and in his service."
"Mr. Fletcher is one of the kindest men I have ever known. While in college during the mid-70's he..."
- Rebecca (Becky) Young, Chaplain
"He was a wonderful neighbor back in Rochester, Michigan. A beautiful family too. Sorry for your loss. ..."
"I met Milton as at Southside Church of Christ during during World War II as he was training at TCU for..."
"Milton and Evelyn Fletcher sit in our section of Hillcrest Church of Christ; so we were able to greet..."
- Charles & Erma Jean Loveland
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