The U K Bible Students Website

In Memorial

Crown and Cross

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Born July 1. 1939- Died February 1. 2022 (82)






HIS WIFE, JANE, his extended family, and the friends and staff associated with the UK Bible Students mourn the death of (John) Torry McMillan, a Brother with whom we enjoyed happy fellowship over several decades. Torry was a man of humour, intellectual prowess and exemplary Christian character. We shall all miss him greatly.


Born in Cambus, Clackmannanshire, four miles east of Stirling, he left his native land to further his education in England and seek job opportunities there. The British aerospace industry was at its post-war peak and in 1956 he was awarded an apprenticeship at Blackburn aircraft [now BAE Systems]. The company gave him a broad higher education in engineering; he began his career in the manufacture and assembly of aircraft, moving later to the flight test department. He retired in 1994.


In 1959 he met Jane Southam, who had come from Kent to study at a Teacher Training College in Hull. As their friendship grew, Jane started attending a Presbyterian Church with Torry where they sang in the choir and helped with Sunday School classes. In 1964 they were married in this church. Settling first in Beverley and later in Brough, E. Yorkshire, a half-mile from the factory, Torry and Jane raised their family of four.


While at the factory Torry became friendly with a Bible Student, Bill Roberts, who introduced him to the writings of Bros. Russell and Johnson. Torry and Jane then began their long association with the local ecclesia, becoming founder members of the Humberside Ecclesia with Bill Roberts as class elder. Torry relished the Bible studies; later, he ministered to various classes in Britain in evangelistic service. Technically gifted, he assisted the UK Bible Students project in its early years and served as its treasurer.


In 2006 he was diagnosed with Parkinsonís. The disease slowly eroded his physical comfort, stiffening his muscles and limiting his movement. Despite his difficulties he continued as class chairman and was a regular speaker at national and regional conventions. By 2019 his condition worsened, requiring specialised treatment, so he moved to a local care home. The staff there came to know and love him and would read to him when he could no longer do so himself.


He died without pain in the early hours of  Tuesday, February 1st, leaving a legacy of compassionate deeds, helpful advice and warm memories of a Christian brother who exuded gentleness and humility. We have lost a treasure, but look forward to seeing him in Christís kingdom on earth.