Nellie G. (Collier) Macmillen, 89

Nellie Macmillen

Nellie Gertrude (Collier) Macmillen, 89, of Bridgton, Maine, died peacefully Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, following a long journey with dementia. She was born in New Haven, Conn., on May 31, 1923, a daughter of Walter E. and Minerva A. (Toube) Collier. Nell, as she preferred to be called, grew up and attended schools in Hamden, Conn. She was proud to be a direct descendent of the immigrant Deacon Samuel Chapin, a founder of Springfield, Mass. in the 17th century.

Upon graduation from high school, she strived to be a nurse, but that dream was short-lived due to World War II. Nell worked for the Southern New England Telephone Company, Yale University Employees Federal Credit Union, North Branford Visiting Nurse Association and Atwater Memorial Library and Nursery on Notch Hill in North Branford, Conn., where she resided for 47 years.

Nell was a communicant of Zion Episcopal Church in North Branford. For many years she served as a Sunday school teacher, member of the altar guild, and participant in many of the church’s fundraising activities. In addition, Nell was a longtime member of the Ladies’ Sewing Society at the North Branford Congregational Church.

Volunteering came naturally to Nell. She was involved in Scouts, 4-H, PTA, was a tutor at Cedar Lake Elementary School, and volunteered at North Branford Food Bank and North Branford Senior Citizen Center. Nell not only gave blood when the local chapter of the American Red Cross came to town, but for over thirty five years she was a blood runner and babysitter at bloodmobiles. She also knit innumerable baby blankets, hats and booties for preemie babies and bereavement outfits, which she donated to hospitals throughout the New Haven area through the RSVP program. While in Maine, Nell continued to do the same for local hospitals.

Nell enjoyed creating handcrafts for her family and friends. She liked to knit, crochet and work with plastic canvas and felt. She loved to read and to solve crossword and word search puzzles. Shopping was also a passion and Nell was an avid walker. She especially enjoyed taking long walks on the beach with her beloved husband, Bill. Together they also took pleasure in traveling throughout the United States and Canada.

Nell is survived by three children, Lynn M. Budzynkiewicz and her husband Paul of Dudley, Mass., William J. Macmillen of Blackrock, Conn., and Leigh M. Hayes and her husband Allen of Bridgton, Maine; a brother, Walter E. Collier, Jr. and his wife Marie of New Bern, N.C., and extended family; and four grandchildren who lovingly called her “Noni,” Alec and Jaime Buzynkiewicz and Shep and Patrick Hayes.

Nell was predeceased by her husband of 37 years, William R. “Bill” Macmillen; her brother, William J. Collier; and her parents.

The family would like to thank the staff at Country Village Assisted Living in Casco, Bridgton Residential Care and Beacon Hospice for the tender loving care they gave Nell.

A memorial service will be held at the Zion Episcopal Church in North Branford, Conn. at a later date. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to Beacon Hospice, 54 Atlantic Place, Foden Rd., S. Portland, ME 04106, or to the North Branford Food Bank, 1680 Foxon Rd., North Branford, CT 06471-1505. Local arrangements are under the direction of Chandler Funeral Homes & Cremation Service, 8 Elm Street, Bridgton, Maine. Online condolences may be shared with her family at

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