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Walter John Millard Jr.


1927 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Walter John Millard Jr. Obituary
Walter John Millard, Jr.

Memphis, TN

Walter John Millard, Jr. passed peacefully in his sleep on September 19, 2017 after recently celebrating his 90th birthday with family and friends. John was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, in 1927. He was preceded in death by his parents Dr. Walter John Millard and Beulah Bell Long Millard and his wife, the love of his life, Blanche Kaiser Millard.

John attended Snowden and graduated from Central High School. He received his undergraduate degree from Southwestern and then pursued his interest in architecture earning his Master's from the University of Pennsylvania followed by post-graduate studies in Fontainbleau, France.

John brought his artistic talents back to Memphis starting his career with the firm of Walk Jones but soon leaving to start his own firm and, as he would say, "waiting for the phone to ring." And oh did that phone ring. He became a nationally acclaimed architect with his firm eventually known as Millard & Stevens Architects featured in books and magazines. John made his aesthetic mark on Memphis as the architect of churches, banks, firehouses and fine custom homes throughout Tennessee, Missouri, California and New York, where his daughter and her family enjoy a John Millard home in East Hampton. A John Millard home can be easily recognized by its symmetry, flowing spaces and light.

One of the great passions of John's life was bonsai. Rather than be content with a fine personal collection, John spread the joy of bonsai throughout our community. He co-founded The Memphis Bonsai Society and was instrumental in attracting the Bonsai Clubs International (BCI) Convention to Memphis in 1992. Thanks largely to John's inspirational leadership, the convention achieved attendance and financial records that have never been matched.

At home, John and Blanche enjoyed gardening and were known for their talents with orchids and roses. Gardening was an important part of what his wife Blanche would call their "24-hour-a-day marriage – breakfast, lunch and dinner and all of the in-between." John and Blanche were known for their gracious entertaining, opening their home often for various charity events. He was a co-chair of the Symphony Ball and for many years enjoyed joining forces with friends to transform spaces into magical places for fundraising events.

John is survived by his daughter and her husband, Blanche and Jim Williams; his grandchildren, Julia and James of New York; his sister and her husband, Mary Jane and Wills Oglesby of Nashville; their children Wills, Bob and Jane; and his wife's Kaiser nieces and nephews and their children along with his loving caregiver for over a decade, Delois Page, and many dear friends.



The funeral service will be 11:00 am Saturday September 23 at Germantown Presbyterian Church followed by a reception at the Millard home, 7715 Dogwood Road, Germantown, TN 38138. Private burial will be in Memorial Park Cemetery.

The family requests memorials be made to the PKD Foundation, https://pkdcure.org/chapter/memphis/ or Church Health, https://churchhealth.org/.
Published in The Commercial Appeal on Sept. 22, 2017
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