Barbara Jane Bray MacMillan of South Bend, Indiana passed away peacefully on January 16, 2023 at the age of 69 following complications from a stroke. Barbara was born in Chicago, Illinois to Robert and Jane (Walls) Bray. She is survived by her elder sister Patricia (Bray) Uhe and younger brother Robert P. Bray, Jr.
She is also survived by her previous spouse Jeffrey MacMillan and their three children Charles, Anne (husband Jeffrey Liu) and Thomas (fiancé Sofia Sullivan), grandsons Everett and Paker and loyal dogs Moose, Tofu, and Maggie.
Barbara, born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, graduated from Loyola University Chicago. She went to earn a master's degree in public health education from Columbia University, New York. Her professional career began as a dental hygienist. Barbara’s passion for oral health never wavered. She was known for handing out toothbrushes instead of candy on Halloween.
Her career as an educator began in 1976 as a professor of dental hygiene at Idaho State University. Barbara went on to teach at Marquette University, Cleveland State University, Indiana University South Bend and Ivy Tech Community College. In 2022, she retired from her position as Dean of Health Sciences at Ivy Tech. The capstone of her career was her establishment of the dental hygiene program at Ivy Tech, an accomplishment she worked hard to achieve on behalf of the school and the community.
Barbara was known to most as "Mama Mac" as she was, above all else, a loving mother. Her caretaking instincts extended beyond her family to friends, colleagues, and anyone she encountered.
Barbara's life was dedicated to education and ensuring access to education for all. A scholarship honoring her legacy was established. In lieu of flowers, the family is accepting donations for the scholarship fund at: Donate to Ivy Tech Scholarship (Important! Reference the Barbara MacMillan Scholarship Fund in the comment section) and donations to the Ernestine Raclin House Donate.
A Memorial Service will be held at 2:00pm Saturday, April 8, 2023 at Palmer Funeral Home - Hickey Chapel, 17131 Cleveland Rd., South Bend, IN 46635. Friends may visit with the family one hour prior to the service. Following the Memorial, there will be a reception at Traditions, 1140 E. Angela Blvd., Notre Dame, IN 46556 from 3:30pm-5:30pm.
Palmer Funeral Homes - Hickey Chapel and Southlawn Cremation Services are handling the arrangements for the family.
Online condolences may be left for the family at palmerfuneralhomes.com