On July 11, William Taylor ‘Bubba’ McMillen, 79, of Franklin, passed away.
Mr. McMillen was a lifelong resident of Williamson County and a graduate of Franklin High School, class of 1959.
His passions were horses, rodeo and line dancing. McMillen worked as a brick salesman with Herbert Materials, was a business owner and served two terms as an alderman for the city of Franklin.
One of McMillen’s favorite places to visit every morning was the former Half Way Market, which closed in late June.
Half Way Market owner Kellye King remembers McMillen’s usual order very clearly: “One over easy with sausage, toast and a slice of tomato.”
“That was his staple he had everyday,” King said. “He had his own chair there, too.”
McMillen was a regular at Half Way Market for breakfast, lunch and sometimes even a sweet treat after dinner, King added. The warm welcome McMillen gave everyone is what King remembers the most.
“Everybody loved Bubba,” King said. “Everybody that walked through that door got to know him. When he was with you, it felt like you were his best friend. We were blessed he was a part of our lives.”
Jimmy Nichols, another longtime friend of McMillen’s, shared memories of their friendship that started around 1950 when they played against one another for opposing teams in basketball.
Both friends also shared a love for rodeo events, and would head down to a ranch in west Texas to enjoy many outdoor activities.
Later in life, both friends could be found at Half Way Market every morning, or on Sundays at Greer’s Tennessee Country Hams.
“Bubba was a great guy and hard working,” Nichols said.
Franklin Alderman Brandy Blanton shared her fond memories of a friendship she had with McMillen that started in the late 1970s.
“My most precious memories were over the last 10 years when I knew a visit to Half Way Market meant I would find him sitting in his corner, ready to talk politics or community news (aka gossip),” Blanton said in a social media post.
Blanton also knew McMillen would always get her children home safely from school.
Once McMillen retired from Herbert Materials, one of his other occupations included making sure children got to school on time and then back home safely on his bus route.
“In the 1990s I had the privilege of knowing that my children would be delivered home safely by this man I had known as a child myself,” Blanton said. “Bubba was a true Southern gentleman who loved his family, his friends and his community.”
McMillen also had a passion for Western line dancing and two-step. He shared his knowledge with the community for 25 years as the longest-tenured instructor for Williamson County Parks and Recreation.