Melissa Jean McMillan Jones passed away Tuesday at age 68 at Ascension Seton Hays Hospital after a short illness. A lifelong resident of Central Texas, Melissa was prized by her family and friends for her loving heart, fierce loyalty, and sparkling wit.
Melissa was born February 17, 1955, in Lockhart, Texas, to parents Jean Esther (Burris) and John T. McMillan. She attended the Gonzales public schools and graduated from Gonzales High School in 1973. As a child she loved animals, music, art, and her large extended family, especially her many cousins and aunts and uncles. She was first chair clarinet in the Gonzales High School band for four years and participated in high school plays and club activities. After high school she attended Southwest Texas State and Texas A&M. While working for Victoria Junior College at Gonzales Warm Springs in Ottine, she fell in love with and married Dennis Wayne Jones in 1980 and moved to Austin, where she worked in the Communications Department at the University of Texas. In 1987 Melissa and Dennis moved to Lockhart and she began working in her father’s business in Gonzales, McMillan Insurance. After Dennis’s death in 1999, Melissa moved to Gonzales, living there for the rest of her life.
Aside from her family, friends, and animals, Melissa had a lifelong love of music and humor, and she lived out these loves, playing bass and singing with the Burris Family Band, the Diminished Faculties, the Mystery Men, and the Saw Sages, and spreading laughter through the lives of all who knew her. She was an entertaining conversationalist, and it is common for her family and friends to reminisce about moments when her wit lit up the room.
Another of her defining characteristics was her loving loyalty. Melissa’s family and friends felt and benefited from this loyalty, and they will miss her deeply.
Melissa was preceded in death by her parents and her husband. She is survived by her brothers John McMillan Jr, and his wife Irene Anderson, of Wimberley; and Mark McMillan, and his wife Judy McMillan, of Austin. She is also survived by niece Sarah Robertson, her husband Clinton Robertson, and their son Michael, of Lockhart; nephew Alex McMillan, of Austin; and niece Ellen McMillan, her husband Nick Stiles, and their son Lyndon, of Austin; the family of Chris Smartt, of Dripping Springs; the family of Elias Anderson, of Driftwood; and members of the extended family of Dennis Jones.
A celebration of Melissa’s life is being planned. Details will be made public in the coming days.
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