Jean McMillan Hemstreet, 91, teacher, Drum Hill DAR regent
Longtime Wilton resident Jean McMillan Hemstreet, 91, of Falmouth, MA, passed away on August 24, 2012, after a difficult summer and, eventually, pneumonia. She was born and raised in Wilmington, Ohio, daughter of Esther Jane Carroll and Esper Jacob McMillan. She was pre-deceased by her parents, husband, and brother. She is survived by two daughters, Nancy Eaton of Glastonbury, CT and Katherine Cooper of Falmouth, MA; two granddaughters, Heather Gray of Framingham, MA and Kristin Eaton of Litchfield, CT; one great grandson, Owen Gray; and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Mrs. Hemstreet graduated from Kingman High School in Wilmington and in 1942 from Wilmington College, where her mother was a trustee. After teaching in Ohio, she moved to Washington, DC during World War II where she met her husband, Navy Ensign Harold S. Hemstreet, while serving as a hostess at the Officers' Club. They married in May 1944 and moved to Cambridge, MA where her husband was stationed at MIT working on Radar Directed Gunnery. After the war, the Hemstreets moved to Baltimore, MD where in 1947 their first daughter, Nancy Jane, was born, and later that year to Akron, OH. In 1949, the family moved to Binghamton, NY where their second daughter, Katherine Alice was born the following year. In 1959, the family moved to Wilton, CT which would be their home for the next 32 years. After Mr. Hemstreet's retirement from Perkin-Elmer Corporation, they built a home in North Hampton, NH. Following her husband's death in 1999, Mrs. Hemstreet moved to Falmouth, MA to be close to her daughter and son-in-law.
Mrs. Hemstreet was a homemaker and actively engaged in her daughters' interests. After they were grown up, she became involved in the Daughters of the American Revolution. She began in the local Wilton Drum Hill DAR chapter where she became the Chapter Regent and launched a successful annual antique show. She moved on to the state level where she ultimately served as Connecticut State Regent from 1986-1989. During that 3-year period, she dedicated herself to the restoration of the Oliver Ellsworth Homestead in Windsor, a DAR-owned historic landmark, the home of the 2nd Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. The project took on larger proportions when it was discovered the building needed a new roof. Mrs. Hemstreet subsequently served on the national level as a Vice President General from 1989-1992. Mrs. Hemstreet served on the Board of Trustees of the Tamassee DAR School in South Carolina from 1998-2001; was President of the Oliver Ellsworth Homestead in Windsor, CT; Ex Officio President of the Governor Jonathan Trumbull House and Wadsworth Stable in Lebanon, CT; and State Chairman of the Connecticut Board Room at NSDAR Headquarters at Constitution Hall in Washington, DC. She was an associate member of the Captain Joshua Gray-Jonathan Hatch DAR Chapter, on Cape Cod. She made many lifelong friends through the DAR.
Over the years, she was also a member of the Women's Republican Club in Wilton, CT, National Society, Magna Charta Dames and Barons, and Colonial Dames of the XVII Century.
Through her brother, his wife, and their daughters, she maintained a lifelong connection to her Ohio birthplace. The family farm outside of Wilmington has been home to McMillans since 1805.
She was a superb baker and enjoyed gardening and bridge and travel. She loved antiquing, crossword puzzles, needlepoint design and stitching, WSJ editorials, Fox News, and anything Ohio.
Calling hours are on Thursday, August 30, 4:00-6:00 p.m. at Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, 475 Main Street, Falmouth. A memorial service will be held in late September at Chester Friends Meeting, Wilmington, Ohio, with burial in the family plot in Sugar Grove Cemetery, also in Wilmington.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the "Jean McMillan Hemstreet Fund," which benefits the Ellsworth Homestead, at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, 10 Columbus Boulevard, Hartford, CT 06106; or to the Tamassee DAR School, Inc., P. O. Box 8, 1925 Bumgardner Drive, Tamassee, SC 29686.