Marion Edward Millender was born Nov. 11, 1920, one of 10 children born to Marion Francis and Willie Mae Millender, in Carrabelle. Marion left this world for a Heavenly world on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013 at his home surrounded by his family and friends.
Marion is preceded in death by his loving and faithful wife OnaMae Mary and one daughter Patricia Lynn. He is also preceded in death by his parents Marion Francis and Willie Mae, and six brothers Hollis, J.C., Earnest, Otis, Bert, Will, and one sister Edna.
Marion is survived by two sons, Michael Edward and Patrick Kirby (Era Mae) and three daughters Mary Theresa Crosby (Frankie Paul), Karen Marie Richard (James Howard), and Melissa Josephine Creamer (George Buckley); 13 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews; and two brothers Fred Charles Millender, Eastpoint, and Howard Francis Millender , Crystal Beach, Texas.
When Marion was a young man he grew up during the Depression era and it took all of the young children to work to help his parents make ends meet. At an early age he and his brothers began mullet fishing and crabbing. They helped out in any way to survive through those tough years.
Marion served in World War II from Nov. 1942 to Dec. 1945 in the 793rd Field Artillery Battalion. He was a Heavy Artillery Gun Crewman 845. He served time in France and Germany. He was discharged with honors and received the Medal of Good Conduct and the World War II Victory Medal.
During the war he sent money home to his family and they purchased land in Eastpoint in 1942. When he returned home from the war, he held some jobs, but he then concentrated on being an oysterman and fisherman.
His brothers were great musicians and they played at all of the local juke joints. Marion went along and called the square dances. It was during that time that he met the love of his life. He fell deeply in love with a beautiful and petite angel. He liked to say that she swept him off of his feet and he told her that she was going to be his wife. They had a strong loving relationship and made a big family and were strong, loving, and caring parents.
Marion and his wife, OnaMae, together were hard workers. They are known as the Greatest Oystermen/Woman that has ever lived. They worked from daylight to dark catching oysters. Some of those days after unloading the oysters Marion and his brothers would then go out mullet fishing all night to come in and go oystering again in the morning. Marion was a hardworking man, there is no denying that fact. Over the years Marion taught others how to oyster and how to respect the bay and the oyster bars. His teachings and knowledge has been carried on through many people.
Marion sold his beachfront property in Eastpoint, to the state of Florida instead of a large condo development. It is the site of the Millender Tract off of Patton Drive. He sold it to the state to remain as an area where anyone could go and view the beautiful bay. It has been the site of many weddings, birthday parties, and family reunions.
Marion was a kind, loving, generous person. He helped many people throughout his life, when they were unable to get by on their own.
Services were held at the United Baptist Church, with the Rev. Bobby Shiver officiating, on Saturday afternoon, Feb. 2.
Southerland Funeral Home, Panama City is in charge of arrangements.
The family would like to give special thanks to the Veteranís Home-based Care Unit of Tallahassee; Big Bend Hospice, and NHC of Carrabelle. We thank all of you for taking wonderful care of our Daddy.
A very special thank you to Theresa Spurlock, Kathy Tauton, Vivian Hitt, Cythinia Laughlyn, and Amanda Hall. With your care and devotion it made it easier these last few months. Thank you for taking care of our Daddy.