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In memoriam - Professor Marian Millican

January 15, 2010

The School of Architecture deeply regrets the passing of our esteemed colleague, Prof. Marian Millican. Marian’s efforts in design, teaching and in her direction of the Interior Design Program, have contributed to the success and happiness of hundreds of students, alumni and colleagues. Her spirit and good works will live on in lives of her students and those that will follow them.

(Published in the Star-Telegram on January 15, 2010)

Marian McKeever Millican (1949 – 2010)

Marian McKeever Millican, 60, a prominent interior designer and educator, passed away Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2010, at home in Fort Worth.

Memorial service: 2 p.m. Friday at First United Methodist Church, Fort Worth, with Dr. Tim Bruster officiating.

Memorials: In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Streams & Valleys Inc., Box 101373, Fort Worth, Texas 76185, or a charity of choice.

Marian was born Dec. 22, 1949, in Irwin, Pa. She was a graduate of Penn State, B.S., with highest honors, and Michigan State, M.A., summa cum laude. Marian was an instructor of interior design at Virginia Commonwealth University before moving to Fort Worth in 1977 to become associate professor at Texas Christian University. In 1988, Marian opened her design studio Millican & Co. in downtown Fort Worth, a firm responsible for numerous restaurants, retail, offices and corporate headquarters in Fort Worth as well as projects throughout the U.S. While continuing to practice, Marian returned to full-time teaching in 1996. As associate professor and interior design program director in the School of Architecture, University of Texas at Arlington, Marian led the program to the highest accreditation level.

As an author and designer who was widely published, Marian supported interior design education, leading design workshops, speaking at conferences and conducting research. She authored the 1988 national licensure exam used for interior designers. As one of the first registered interior designers in Texas, Marian worked tirelessly for collaborations in the practice and education of architecture and interior design. Recognized as an honorary member of the Texas Society of Architects, she also received the ASID Chapter Medalist Award. One of Marian’s greatest joys was to see the accomplishments and successes of her students, many of whom are now leaders in the interior design community in the U.S.

Marian was a founding board member of Urban Strategies and of the Contemporary Art Center, board member of Downtown Fort Worth Inc. and Streams and Valleys Inc. She was a volunteer for the Cliburn Competition, a docent for the hearing-impaired at the Kimbell Art Museum, a member of First United Methodist Church, the Junior League and Colonial Country Club. She worked tirelessly on numerous committees and endeavors to further art, design, education and the environment in Fort Worth.

In 1986, she married architect Kirk Millican, and in 1992, she gave birth to their long-awaited-for child, Carter. Marian loved being a mother with Carter as her greatest joy. Kirk, Carter and Marian loved to travel as a family, attending design conferences and spending special times in Red River, Taos and Pipe Lake. She and Kirk spent many hours exploring architecture and design projects—enjoying the uniqueness of each one.

Marian was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999 and bravely fought the disease and treatments while practicing design, teaching, volunteering and being a loving wife, mother and friend. As everyone knows, Marian wanted to be defined by her accomplishments and love of life, not by cancer.

Marian would like to acknowledge the creativity and diligence of Dr. Angel Negron and the loving spirit of his staff, giving Marian 11 wonderful years with her family and friends.

Marian’s friends will always consider her as a part of their family and will remember and appreciate her laughter, her uplifting perspectives on life through her own whimsical approach—along with good champagne. Marian’s true zest for life was a testament in itself and one that should be emulated by all.

Survivors: Husband of 23 years, Kirk; son, Carter; sister, Linda Fowler of Columbia, S.C.; her dog and constant companion, Hailey; sweet Emily; and her many friends.