Chronology of the Hector & Ione McMillan Story

1913: Ione is born August 17 in Grand Rapids, Michigan to Arthur and Leone Reed.

1915: Hector is born July 16 in Avonmore, Ontario, Canada to Dan L. and Jane (McElheran) McMillan.

1917: Ione’s family moves to Wash. DC

1919: Ione’s family moves to Pontiac, Mich.

1920: Hector’s mother dies of TB in October.

1921: Hector attends the Avonmore Public Schools.

1923: Ione accepts Christ as her savior and is baptized.

1930: Ione graduates from Pontiac Central High School.

1934: Ione is called to missionary service in China after hearing of the martyrdom of missionaries, John and Betty Stam but war conditions prevent her service there.

1935: Ione graduates from Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, then sings with the Sunshine Gospel Trio for 5 years in 33 states.

1936: Hector graduates from Avonmore Public High School and enrolls in the Prairie Bible Institute, Three Hills Alberta.

1938: Ione’s father, Arthur Reed, dies on October 20.

1940: Hector graduates from PBI and seeks to serve as a missionary to Brazil with Unevangelized Fields Mission. For one year he attends a Missionary Medical School in Toronto while spending time at the UFM HQ in Toronto. He enlists in the Canadian Air Force in order to speed up the time he can be free to serve as a missionary. The Sunshine Gospel Trio disbands in the summer.

1941: Hector and Ione meet in Toronto at the Unevangelized Fields Mission headquarters where Ione is sent for the candidate period for mission work in Congo. They are together for 3 weeks. Ione then travels to UFM headquarters in Philadelphia prior to sailing with Pearl Hiles to Congo in December. Hector completes his medical course and is transferred to Toronto to take military drill.

1942: Ione is posted at Bongondza assisting the Westcott family. In October Hector still expects to go to Brazil with UFM but begins to consider Congo instead. While waiting for the Brazil door to open, he is asked to help repair/remodel the new UFM mission home in Philadelphia. Hector returns to Toronto after his passport time elapses and enlists in the Canadian Air Force.

1943: Hector’s Air Force service takes him to New Brunswick and several other Maritime Provinces as a radar mechanic. Hector and Ione are engaged to be married (by mail) on May 12th. In July, Ione finally is able to go on trek with Viola Walker along the Basali Trail.

1944: Hector leaves the RCAF in July and is ordained in the High Park Baptist Church, Toronto on April 14. Hector goes to UFM in Philadelphia in anticipation of sailing to Africa. By September Ione is heading back from Congo with the Westcotts for furlough to the US after her 3-year term in Congo. After a long wait at the coast, they sail from Matadi on November 17th. Hector makes plans to take the same boat back to Congo. Ione arrives in New York in December. They have one month together and become officially engaged at the UFM HQ in Philadelphia before Hector sails to Congo alone.

1945: Hector sails for Congo on January 14th. About 9 months later, after visiting Hector’s sisters in Canada, Ione sails on October 16th from New Jersey to Naples and Port Said, Egypt, then travels by rail and river steamer up the Nile River. Hector and Ione are married on November 27th in Juba, Sudan, and begin missionary service together at Bongondza station after their honeymoon in the mountains of eastern Congo.

1946: At Bongondza, Ione has a miscarriage, losing a baby girl, on May 25th.

1947: Kenneth Reed McMillan is born June 19th at Oicha, Belgian Congo. Hector and Ione spend most of December and part of January, ’48 working on a building project at Ekoko.

1948: Paul Daniel McMillan is born July 14th at Yakusu, Belgian Congo.

1949: The McMillan family leaves Congo by boat in March for furlough in Canada.

1950: David Lynn McMillan is born March 17th at Three Hills, Alberta, Canada. In July the family sails on the SS Stavelot from New York to Congo and take the same river boat up the Congo River to Stanleyville.

1951: John Howard McMillan is born October 18th at Banda, Belgian Congo.

1952: Stephen Arthur McMillan is born December 31 at Aketi, Belgian Congo.

1953: Ione has a heart attack on July 11th. She flies home to Fenton, Michigan for medical care and recovery. Hector and the boys (along with Marcellyn), fly back to the US. The family stays at Fenton Michigan and Newington, Ontario.

1954: Timothy George McMillan is born February 6th at Ypsilanti, Michigan. In November Ione loses her US citizenship on November 8th, by voting in Newington, Ontario, Canada while Hector was absent.

1955: Ione is fully recovered and the McMillan’s fly back to Congo in August. They accept a post in Stanleyville at a large rented house to care for UFM children while they attend the Belgian school in town. Around December 1st a larger home is found at Kilometer 9, north of Stanleyville. The kids are bused to Stanleyville’s Athenee Royale Catholic school.

1956: The Children’s Home is moved to Kilometer 8 in the fall.

1957: The family spends Christmas at Katwa, eastern Congo. Hector’s father dies July 18th.

1958: KM 8

1959: KM 8

1960: Riots, strikes, and race troubles, occur in Congo’s major towns. Congo gains independence from Belgium on June 30. Due to unsafe conditions, and furlough hastened by evacuation, the family flies to Montreal on July 8. Hector is reunited with them six weeks later and they travel to Three Hills, Alberta.

1961: Their furlough year ends on July 1st and the family drives to Alaska to visit Ione’s sister, Doris and her family, in late summer and returns to Three Hills. They leave in September for meetings throughout the states and Canada and the children are put into Emmanuel Christian School in Pontiac, Michigan till December when the family moves to Avonmore, Ontario.

1962: At a hospital near Avonmore, in May Ione undergoes a complete hysterectomy for a tumor in the uterus. Hector leaves by boat from New York (via Newfoundland) with a 2-ton truck and Ione and the boys leave by plane from New York September 4th. The children are put in school at Rethy Academy, northeast Congo and Ione travels onward to Bongondza Station for a 5-year term of missionary service with Hector. Hector sails via Durban, then to Mombasa, Kenya and drives the truck overland via Rethy and Stanleyville to arrive at Bongondza on November 6th.

1963: Hector and Ione are mainly at Bongondza Station. The children alternate school & vacation schedule with 3 months at school and one month off. Ken is taken to Kampala, Uganda for mastoid surgery. Ione flies to Kampala to be with Ken. The family takes a pygmy trek to Bakopo for several days. 5 of the boys attend Rethy again and Ione takes Ken, via road and rail to enroll him at the Rift Valley Academy in Kenya. In November, the Congo capital, Leopoldville goes under martial law for six months. Ken flies to Stanleyville from Kenya and the others are driven from Rethy to Stanleyville and they’re all taken to Bongondza for their last Christmas together as a complete family.

1964: Bongondza Station. In August the 5 Rethy-schooled McMillan boys are driven from Rethy to Stanleyville. Hector takes Paul with him in the truck to deliver lumber from Stanleyville to Boyulu Station where they collect Ken on his return from his school in Kenya. The family was to go onward to Bongondza, but in August, Hector, the two boys, and Boyulu station staff are put under house arrest at Boyulu. A curfew falls on Stanleyville and Ione and the 4 boys are taken from Stanleyville to KM 8 along with several other missionaries and their families while Simba Rebels march in on the town. Hector (with Ken and Paul) is later brought in to KM 8 by special permission of the rebel government. All 25 missionaries and children at KM 8 are under house arrest for 4 months. November 24th rescue comes by way of paratroopers descending on Stanleyville to secure the airport and mercenaries who enter town by road. Hector is killed on that day and Bob McAllister, Ken and Paul are injured. Al Larson engages the help of anti-Castro Cuban exiles in a road rescue of those still alive at KM 8. Hector’s body is left at KM 8 and a flight is arranged to Leopoldville where Ken is sent to hospital to recover for a couple weeks. The family then flies to Montreal and eventually to Pontiac, Michigan.

1965: Ione applies for and regains her US citizenship. She takes meetings in Canada. She is approved to return to Congo in September 1966 with the four younger boys.

1966: The family goes to Alaska in June for the summer to assist with Doris’ commercial fishing/processing operation.

1967: A double-cab Dodge pick-up truck (already in Africa) is acquired for use by Ione and the boys upon their return to Congo. Ione gets her US citizenship reinstated in September.

1968: Ione and four boys leave February 2 for Congo. Ione is posted at Rethy Academy in northeast Congo and 3 older boys attend the Rift Valley Academy at Kijabe, Kenya.

1969: David graduates from RVA in July. In August Ken graduates from Moody Bible Institute.

1970: John graduates from RVA in July.

1971: Steve graduates from RVA and in August, Ione, Steve, and Tim fly back to the US via Ireland.

1972: Ione is in Pontiac, Michigan and travels around for meetings. November 12 Ione returns to Congo and is posted in Kisangani to work with women as well as other projects.

1973: Ione does some trekking at outposts near Bongondza. Steve goes out to Zaire for the summer. Ione becomes ill at Ekoko and is flown to Nyankunde Medical Center then flies with Steve to the US and is hospitalized near Pontiac.

1974: Ione is permitted to return to the home in Pontiac and awaits better health reports that will allow her return to Zaire.

1975: In the summer, Ione is hospitalized again near Pontiac with complications, including pneumonia, and is put on respirator, oxygen, and intravenous feeding. On September 16, she is permitted to return home but she still requires care.

1976: In March, Ione takes a few meetings but the double pneumonia, persistent hepatitis, and multiple myeloma takes their toll. Then on January 28, while making a real good return to health, she falls on the tiled basement floor and hurts her hip. She is on crutches for three weeks and with some limping, carries on normally and still makes plans for her future activities. Her health deteriorates and she passes on to Glory on September 19th.

1987: Leone Reed, Ione’s mother, passes away on April 15th. She loved Ione so much that she selected the grave site next to Ione’s rather than that of her husband, Arthur Stuart Reed.

Fast-forward to 2011, the Cuban Connection: A meeting in the Miami airport in September brought 3 McMillans and Al Larson and his wife, Jean, together with some living members of the anti-Castro Cuban group who were conscripted by the CIA to help with the rescue operation in Stanleyville. These brave men went 8 kilometers beyond the call of duty to rescue us (25 missionaries and children) in November of 1964. Hector was killed just a few hours prior to this rescue effort.

It was a tearful meeting – saying thank you to them 48 years after it happened. The Cubans each received a booklet that John had hastily prepared with current family photos and comments from all the living survivors of KM 8.