Jeff Millar
Geo. H. Lewis & Sons Funeral Directors
1010 Bering Drive
Houston, TX
Jeff Millar, longtime Houston Chronicle film critic and humor columnist, died Friday, the 30th of November 2012. He was 70 years old.
Jeffery Lynn Millar was born on the 10th of July 1942, in Pasadena, Texas, to Daniel L. and Betty Ruth Shove Millar. He grew up in League City, graduating from Clear Creek High School as valedictorian in 1960.
He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Texas and was immediately employed by the Houston Chronicle in 1964, becoming their film critic in 1965. As such, he was often asked to do movie commentaries for local radio and television stations, as well as considerable public speaking and the occasional faraway junket to interview actors on location. For a time, he also covered big music stories. He covered the Beatles Houston concert in 1965 and Janis Joplin's high school reunion in 1970. He started writing his humor column in 1972, where he was known to his readers as Unca Jeff. He wrote and created for the Chronicle until his retirement in 2000.
When Jeff wasn't writing for the Chronicle, he was still writing, and his writing took many forms. In 1974 Jeff and illustrator Bill Hinds developed a comic strip, "Tank McNamara," a satiric look at the American obsession with sports. Tank appears in more than 300 newspapers nationwide. One of his short stories, "Dead and Buried," became what he admitted was a low-budget horror film. His thriller novel, "Private Sector," was published in 1978.
He also found great pleasure in playwriting, as far back as his early school days. Two of his plays were produced locally. In 1988, "Icehouse," adapted from characters recurring in his humor column, was produced by Houston's Stages Theater. Jeff appeared in the production. "The Rice," produced by Main Street Theater in 2004, was inspired by receipts and scribbled messages Jeff discovered in a dusty file folder at the old Rice Hotel.
Other pleasures included acting in community theater and, in recent years, creating wildly imaginative stories with his dearly-loved grandsons, Rafael and Lucas.
After his UT graduation, Jeff married Lynne McDonald. Their marriage ended in divorce, but the friendship remained until her death.
He married Peggy Jane Vance in 1994. His marriage to Peg inspired another Millar-Hinds comic strip, "Second Chances," which explored the delights and crazies of a second marriage. "Second Chances" ran from 1996 to 2000. His marriage ran for the rest of his life.
Jeff was preceded in death by his parents, Dan Millar and Betty Ruth Coons. He is survived by his beloved wife, Peg; stepson, Matthew Watson; stepdaughter, Meggan Watson and her husband Hismar Fernandez; grandsons, Rafael and Lucas Fernandez-Watson; sister, Lisa Berry and her husband David, and children, Seth and Hannah; sisters, Serena Andrews and Shelly Millar; brothers, Dan Millar and Mark Millar; aunt, Helen Garrett; and cherished friends. His legacy is his wit and his wisdom.
The family would like to thank M.D. Anderson Cancer Center for their steady and capable care provided over the past three-and-a half years.
A service of remembrance, in celebration of Jeff's life, will be conducted at two o'clock in the afternoon on Saturday, the 8th of December, in the Jasek Chapel of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, 1010 Bering Drive in Houston, where Bishop Michael D. Olsen, of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will officiate.
In lieu of customary remembrances, memorial contributions may be directed to the charity of one's choice.

Published by Houston Chronicle on Dec. 2, 2012.
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12 Entries
I knew Jeff in the mid '80's when we shared lots of movies and conversation. I was a huge fan of his reviews and his column and was lucky enough to become a friend of his, too. I loved what he did with words, and his humor always hit home. I am so sorry he is gone. My deepest sympathy to Peg and the rest of his family.
Margaret Molloy
December 6, 2012
Peggy, We want you to know we are truly sorry for the loss of your sweet companion. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Love, Sheila & Bill Schiller
Sheila Schiller
December 5, 2012
I met Jeff about a year after he joined the Chronicle, when I started a short-lived stint on the staff. We became friends, and remained so for nearly five decades, even after I moved to NYC in the 70's. We shared so much--movies, music, and theatre among them. The play you saw, Toby, was "Enter Laughing." I was in it with him. Jeff also shared a love of friends and family that we combined with a snarky sense of humor. I'll miss all that a great deal.
Nona Pipes
December 4, 2012
Jeff Millar was one of my favorite writers for the Houston Chronicle. His humor and humanity made me laugh every column. My husband even started calling me Spot after Jeff's significant other at one time. He will be missed for his talent and verve for life.
Carolyn Garcia
December 3, 2012
For a decade, the most influential media couple in Houston were Jeff at the Chronicle and his wife, Lynne, for whom I worked at The Houston Post. She was an assistant managing editor there, overseeing story selection and the front page. Both were very smart, hard working people.

I hope Jeff's story lines in "Tank" eventually prompt us to put sports in a better, more accurate perspective. He well knew how we avoid seeing the human and financial costs of big time sports.

Jeff was talented and driven, informing and entertaining millions.
Fred King
December 3, 2012
Cousin Jeff was very witty ,highly intelligent and years ago a heck of a softball player . David Lohse
December 3, 2012
I attended elementary school with Jeff in League City - he was younger than I, the age of my brother - then moved away. When my family came to Houston and I saw his name in the newspaper, I enjoyed following his columns and other writings as those of a LC kid who did well. League City and CCISD must be very proud of him. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this time.
Ann (Langley) Roubion
December 3, 2012
I have wonderful memories of Jeff from the University of Texas. I will never forget the musical he wrote with Larry Lee, "Antarctica." He was a kind, witty, creative person.
Laura Burns
December 2, 2012
Jeff was a treasure, although he'd wince at hearing that.
I am so glad to have known him, and glad we have his work.
My sympathies go to his beloved Peg and to the family.
Thad Lueders
December 2, 2012
Moving to Houston in 1965 and an avid moviegoer, I became an instant fan and devotee of Jeff and his reviews. I would always compare them to what I would have written and was jubilant when we concurred. One I remember in particular was Petulia where we had opposite opinions. From time to time I ran into him in movie theaters. I saw him in a play at Theater Suburbia and I think it was A Thousand Clowns. Though I did not know him personally, he was a part of my life. For that I am grateful.
Toby Myers
December 2, 2012
With deep sadness and high praise, my family and I salute Jeff Millar for his many achievements and honors as a writer, humorist and cartoon strip creator.

With our prayers of support and condolence to Jeff's family and many friends and supporters,
Raymond Goodrich
December 2, 2012
We are so sorry to learn of Mr. Millar's death. He certainly had a way with words and the wit to make everything he wrote interesting and entertaining. May all your happy memories bring you comfort and joy during this difficult time.
Lily Cosse'
Cypress, TX
December 2, 2012
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