He taught art and art history at Taft College for nearly 30 years

 

 

 

Beloved husband and father Konrad Neal McMillan passed away in Goleta on September 12, 2018, surrounded by his family. He was 89.

Born in Santa Monica to Lawrence and Mary (Ford) McMillan, Konrad grew up in Pasadena. He attended Pasadena Community College before transferring to UC Berkley. Though he had equal interests in music and art, he ultimately chose to study art. He later earned a Masters degree in art history from the University of Southern California. A veteran, he served in the Army in the Korean War from 1952-1954. While pursuing further art studies in New York city, he met Gunhild Baumgaertel, who had immigrated to the U.S. from Germany, and they married in 1957.

Konrad and Gunhild moved to California, first living in San Gabriel and Fillmore for a few years before settling in Taft, where Konrad taught art and art history at Taft College for nearly 30 years. He guided countless Taft College students through their first explorations of making art with not only great expertise but understanding and patience. At the same time, he continued his own work, producing many lovely paintings of the California landscape. Following his passion for classic films, he branched into teaching courses on film and film history.

Konrad was devoted to his three children, Mark, Chris, and Charlotte, all of whom were raised in Taft. He shared his passion for music with his family by playing classical piano and listening to the great pianists of the time, both classical and jazz. He relished classic movies and shared his encyclopedic knowledge of them with his family. During the summers, the family would often escape the heat of the San Joaquin Valley with vacations in Goleta and Isla Vista. These coastal destinations later became the subjects of some of his paintings.

Upon retirement in 1989, Konrad and Gunhild moved to Goleta. During his retirement, Konrad painted the Santa Barbara landscape extensively, producing beautiful images of the local coastline and orange groves. He exhibited his paintings at galleries in Santa Barbara and Goleta.

We remember his humility, his wonderful and accomplished artistry, his steadiness - even in the face of tribulations put before him, his delight in humor, his essential kindness and understanding, and his patience and wisdom. We will miss him dearly.

He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Gunhild McMillan, as well as his children Mark McMillan of Santa Barbara, Chris (Gundi) McMillan of Midland, Michigan, and Charlotte McMillan of Pasadena. He was preceded in death by his brother Keith McMillan.

 A private burial will take place at Goleta Cemetery.