There are no words that can truly express the deep sadness and hole left in our hearts and lives with Sean’s sudden passing on Thursday, August 26, 2021. He was the loving husband, best friend and biggest support to Kimberly. He was a incredibly loving, compassionate, patient, outstanding, and unique father to Kalen and Leah, whom he referred to as “the boy” and “the girl” so that one day when his memory was failing they wouldn’t notice. He often told them they were in his top 17 most favorite people.
Sean was the oldest child of Paul and Mary MacMillan of Mount Forest, the annoying but protective brother to Taunia (Mark Neilsen) of Mount Forest, and Amanda (Tyrone Goveas) of Kitchener. He was a great son-in-law to Lyle and Kathy Bender of Mount Forest. He was the supportive brother-in-law to Kelly Bender of Kitchener, and Kevin Bender (Manda) of Holstein. He was a role model for his nephews Jaxsen, Oliver, James, Tyler, Jack and niece Victoria.
Sean started a career as a child and youth worker, then transitioned into teaching, which he always thought would have raised a few eye brows of his former elementary school teachers. Working at St. Francis of Assisi in Guelph, he made an impact as the only male teacher on staff amongst an amazing group of women. He wanted learning to be fun in Grade 4, the “best grade ever”, where each year he tried to convince his students that he had never made a mistake or at least since 1986. Involved in different extracurricular activities, Sean especially enjoyed the excitement of those participating in chess club.
He was a loyal friend to an incredible number of people from curling, da boys from work and MoFo. Individually and in groups they have created ridiculous and crazy memories of time spent together cottaging, curling, golfing, hunting, fishing, attending sporting events and concerts. If asked, Sean would admit to being an encourager, but never the instigator in any of the mischief they found.
A most sincere thank you goes out to our cottage neighbors John and Lillian Ross, and remarkable friends Chris and Lisa Mills, Cliff Moore for their help in our time of need. To our extended family, thank you for your love and support through this most difficult time. Visitation will be held at Turner Family Funeral Home, 53 Main St., Dundas Ont. on Thursday September 2nd, from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. and from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Covid protocols and masks are required.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to mability.ca, a fund set up to support our friends’ daughter’s journey dealing with cerebral palsy. Alternatively, a charity of your choice would also be appreciated.
A final farewell party will be held at a latter date. Location to be determined.
If you wish to leave a memory or condolences for the family, it can be done at www.turnerfamilyfuneralhome.ca
Kim, Kalen, Leah and family,
Our hearts go out to you all with the sudden passing of Sean. Life can change so quickly but love is eternal.
Kim, Kalen, Leah and family
We are so sad to hear of Sean’s passing. A great tribute for a very special person who will be truly missed by many.
Our thoughts are with all of you.
Neil and Deb Oswald
Dear Kim, Kalen, Leah, and family,
I know there are no words that can ease the unimaginable heartache and loss you are feeling. Thank you for sharing a wonderful description of Sean – he really was one of a kind and made such a positive impact on so many people. Sending you our love and strength.
Justine and Hugh
Kim, Kalen, Leah and family
How to put into a few short words here .What everyone who had the great, great privilege of knowing Sean already shares. What a truly remarkable person in every way possible that he was.
To list it all would take pages. And all the lives that he touched in so many, many ways already know.
Family and friends will always be there to help with anything you need.
My heart and deepest sympathies go out to you all. And the friends closest to him.
One if the best things in my life was the honor of knowing and spending time with Sean.
Only the good die young.
Kim Kalen Leah and the MacMillan and Bender families so sorry to hear of the sudden passing of Sean. Our prayers and thoughts are with you at this most difficult time. Cherish the memories.
I didn’t realize until too late that I thought of Sean as an older brother. Since hearing of his passing, I did a lot of reflecting and realized he taught me so many things. He was one of my favourite people to have discussions with and solve the world’s problems. He would listen to you but also challenge you. He would often tell me the I was “entitled to my wrong opinion”. He made me laugh EVERY time I saw him. He would always help me with “handyman” projects, taking the time to show me how and why things are done. Quick visits to just “drop something off” turned into hour long conversations. Just watching him with Kalen and Leah made me want to try to be a better dad by following his example. He was an incredible role model. The world is far emptier today without Sean in it.
We are sending all of our love to Sean’s entire family – especially to Kim, Kalen, and Leah. We love you so much.
Chris, Diane, Mable, and Clark Malcolmson
We know there are no words to make your hearts whole. We only hope there is comfort in knowing how loved Sean was, beyond your home, and how much joy he brought to everyone’s lives.
Sean’s ability to read a situation is just one of the many things that made him so special. He knew when to be a leader, teacher, family man, friend and of course, a troublemaker – no matter how good he was at pulling the strings behind the scenes while giving the crowd his classic hands up pose, paired with his “don’t look at me, I didn’t cause this” defense…
He really could do it all. A fond memory is Sean “dragging” Chris & I out for a day of ice fishing, where he packed all the gear, drove to the spot, drilled most of the holes, tied all of the lines, set all of the flags, and kept an eye on all of them while we “invented sled cornhole” with crushed cans. We didn’t get any fish that day, and Sean only had a few sharp comments about our viability as adult men.
We feel fortunate to be connected by our birthdays, and I’ll forever be honoured to have played in The Last Chance with Sean, even though I complained a lot… something he let me get away with as long as I showed up.
We are so very fortunate to be left with many memories and stories that make us smile and laugh, as hard as that is right now. We are so proud and honoured to have known Sean and to call him our friend. We will miss him so much and our hearts are with all of you.
Dave Malcolmson-Morris & Jane Purificati
Kim, Kalen, Leah and Family,
We know there are no words to ease this heartbreak, just as there are no words to fully express the amazing impact Sean has had on everyone around him. Your beautiful tribute to Sean’s life so clearly captures his kind heart, quick wit, and zest for life.
Thinking back on times together, I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to be Sean’s friend.
Love, Lorna and Dwayne McLean
I am so saddened to hear about Sean. I was in the office at St. Jos. in Fergus, when Sean came into my life as our Youth Care Worker. He was such a sweetheart, and I loved him from our first introduction. I knew he would be a great teacher, family man. We all loved Sean and he quickly became one of the boys!! My sympathy to his family and extended family. His picture is the Sean I remember… God bless all of you through this very trying time. Our prayers for you and your family.
Paul, Mary, Taunia and Amanda: We are so saddened to hear of Sean’s sudden passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time. We are sure you have many wonderful memories of Sean to sustain you in the difficult days ahead.
Verne and Pauline Mills
Our sincere condolences to the Macmillan and Bender families during this difficult time.
Sean was one of my dearest friends growing up and he will be missed greatly by all who were fortunate enough to know him.
As we got by older we saw one another less due to careers and family commitments but kept in touch saying we should get together soon but it never happened.
Sean can only be described as “a remarkable human being”.
I have nothing but fond memories of our friendship and time spent together.
It seems like the good ones always leave us too soon.
John, Rose, Nicholas and Cameron Lamont
Our sincerest condolences, Kim, Kalen, Leah and the McMillan and Bender families.
Our hearts are breaking for you all .
May your memories will help you through this sad time.
Kim, Kalen, Leah and all of Sean’s loved ones,
We wish you peace in this most difficult time. Your memories of Sean have highlighted what a unique and wonderful man he was. He will most certainly be missed by so many adults and children who had the pleasure of knowing him. Our hearts go out to you all.
Jennifer and Bruce Lawson
We are extremely saddened of the news of Sean. We are praying for strength and blessing over the family during this difficult time and in the coming weeks, months and years. May your memories bring you comfort during this time.
My heart goes out to Kimberly, Karen, Leah, and Sean’s mom and dad. I worked with Sean at St. Joseph school in Fergus when he was a Child and Youth Worker and was always amazed a his insightful approach to assisting Grade 7&8 students. I appreciated his positive approach and quiet leadership. I know his legacy will live on in the hearts of the many children he guided. Sean and his family will be in my thoughts and prayers.
To the MacMillan & Bender families. I’m very sorry to hear of Sean’s passing. My thoughts and condolences to all you. RIP Sean.
Wishing you comfort and peace to face the days ahead and loving memories to hold in your heart. My son Gabe was very fortunate to have Mr. MacMillan as his teacher this past year. Although we had to transition into online learning, but Mr. MacMillan made online learning fun and engaging. Our family is very sad by this loss, but will always remember him as my son’s favourite teacher.
I am extremely saddened to hear about Sean’s sudden passing. I worked with Sean at St. Joseph, Fergus when he started as a CYW. He had such an easy friendly manner and a wonderful way of connecting with children of all ages. He made such a huge positive impression on all of us and I feel very fortunate to have known him and worked with him. Sean will be greatly missed. My sincerest condolences Kim, Kalen, Leah, family and friends…my heart goes out to you. God bless
My sincere condolences to the MacMillan and Bender families. You’ve all been in my thoughts and prayers since hearing of Sean’s sudden passing. He was an incredible man and will be deeply missed.
Growing up – I can honestly say I was a bit intimidated by him (as Taunia’s older, and wiser brother). Although, it’s his dry (and sarcastic) sense of humor is what I will remember most about him. He made us scared, he made us laugh….but above all, he made it clear how much he loved his sister and his entire family.
Sending you all love, hugs and strength during this difficult time.
Kim, Kalen, Leah and family,
Words cannot express how saddened we were to hear of Sean’s passing. I don’t recall ever seeing Sean without a smile and a twinkle in his eye. He always took the time to ask how people were doing and took the time to listen to responses. Sean was a special person and will be missed by all who had the fortune to have known him. May all the beautiful memories of Sean live on in your hearts forever. Liz and Paul Bee
We were deeply saddened by the news of Mr. Macmillan. My 17 and 11 year old were sharing stories about him. They brought up his ” I haven’t made a mistake since 1986″ line.
He was a great teacher and really helped out my middle child. We will never forget his kindness.
Although, he never taught my youngest, he did teach her how to play chess.
Our thoughts are with you all.
The Cadete Family
Dearest Kim, there are no adequate words to express our sorrow at hearing about Sean’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Kalen, and Leah during this most difficult time, and going forward. With much love, from everyone in your Stonechurch family, Kati
To Kim,Kalen Leah and Family,
I had the pleasure of working with Sean for a short time at St. Joseph School in Fergus. He was a very calm and soft spoken person who always had the best interest of the students he worked with at the forefront. He was a great listener and I will remember his dry sense of humour . Keeping all of you in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
I am so saddened by your loss, and my deepest condolences and sympathies go out to you at this time. The obituary was beautiful and tells the story of a remarkable man. My family and I will keep you and yours in our prayers.
You have all been in my thoughts since Taunia shared the terrible news of Sean’s passing.
I spent so much time with the MacMillan family growing up, and have so many memories of ‘Taunia’s big brother’. He was funny. He was protective. He was even maybe a little bit mischievous, but in an amusing way that made it all but impossible for Paul and Mary to be cross! I don’t think there was one of Taunia’s friends that didn’t have a crush on Sean at some point – he was a charmer!
Kim, the words you have written about Sean are beautiful. I truly hope the outpouring of love for Sean that you’ve all experienced these last few days is helping you during your difficult time.
I wish you all love and strength.
I am so sorry to hear of Sean’s passing.
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Dear Kim, Kalen, Leah and family
My heart breaks for you with the sudden passing of Sean – your cherished husband, father, son, brother, uncle. I pray that you will find comfort in your many memories of your times together, and in the support and love of your families and friends. Please know that your Stonechurch family has been keeping you close in our hearts during this very difficult time.
My heart goes out to you and your family during this most time. This tribute is beautiful, and demonstrates how remarkable of a man Sean was. Thoughts, prayers and hugs to you.
Dear Kim, Kalen, Leah, the MacMillan and Bender family.
Words of loss are difficult to express, especially when the loss runs so deep and far reaching. It is a testament to how far Sean’s impact was on this world.
One memory that stands out, is Kim and Seans’ love and support for one another. And how they extended that love and support to everyone around them.
Many years ago, one of our friends’ was injured on a cottage weekend. The first words I heard that something was amiss was Sean saying ‘Kim’!, and she was there tending to our injured friend. Meanwhile Sean waited for the ambulance by the road, ensuring that help was on the way. I saw Kim and Sean as a team that day, saying little, yet knowing what needed to be done to help.
We will always remember Sean’s loving example, for that is eternal.
Dear Kim, Kalen, Leah, the MacMillan and Bender families,
Such a beautifully written tribute to Sean, I laughed and cried.
Since our first meet at a Mixed curling home hosting event at Rob & Vals many, many years ago – every gathering since (be it curling, cottaging or camping at Uncle Joe’s) was a joyride of great times and memories.
Sean will be profoundly missed, and our lives are forever blessed to have shared in his friendship.
Heartfelt condolences to Kim and children, Paul, Mary and Sean’s sisters and to the Bender family. Sean was a wonderful man with numerous friends. Treasure your memories. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you during this difficult time.
Gord and Mary MacEachern
Dear Kim, Kalen, Leah and MacMillan/Bender families.
I’m so sorry for your loss. The passing of Sean is such a shock. The beautiful and kind description of Sean could have gone on and on. I have great memories of Sean’s smile and wit, and by reading the other comments, I know he continued to inspire and enrich people’s lives throughout his own.
He was the type of person I wish I were more like.
I am so very sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family. Sending love and hugs.
In Sean’s memory…..
Tears are hitting the screen as we write this. We had the pleasure and honour of being friends with Sean for nearly 20 years. We met when Kim decided to drag the hockey playing Sean into the curling rink in Dundas. We never knew how much our lives would be forever changed and enriched by his friendship and love. Our wonderful Sean memories are endless and will continue to live on with us. Sean, we will continue to support and love Kim, Kalen and Leah and do our best to be there to protect them.
“ The comfort of having a friend may be taken away, but not that of having had one. “ -Seneca
Dear Kim and Family
My sincere condolences to you and your Family in the passing of your husband, Sean. Our prayers amd blessings are with you at this time.
Peace be with you and your Family.
Sincerely, Marlyn & Rowland Howard
In our house Mr. MacMillan was known as “ the grade 4 teacher”. Both my son and daughter were fortunate to have him as their teacher, their chess coach and their track and field mentor. This past year was a tough year however I was so thankful for Sean’s patience, his guidance and all the extra help that he provided during the school year for my daughter. He was always there for the students. Encouraging them to at least try. I remember my son giving his sister advice when she entered into his class. His advice was “ As long as you participate , you will do fine in Mr. MacMillan class.
Mr. MacMillan will be greatly missed by so many students at St. Francis. Our family was saddened to hear of his passing and he will always be remember as the teacher that never made a mistake.
My sincerest condolences to you and your family during this incredibly difficult time. Sending all my love, thoughts and prayers.
Dear Kim ,Kalen and Leah
Our sympathies for your heart-breaking loss. You have written so eloquently of him, it reminds us of all the things we liked about Sean. You two deserved another 50years together maybe quality does make up for quantity .
Our thoughts are with you, “the boy” and “the girl” every day.
Love you all, Uncle Eric and Aunt Marie
Dear Kim, Kalen, and Leah,
We were shocked and saddened to hear from the Rosses about Sean’s passing. Our hearts go out to you. And while we only met Sean on Betula a couple of times, he struck us as a warm and engaging person. So sorry we didn’t get to know him better. We are so sorry for your loss!
Dear Kim, Karen, Leah and Family,
Our hearts and prayers are with you at this very challenging time. I was the VP at Saint Joseph in Fergus when I first met Sean and I immediately sensed that I was in the presence of a sincere and honest man. His ability to work through any situation in a calm reasonable manner was legendary throughout his career. You and the world have lost a great one. God bless.
Allan and Bonnie
My most sincere condolences to Kim, Kalen, Leah, the MacMillan family and the Bender family. The words written about Sean show how loved he was by family, friends and the community.
My thoughts will be with you in the weeks and months to come.