Milan (Miles) Pilney Jr., 81 of The Villages, FL, passed away after a short illness on Wednesday, November 4, 2020. He was born August 23, 1939 to Mr. and Mrs. Miland Pilney Sr. (Mary Televiak). He lived most of his life in Yorkville, Ohio.
Milan was preceded in death by his son, Douglas Steven Pilney. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Frances (“Frankie”) Gatchel Pilney, his daughter Diane Lynn Hubacz and son-in-law, Robert J. Hubacz, of The Woodlands, TX; grandsons, Ryan Douglas Hubacz of Houston, TX and Jared Gabriel Hubacz of San Antonio, TX; his brother Michael (Eileen) Pilney of Oregon; sister-in-law Grace Gatchel Casshie of Parma, OH; nephews, Devon (Jessica) Pilney and Bryn Pilney; and great-nephew, Simon James Pilney, all of Oregon.
A 1957 graduate of Yorkville High School, Milan played basketball for the Ductillites. After attending Ohio University, he began his career working as a draftsman/estimator designing Major League baseball stadiums and NASA cryogenic vessels. Later, he took a similar position with Wheeling Steel at the corporate headquarters in Wheeling, WV and manufacturing plants in Steubenville, Mingo Junction, Yorkville, Martins Ferry, OH and Benwood, WV. After 11 years in the steel industry, Milan made a bold move and founded Pilney Insurance Agency, Inc. in St. Clairsville, OH. For 28 years, his agency served countless insurance needs throughout the Ohio Valley. He was a member of the Ohio Professional Insurance Association where he served on the State Membership Committee for 22 years. He was also a member of the Independent Insurance Association of Ohio and of Belmont County where he served a term as President and 12 years as a Trustee. Milan always said the best job he ever had was being a lifeguard at the Warren Township Memorial Pool from 1956-58, where he taught swimming lessons and was a swim team member.
Throughout his life, Milan served his community in many ways. He was a volunteer fireman and EMT for Yorkville Volunteer Fire Dept., where he served as treasurer for 20 years. He was elected to the Buckeye Local Board of Education where he served for multiple years including one as president. A 29-year member of the Belmont Hills Country Club, he served 8 years as a Board Member, including 2 years as President, as well as being active on the Membership and Greens Committees. After retiring to The Villages in Florida, he served on its Architectural Review Board. He was a member of the Golf Advisory Committee at Palmer Legends Country Club and served as VP and President of the Winifred Men’s Club.
Golf was Milan’s passion. Although he played many golf courses all over the country, the Belmont Hills CC course was his favorite. He was especially proud of his son, Doug, a PGA golf professional, who played on the Nike Tour. In 1995, he established an Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Memorial Golf Scholarship in Doug’s name to annually provide college financial assistance for a high school golfer. Milan was The Ohio Golf Association Senior Classic Champion in 2005 and 2006 in his age group. His retirement community in Florida was his golfing heaven. He enjoyed playing several times a week with many old and new friends. In 2009, he won The Villages Golf Men’s Championship (6th Flight).
When he wasn’t golfing, Milan loved taking care of his garden, especially his tomatoes and peppers, which he canned every year. He was an excellent cook and worked to perfect his favorite recipes. As a devoted fan, he lived the ups and downs of his beloved Cleveland sports teams, the Browns and the Indians. Milan loved to travel. He visited Tahiti, Bora Bora, the Panama Canal, most of the Caribbean Islands, and nearly all 50 states, including Alaska and Hawaii. He had planned a Mediterranean Cruise to celebrate his 60th anniversary with Frankie. Unfortunately, it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Milan was admired by all who met him. He was very personable and never met a stranger. His friendships included people from all walks of life. He could be tough, demanding and steadfast in his beliefs, yet had a heart of gold for those he loved. Milan was often sought out for guidance and advice due to his impeccable integrity. With his excellent memory, Milan could recall specific details of the events in his life with amazing clarity. His grandchildren, Ryan and Jared, were his pride and joy. He was very proud of their accomplishments and the men they had become. Milan felt he was very fortunate in life by choosing the right direction when he met a fork in the road. He often said he was either blessed with good luck or making a smart decision, but it was probably a little of both. He believed in taking chances. With hard work and applying yourself, it will always work out. He will be deeply missed.
Private arrangements are being entrusted to Heirs-Baxley Funeral & Cremation Life Event Center, The Villages, FL 352-775-7427. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in Milan’s memory to the Douglas S. Pilney Memorial Golf Scholarship, 1690 Renwick Way, The Villages, FL 32162.