Arthur Frederick “Gumpy” Milligan passed comfortably in his home, as he wanted, on September 21, 2019 at the age of 94 surrounded by his loving family. He was born January 30, 1925 in Lansing, NY, the son of the late Lester and Viola (McGraw) Milligan. He is predeceased by his son, Arthur Frederick Milligan Jr. (1988) and is survived by his wife and soul mate of 77 years, Catherine Milligan, his daughter, Joan Milligan, his grandchildren: Charles Sturges, Cheryl (Raymond) Scott, Brian (Lauren) Gaffney, Dennis (Jennifer) Gaffney, Katie (Nathan) Gaffney-Thompson, Timothy Gaffney, and Heather Gaffney.
Of Arthur’s four siblings, three sisters survive him: Gladys Di Raddo, Margo Bonner, and Ellamae Seeley. His brother, Lester Milligan Jr, predeceases him. Also surviving Arthur are 15 Great Grandchildren, 19 Great-great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. His Great granddaughter, Vanessa Sturges, predeceases him.
Arthur proudly served his country in World War II. In retaliation for the attack on Pearl Harbor, Arthur enlisted into the United States Navy on April 8, 1943 at 18 years old and entered active service on April 15, 1943. He served as a Gunner’s Mate First Class, 4th Division aboard the USS Orion, a Fulton-class submarine tender of the United States Navy. He operated out of a number of South Pacific bases including Pearl Harbor, Perth, Saipan, and Okinawa. He was awarded the Point System Victory Medal Asiatic Pacific. He was honorably discharged on October 19, 1945.
Arthur joined Ithaca Gun Co. in February 1943 as a tool and die maker helper prior to enlisting in the Navy. When he returned home, he began a 4-year course as apprentice toolmaker. He progressed through the various stages of the toolmaker apprenticeship and was appointed to tool room foreman in 1963 and later to General Foreman of the tool room and tool grinding departments. Arthur retired from Ithaca Gun as General Foreman of the engineering department in 1988.
In his 94 years Arthur lived through the Great Depression, served in the United States Navy during WWII, married his childhood sweetheart, raised two children along with his wife, and became a hero to his grandchildren. Arthur enjoyed family time more than anything else. Family is what meant most to him. A lot of family time was spent eating a delicious meal together followed up with a good game of cards or chess, and croquet. He spent many winter and summer nights traveling to his granddaughters IHS basketball games, supporting their love of the game until he grew to love the game as much if not more.
A celebration of Arthur’s life will be held at the Perkins Funeral Home, 55 W. Main St., Dryden, NY on Saturday, September 28th at 11am. Burial, with full military honors follows the funeral service at the Willow Glen Cemetery. After burial services, a gathering will be held at The Dryden VFW, 2272 Dryden Road. Friends and family are invited to call on Friday, September 27th from 4-6pm. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to Hospicare, 172 E. King Rd. Ithaca, NY 14850.