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John Campbell Milligan Jr., 69
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John Campbell Milligan Jr., 69, of McMinnville died Thursday, Jan. 28, at Ascension Saint Thomas West in Nashville following complications caused by COVID-19.

John was born July 18, 1951 in Warren County. He graduated from Morrison High School in 1969 and served in the Army National Guard. He was a former employee of Batesville Casket Company and Bridgestone, before becoming co-owner of the former West Main Street Lawn and Garden shop in downtown McMinnville. Most recently he worked full-time at McMinnville Lawn and Garden, where he could be found managing the parts department, always in shorts, no matter the season. He loved dogs and was known to carry a bag of dry food in his truck in case he crossed paths with a wayward pup who looked in need of a meal. His own pups, Halle and Rudy (and Coco and Dixie before them), never lacked for a good meal, long walks or cuddles. John was a passionate fan of University of Alabama football, NASCAR and Willie Nelson. He loved cooking and showing his expertise on the grill and he was damn near famous in McMinnville for his skillet chocolate pie and German chocolate cake, which he shared joyfully with family and friends (while never divulging his own special secret ingredients). John was a loving, fun and dedicated father and husband who would do anything for his “girls,” including enduring years of living in a one-bathroom house with three women and enthusiastically embracing his role as cheer and dance team dad during several very long high school years. He traveled the world with his bride, who was the love of his life, sharing adventures together in Aruba, Belize, Fiji, Jamaica, Alaska and his favorite place on Earth, Hawaii, which they visited five times, leading to an extensive collection of Hawaiian shirts that John wore proudly. He worked hard, lived fully and loved big. John left this world with only a handful of regrets: he never owned a Harley-Davidson, he never got a tattoo and he never successfully taught his daughters to drive a stick shift. But most of all, he did not want to leave us so soon.

John was preceded in death by his parents, John C. and Gloria White Tittsworth Milligan. Survivors include his beloved wife of 50 years Jenny Milligan, daughters who were his pride and joy Tara Milligan and Lisa Milligan, his favorite grandson Jesse Campbell Graves, sisters Gloria Patricia McLoud, and Melissa Sharpe, brothers-inlaw Charles Sharpe, Gary Youngblood, and Houston Youngblood, sisters-in-law, Genia Dodd Stiles, Wanda Lorance, and Lynn Muncey, special friends, Pete Jackson, and Billy and Shiney Roberts, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

The family will arrange for a celebration of his life at a later date. The family requests donations in John’s memory be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or Viola Valley Dogs Inc. rescue group. Online condolences may be made at

High Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Southern Standard

(McMinnville, Tenn.) Jan. 31, 2021