Cover photo for Ruth Ravan McMillan's Obituary
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Ruth Ravan McMillan

July 31, 1923 — June 8, 2024

Ruth Ravan McMillan

Ruth Ravan McMillan,100, passed away at home on June 8, 2024.

She would have celebrated her 101st birthday on July 31, 2024. She joins her beloved husband Ellis McMillan, her parents and all her siblings in Heaven. 

Ruth was born July 31,1923 in Inman, SC to Theron and Bessie Henson Ravan. She was the last of her family of 9 children: Monroe, Paul, Earl, JT, Pearl Ramsey, Annie Mae Martin, Margaret Skinner, and Grace Comer. 

She attended Oakland Elementary School and graduated from Gramling High School in 1942.

Ruth was raised on her father’s chicken and peach farm and was no stranger to work. Upon graduating from high school, she went to work for a short time at Inman Mills but didn’t like that the cotton fibers got in her hair, and she couldn’t wear pretty dresses. She went to work for City News Agency and as she told it, got to walk all around downtown Spartanburg delivering magazines and papers and taking up those that didn't sell. She worked there until her marriage to Ellis McMillan on August 7,1943 and was married for 72 years until his death in 2015.


Ruth was proud that she was a stay-at-home mom until her children went to college, but she never stopped working. She was a top-selling Avon representative in the New Prospect area for many years. She helped Ellis with his peach business, making many speedy trips down I-26 to the SC Farmers Market in Columbia, to sell peaches. She was a bookkeeper for Drippin‘ Honey Peaches for several years.  Later, when her children were older, she worked weekends at Quinn’s Fish Camp and Harmon’s Fish Camp as hostess.  Always energetic and a go-getter, Ruth took a medical receptionist course at the new Swofford Career Center and also worked as Director Guy Blackwell’s secretary for a time.  Ruth’s outgoing personality and people skills made her a fantastic salesperson.  She worked retail with Doris Runion in her dress shops for several years. 

Then Ruth embarked on a new career selling real estate that lasted for over 25 years with JB Johnson Realty and Auction in Inman. She was successful at that and “retired”.  Ruth’s motto was, “If you sit down, you die. So, I’m not sitting down”.  With that said, she filled in for someone at Fran’s Fashions in Inman for a couple of weeks and stayed there for 27 years! Ruth’s customers came from far and wide to shop for their cruise, seasonal, and dress clothes.  Ruth reluctantly retired from Fran’s at age 95 but only because Covid made her!


In her “retirement”, Ruth gardened in her little garden spot and talked to her tomatoes. Her goal was to have a tomato before Harry had one. She had been known to go to Lowe’s and buy a tomato plant with blooms and little tomatoes on it in order to get a head start on Harry!

Ruth loved to share vegetable soup and cornbread with anyone experiencing illness or hard times and did this as long as she was able. Ruth was extremely proud that she still had her driver’s license and was driving until age 99. Trips to Aldi, Dollar General, and Dollar Tree to get a bargain were her favorite things to do. She loved sitting on her deck and soaking up the sun on a beautiful day. 


She was the oldest member of New Prospect Baptist Church having belonged for 81 years, where she faithfully served in many capacities. She was a member of the Willing Workers Sunday School class and loved her friends in Sunday School.


One of Ruth’s proudest achievements was serving on the planning and rebuilding committee of New Prospect Baptist Church after the church burned in 1983. She proudly devoted her skills and time along with Geary Jolley and Conway Sutton to ensure that the church was reconstructed in a way that honored God. 

Ruth was stylish, independent, resilient, witty, and frank. She was faithful to her family, Sunday School class, neighbors, and friends. 


Ruth Ravan McMillan is survived by daughter Joyce and John Cox, son Harry and Cathy McMillan, grandchildren Rita Smith, Gina and Grant Bumgarner, Amy and Robert Bradley, Jesse and Elizabeth McMillan, Andrew and Shelly McMillan. Great-grandchildren are Elyse, Mason, and Ellis McMillan. She is survived by sister-in-law Sara McMillin Trout. She is also survived by many Ravan and McMillin nieces and nephews whom she loved dearly. They, in return, showed her much love and care over the last few years. 

The family wishes to thank Spartanburg Regional Hospice for their care for Ruth, especially Arielle, Destiny, and Rena. 

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorials be made to SRMC Hospice, 686 Jeff Davis Dr, Spartanburg, SC 29303.

The family will be at their respective homes.


Services will be conducted by Rev. Eddie Ramsey at New Prospect Baptist Church on Tuesday, June 11 at 2:00 PM. Visitation will be at the church from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM. 

Burial will follow services in the church cemetery.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ruth Ravan McMillan, please visit our flower store.

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