Heaven celebrated the arrival of Eugene "Gene" Joseph Millerick, 88 of Plainville, on May 5, 2013. His family and friends remain behind to miss his loving guidance, warm, ready humor and unfailing sense for right and wrong. Gene passed peacefully at the Apple Rehabilitation of Farmington Valley, surrounded by his loving family after a long and courageous battle with Parkinson's disease.
Gene was born in Plainville, on July 29, 1924, and he lived nearly his entire life in his hometown. He was the second son of Ernest J. Millerick, former Democratic Town Chairman and prominent civic and political leader in Plainville, and Loretta (Robinson) Millerick, a locally recognized artist who was also active with civic and political matters. He was predeceased by his parents, as well as his brother, James F. Millerick, of Newton, N. J.
Gene was a World War II veteran
, serving as a Sergeant, Squadron E 104th Army Air Force Base Unit and attended Clemson University.
Gene married a girl he met in Kindergarten, Sylvia "Sue" (Margonelli) Millerick on June 8, 1946, at Our Lady of Mercy Church in Plainville. Together they enjoyed every moment of raising their four children: William, Michele, John and James. Family always came first with Gene and Sue, and over the years their home in Plainville saw countless extended family feasts, holidays and celebrations with their siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and many friends.
If Gene wasn't with his family, he was either working to support them or working to support his beloved community of Plainville and the State of Connecticut. Gene was an insurance broker and real estate broker. He was partner and owner of Associated Agencies of Plainville, which, at the time of his retirement, he had built to be the largest insurance agency in Plainville. He was also a partner and co-owner of Deegan, Millerick & Erling Real Estate, Inc., in Plainville.
Gene's success is a reflection of the man he was. He believed in community and he worked hard on behalf of it. He was a former chairman of the Plainville Economic Development Commission at the time Northwest Drive was constructed. He was a member of the Plainville Sewer Commission, the Plainville Historical Society, and the Plainville Knights of Columbus. He was active in the United Way campaigns in Plainville and Bristol, and served as chairman of a successful annual campaign of the United Way of West Central Connecticut, serving Bristol and Plainville. Gene is a former president and long-time member of the Plainville Rotary Club
and was a Paul Harris Fellow in the organization.
Beyond these volunteer activities, Gene was a proud Democrat and active in local and state politics. His family will tell you with some pride, though you'd never hear it from him, that through his many years in public office, he never lost an election. He was a former chairman and member of the Plainville Board of Education for 12 years. In 1986, he was elected to his first of four, two-year terms in the Connecticut House of Representatives, representing the 22nd district which included all of Plainville and parts of Bristol, Farmington and New Britain.
In the Connecticut General Assembly, he served as Assistant Majority Leader for four of his eight years. He also served on the Education, Banking, General Law, and Public Safety Committees. Gene was perhaps most proud of his work in two areas for the Legislature. One was his service as Chairman of the Tourism sub-committee. Gene recognized the job growth and financial benefits of sharing the beautiful state of Connecticut with tourists and was responsible for the legislation that created and funded the independent, local Tourism Districts in Connecticut.
Within his own district, Gene was responsible for obtaining more than $10 million in state bonding money for the expansion of Tunxis Community College. This work earned him an award of recognition from the Tunxis Foundation for his significant contributions to community college education. Tunxis College continues to flourish and grow today, in large part because Gene understood the power of the services it provides to adults of all ages who wish for a higher education.
After his 1996 retirement from the General Assembly, Gene served on the Board of Directors of the State Lottery Corporation, and as a Corporator for New Britain General Hospital, now The Hospital of Central Connecticut. He loved to play golf, especially with his sons, and was a member of the Avon Golf Club.
A member of Our Lady of Mercy Church in Plainville, Gene is survived by Sue, his best friend, confidant and much beloved wife of 66 years, as well as all of his children and their spouses and children, including: William and Gail (Cail) Millerick, of Plainville, Michele (Millerick) and Gordon Erling, of Bristol, and their children Ashley, of Barrington, R.I. and Benjamin, of Fairfield, John and Kathleen (Martone) Millerick and their children, Kayla and John Michael, of East Haven, and James and Susan (Garro) Millerick and their children, Madeline, James and Michael, of Burlington. He also is survived by his special nieces, Alberta Martucci, of West Hartford, Sharon (Griffiths) Rizikow, of Avon, and Cindy (Margonelli) and James Ross, of Plainville, and many loving nieces, nephews and dear friends who will miss him very much.
Calling hours will be held on Thursday, May 9, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Bailey Funeral Home, 48 Broad St., Plainville. Funeral services will be held on Friday, May 10, at 10 a.m. from Bailey Funeral Home, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. at Our Lady of Mercy Church, 94 Broad St., Plainville. Committal services with full Military Honors will follow at St. Joseph Cemetery. Gene's family sincerely thanks the loving, caring staff at Apple Rehab and Masonicare Partners Hospice for their genuine warmth and kindness.
Gene lived a full life and leaves a wonderful and honorable legacy, defined by love of family, integrity in all his actions, and service to the community he loved. In lieu of flowers, the family would be honored by donations in Gene's memory to The Petit Family Foundation, P.O. Box 310, Plainville, CT 06062-0310 or The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, Grand Central Station, P.O. Box 4777, New York, NY 10163-4777. For directions and online expressions of sympathy, please visit Gene's tribute page at www.Bailey-FuneralHome.com