SHELBY — Shelby philanthropist and businessman Grant Milliron, 88, died Wednesday morning, leaving a strong legacy via the impact he made throughout Richland County.
Born in Mansfield on Feb. 28, 1935, Milliron spent his whole life in Richland County.
“An entirely unexpected pall of grief has fallen upon our fair City,” said Shelby Mayor Steve Schag. “As the hours elapse and the news of Grant Milliron’s passing spreads, it seems as though we all are experiencing a personal and painful bereavement.”
Milliron graduated from Madison High School in 1953, where he met his wife Mary. She died in March 2021 after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
Together, the couple celebrated 67 years of marriage and raised a family of seven children, three sons and four daughters.
As an 18-year-old, he founded the Milliron Recycling Company in February, 1954.
After 64 years of business, Milliron Recycling was sold to Australian-based BlueScope Recycling and Materials, LLC in August 2022.
In 2004, Milliron was selected the Mansfield/Richland County Chamber Chairman’s Award winner. He was also inducted into the North Central State College Entrepreneurial Hall of Fame/Hall of Excellence.
Milliron was determined to make his mark in the community. To that end, the City of Shelby announced in October 2016 that Milliron would be making a generous donation towards the construction of a new fire station.
In November 2018, the Shelby fire station was dedicated in the department’s new garage.
“There are many threads that hold a community together, and safety forces are a big part of that thread,” Milliron told Richland Source in 2017. “The Lord has blessed me so much in my life, it’s easy to give back.”
At an annual fundraiser in September 2018, The Shelby Foundation awarded Milliron the Visionary Award, which honors a local citizen for selfless giving and addressing a community need.
Milliron had a strong religious background. He told the Richland Source in 2018 that the fire station project was planted in his mind by God, and God surrounded him with the right people to complete it.
“He was certainly an icon in our community,” State Rep. Marilyn John (R-Richland County) said. “He contributed to the fabric of the City of Shelby, Richland County, the State of Ohio, and I would go so far as to say the country.”
Milliron’s passing has left the Shelby community in mourning, the mayor said.
“His larger-than-life legacy is one of faith, family, and inexhaustible charity. The City of Shelby will always remember him with respect, fondness, and appreciation,” Schag said.
“We join the thousands of Richland County residents who are praying for God’s consolation and comfort to be poured out upon his dear family members and innumerable number of friends.”
John said she was not alone in her admiration of Milliron.
“The thing I admired most about him was how eloquently he spoke of his faith, love for his family, and specifically his wife, Mary,” John said.
Angela Phillips, CEO of Phillips Tube Group, said she was saddened by the news.
“It’s a loss to all of Richland County,” Phillips said. “He was a pillar of the Shelby community. Grant had that humble quality about him, and was the benchmark for the rest of us.
“He was an inspiration to me as a businessperson in this area.”
Funeral services have not yet been announced.