OBITUARY: Roger McMillan, Colmac Industries

5 January 2024

Roger Kenneth McMillan, who ran the family business Colmac Industries, known for its garment finishing equipment, between 1974 and 2002, died on 28 December, 2023, in Spokane, Washington. He also built the second Colmac business, Colmac Coil Manufacturing, one of the world’s leading manufacturers in the new and replacement coil markets.


Roger was born 7 January 1942 in Missoula, Montana to the late Jerry and Gwen McMillan. Jerry was the first-generation founder of the business in 1959.


Roger spent his early childhood in Spokane, until his parents moved to Colville, where Jerry invented specialised laundry machines and started the Colmac business. Roger graduated from Colville High School in 1960 with a Master’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1966, then spent two years in the US Army as a 2nd and 1st Lieutenant in the Ordinance Corps before returning to Colville to use his skills at Colmac.

 A memorial event celebrating Roger’s life was held at Colville Memorial Church on 4 January.

Roger is survived by his wife Dee McMillan, sister Carol and her family, sons Scott and Brian, grandchildren Savannah, Darby, Harrison, and Rosalie, great grandson Carter and great granddaughter Aspen Jade (AJ).

Roger’s legacy is a proud one. Colmac Industries is a privately held, third generation, family-owned company which has been the innovator of many popular laundry finishing products that are now staples in the industry.

Colmac was the first to mass produce a tunnel finisher with a direct gas heating system, the first to develop the triple buck shirt press, the first to create a vertical, one-step pant pressing system, the first to develop a high speed computerised hangering system, and the first to design and manufacture a straight-through, modular tunnel finishing system.

Colmac recently became the first to install a direct water-to-steam ‘boilerless’ tunnel finisher and a modular PLC controlled tunnel finisher.

Colmac Industries is in its third generation of family ownership under owner and chairman Scott McMillan.

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