Rachel Esther (Bretscher) McMillan

January 9, 1956 - January 6, 2023

01/09/1956 - 01/06/2023

Rachel McMillan, 66 – mother, wife, sister, grandma, friend and believer –entered the loving embrace of her savior Jesus Christ on 6 January 2023 following a six-month battle with pancreatic cancer.  The longtime Virginia Beach resident and public-school teacher was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on January 9th, 1956 to the late Reverend Paul G. and Marguerite L. Bretscher. She graduated from Valparaiso (IN) High School in 1974 and from Valparaiso University with a BA in Elementary Education in 1978. She was employed by the Virginia Beach City Public School System for nearly twenty years and was the National Science Foundation Teacher of the Year for the State of Virginia in 2004, which culminated in a recognition ceremony at the White House.

Rachel married James R. McMillan, Jr. of Milan, Indiana in 1979.  For 43 years they worked as a team to build a memorable life together, raising three incredible children (Robert, James, and Katherine) and spoiling eleven loving grandchildren (Colton, Reagan, Larkin, Reese, Isabelle, Allison, Samantha, Camden, Sydney, Savannah, and Eliana), while also enjoying adventures across the globe and growing in faith as husband and wife. Rachel is survived by her 5 brothers and 4 sisters.

Rachel was an avid traveler and tremendous travel companion.  From camping in Iceland to hiking through the Outback in Australia, touring the Holy Land in Israel, and snorkeling in the Caribbean – she never grew weary of seeing God’s beautiful creations and building memories with those closest to her.  By far her most favorite travel companion was her daughter Kate.  Never has there been a closer mother-daughter relationship.  Rachel was also an active member of Coast City Assembly of God and a member of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary in Milan, Indiana.

Rachel’s ashes will be scattered in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans by her husband and children later this month.  As is the family custom, there will be no funeral home visitation prior to the private ocean-side service.  All friends are welcome to rejoice with the family at Coast City Assembly of God on Salem Road, Virginia Beach at 1000 on Saturday January 14th.  Please check the Coast City website, ccagvb.com, for any changes to date and time.  The McMillan family extends its heartfelt gratitude to all the family and friends who prayed with us daily for a miracle healing.  God’s got this!

In lieu of flowers or other memorial gifts, please join us in remembering Rachel through donations to benefit “The Chosen.” https://www.tmcfunding.com/funds/the-chosen-in-memory-of-rachel-bretscher-mcmillan/7380/

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Mel Bohlmann
10 months ago

Dear family of Rachel –
Rachel was a joyful visitor often along with her Immanuel School classmates of our daughter Debbie during 1960s. They were a happy bunch -. entertained by my wife Dorothy who sadly – like Rachel – left us all too soon from the same affliction. Being from large families, we also hope you find comfort in sharing the memories of a wonderful wife-mother-Gmother and A Chosen.

Chuck & Deb
10 months ago

So sorry to hear of Rachel’s passing. Deb and I send our condolences to you and your loved ones..

Ralph Styron
10 months ago

May God comfort you’re family during this time of loss! If there is anything I can do to help please let me know.

Fred and Connie Cox
10 months ago

Jim, Rob, James and Katherine, we are so sorry for your loss. You are all in our thoughts and prayers.

David L Snyder
10 months ago

Jim (and McMillan family), we’re sorry for your loss. Please accept our prayers. Dave

Robin G Owens
10 months ago

Selfishly, I am so very sorry that Rachel is no longer here with us; but am glad she is safe in the arms of the Lord. I loved working with Rachel at Corporate Landing Middle School, and remember when she went to the White House. We were always so very proud of her! Rachel was a gentle, kind, compassionate friend and colleague. She will be greatly missed. Please accept my sympathy and prayers. If I may assist you in any way please do not hesitate to reach out to me. Love and peace to you, her dearest family.

Judith Neilson
10 months ago

You have my deepest sympathy and unwavering support. Wishing you peace, comfort, courage, and lots of love at this time of sorrow. My heart goes out to you and your family at this difficult time. Wishing you the best and god Bless.
Friends Always Judith Neilson

Rick & Shelly Sisler
10 months ago

So sorry for the McMillan family loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Ed. and Di Casler
10 months ago

Our hearts are broken . It was always wonderful to see your family in church. I’d run into your one son he let me know all was well. How handsome in the flight suit. You’ve raised a beautiful family.
Rachel is smiling, her wings are stunningly beautiful. Close your eyes, look in your heart and she’!! be there
Sending our love
di and Ed