Don Milligan (AKA: Uncle Duck, Wyam-Poosh, Donny Boy Dirty Shirt, Rabble Rouser, Chief of the Whittericks, Cat Man, and other handles dubiously suitable for print) passed on to begin his next journey in the early morning of April 2nd 2019. Born and raised in Spokane, he completed his undergraduate studies at Gonzaga University in philosophy and theology, going on to receive a Masters in Social Work from the University of Washington. He is survived by his 3 children George, Erin, and Bridget, 4 grandchildren Brady, McKenzie, Malachy, and Brόnagh, and preceded in death by his parents Donald and Alice Haynes, and his brother Fred Haynes.
Don devoted his working life to the advancement of Indian Child Welfare. He and Richard Murphy of the Dakota, Omaha, and Iowa Tribes started the first Indian Desk for Washington State, which would later be known as the Office of Indian Affairs. For 30 years he worked with the Washington State Department of Social & Health Services, 20 of those years as a Director, finishing his professional life as ICW Director at Small Tribes of Western Washington. Looking back upon Don’s positive impact, colleagues and friends from the Native Community say that he was a relentless advocate and warrior for the rights of all Tribes regardless of their federal status, that when he saw injustice he stood firm, and fought tirelessly for many native children and their return to their families.
Chief among his other passions were genealogy and maintaining connections with family and friends. The herculean research efforts he accomplished for his family and the family of his ex-wife, Angie Jimenez-Rannow, much of it prior to the advent of the internet and access to DNA databanks, benefited countless others seeking to trace their own family trees. He was an inspiration to the search on the Milligan history in Scotland and Ireland, and with Alan Milliken of Armadale, Scotland, a kindred spirit, together they were able to discover many of the historic sites associated with their ancestry in Scotland. He became editor of the Regarde Bien (regarde-bien.com), a newsletter devoted to the history of the Clan Amuligane, and he was a founding member of the first meeting of the Clan that took place in Salt Lake City in 2001.
His closest friends and soulmates from high school, Bill Delaney, Tom Old and Denny Caferro, knew him as the Llama. The over 60-year friendship that they shared was full of many adventures, some rowdy, some peaceful, and always caring, and was a constant in his life. The 4 of them shared a love of nature and wildlife.
He fought hard and loved harder, had his own unique compassion for those in his life, and never missed an opportunity to crack wise or say something inappropriate regardless of the situation. He continued to show spark, fire, and wit until the end of his time here with us, and there’s no doubt that his spirit was warmly welcomed by his ancestors and friends who’ve passed before.
A special thanks to those who provided care for him over the years; His 3 Children and Grand Children, Gayle Reis, Vali David at Star Lake AFH, Kellie Fagan-Schmieder & Family, John Geisbush, and all other caregivers and nursing staff.
A viewing will be held from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm, Friday, April 12, 2019, at Hennessey Funeral Home, 2203 N Division St. in Spokane, Washington. Funeral services will be held at 10:00 am, Saturday, April 13, 2019 at Hennessey Funeral Home, with burial to follow at 12:00 pm, at Holy Cross Cemetery, 7200 N Wall ST., Spokane, Washington.