Dr. James Richard Milstead

March 11, 2016

Dr. James Richard Milstead 62, of Frankfort, died at 3:40 a.m. March 11, 2016 at his home.  Born September 13, 1953 in Fairbury, Illinois to the late Carl Richard & Mary Lou (Blundy) Milstead.  He married Becky Sans on August 12, 1978 in Thawville, Illinois and she survives.

Dr. Milstead was a 1971 graduate of Forrest-Strawn-Wing High School.  He served in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War from 1971 – 1975 as a B52 tail gunner.  After the war he received his undergraduate degree from Southern Illinois University and went on to graduate from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in 1982.  He was an Emergency Room physician at the Clinton County Hospital in Frankfort, Indiana for many years, serving also as the ER director.  Dr. Milstead was also an ER doctor for Union Hospital in Terre Haute, until October 2015.   Jim was an active member of the First Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Frankfort, Indiana where he served as a mission team leader, a deacon and an elder.  He and his wife had been involved in short-term mission work around the world for more than 20 years.  He was Chairman of the Board of Directors for Hope in the Harvest Missions International, a non-profit organization working in Liberia, as well as medical director for Grace on Wings, the nation’s only charity air ambulance service. Dr. Milstead published two books, No Other Choice and Answering the Call.

Visitation and Services

Visitation will be 4-8 p.m. Monday, March 14, 2016 at the Goodwin Funeral Home, Frankfort, Indiana. Services will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 15, 2016 at the First Evangelical Presbyterian Church, 352 W. Clinton St., Frankfort, IN 46041. Friends may also visit one hour prior to services at the church. Pastor Paul Copeland will officiate. Burial will be in Green Lawn Cemetery, Frankfort, Indiana. In lieu of flowers the family request donations be made to Hope in the Harvest, c/o First Evangelical Presbyterian Church at the address above or Grace on Wings, P.O. Box 42788, Plainfield, IN 46242 or online at graceonwings.org.

Survived by:

He is survived by his wife Becky of Frankfort, two daughters, Susan (Scott) Haynes and Angela (Hans) Vargas of Frankfort; son Dustin (Rachel) Milstead of Carmel, sister Karen (Andy) Freehill of Carlinville, Illinois; brother, Tom (Jody) Milstead of Burlington, Indiana; seven grandchildren, Trenton, Bryson, Cameron, Madison and Jackson Haynes, Ian & Kira Vargas and two unborn grandchildren.

Preceded by:

his parents.


Leave your Condolences

44 Condolences for “Dr. James Richard Milstead”

  1. Daniel March 11, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    Descansa en paz y goza de la plenitud de nuestro Señor querido hermano. Nuestras siceras condolencias a la familia. Dios esté con ustedes en todo este tiempo.
    Daniel y Fiorella Barandiaran.

  2. Gordy Barnett March 11, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    Susie, so sorry to hear about your dad. Stay strong and with the support you have with your family you’ll make it through this. As you probably know Carol Jo lost both of her parents last year and I lost my mother. With each passing day it gets a little easier to cope with even though you’ll always miss him. If there’s anything we can do just let us know.

  3. Susie Plunkitt March 11, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    So sorry for you all. What a huge loss to you, our church, Grace on Wings, Hope in the Harvest,…us & the whole world! His Christian witness was so strong. Thanks to God for having Jim here as long as He did. We all benefited from that. Praying for you all. Susie

  4. Shan March 11, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    What a blessing for me to have met Jim. He is truly the example of Christ all followers of Jesus strive to be. His humility and soft spoken response to life has been inspiring and has given me much opportunity to examine my own life. Proverbs 27:17 says As iron sharpens iron so a friend sharpens a friend. God made good iron in Jim Milstead and has used Jim to sharpened all he has come in contact with. From his motivational written words in his books to his warm accepting smile, God has used His vessel well and now rejoices with him in glory. Prayers for all the Milstead family and thank you for being so kind to share this great gift with all of us!

  5. Jenny (Fuel) Smith March 11, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    Tom, I am so sorry to hear of your brothers passing. Keeping you and your family in my prayers.

  6. Dustin Ellis March 11, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    I completed my family medicine residency at Union Hospital in 2010 and had the pleasure of working with and learning from Dr. Milstead, I learned a great deal of medicine from him and he was a fantastic role model. He showed every patient he cared for the love of Christ and he certainly made the world a better place. Jim will be dearly missed and I feel honored to have learned from him and call him a friend. My sincerest condolences to the family.

  7. Jo Ellen Myers March 11, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    So sorry to the entire family for your loss. I had the privilege to work with him in the ER and he was a fantastic physician, a wonderful man and a man of God. He will be sorely missed. Heaven has another angel.

  8. Shannon Rogers March 11, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    My dear friend Libbi notified me today of Dr. Milstead’s passing. I am so sorry for your loss. I worked with him in the ER for the first 4 years of my medical career. He was one of the best out of many, I would have laid my life in his hands without question. He was straightforward and patient with one as green as I was. I have many (often humorous after the fact) fond memories. My condolences and prayers for friends and family. I am sure he will be sorely missed by many.

  9. Patsy Taylor Houston March 11, 2016 at 8:22 pm

    I will always fondly remember Jim and our times together during medical school as couples. I am saddened to hear of your loss and am praying for you and your family. May God hold you especially close and give you the necessary graces to handle this most difficult time of grief.
    With love and deepest sympathy,
    Patsy Taylor Houston

  10. Ric Emberton March 11, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    My condolences to Jim and family have known them very well on Martin street in Forest. Good friends for ever.

  11. Tim Albaugh March 11, 2016 at 8:58 pm

    I had the honor of knowing this man, James was truly a gentleman kind and caring to all that knew him, those who never met him don’t know what they missed. I knew James from my years with the Frankfort Fire Dept. he was a great friend to all emt`s and firefighters always willing to help us. we will miss him rest easy in Gods arms Jim.

  12. Janien Small March 11, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    Our deepest sympathy to Becky and family.

    Dennis and Janien Small

  13. Ann Lousch March 11, 2016 at 10:44 pm

    What a beautiful soul we have lost! Hugs & prayers to the Milstead family. I had the honor to work with Dr. Milstead for 6-7 years in Terre Haute! Not only was he a Great doctor he was an amazing human. I feel blessed to have been able to discuss religion occasionally. I feel like a better Christian because of him. May you all find peace in the happy memories you shared! Heaven is a better place now.

  14. Carol Williams March 12, 2016 at 6:18 am

    He will be missed. What a caring man. Rest in Peace.

  15. Jack Scheid March 12, 2016 at 9:12 am

    Connie and I were so saddened upon learning of the passing of our admired friend. Our heart felt condolences go out to to Becky and the family. Jim was one of God’s Special Warriors and so many came to Christ because of him. God Bless, Jack and Connie Scheid (from Florida)

  16. Scott Stout March 12, 2016 at 9:36 am

    I am very sorry for your loss. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  17. Kathy Carollo March 12, 2016 at 9:49 am

    Great sympathy & prayers to the Milstead family… I am from Chatsworth, know Kay & remember his parents. He has really left a huge Legacy but the best one is knowing the LORD… but death leaves a heartache that no one can heal… love leaves a memory no one can steal…Prayers. Kathy Carollo (Trunk)

  18. Mike Zimmerman March 12, 2016 at 9:57 am

    Karen, our hearts, love and prayers go out to you and your family. May God keep you and care for you all at this difficult time.

  19. Gary Gary Thiel March 12, 2016 at 10:14 am

    Linda and I and the rest of the Thiel Family, out here in Denver, send you and your family our condolences. Jim was a great humanitarian, served his country well, and will serve God well, as he has done here on earth. Jim to me was a great friend. We had many great times together growing up, from cub scouts to sports and through our high school years. I have many great memories of Jim, and I will continue to cherish these memories. My only regret was that we were not closer in geography, to enjoy each others accomplishments and families, in which we both cherished.
    God Bless you and your family!

  20. Nancy Bailey March 12, 2016 at 11:38 am

    Tom, I’m so sorry about your brother. Miss seeing you.

  21. Ed Click March 12, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    Prayers for his whole family and friends. A very special gentleman who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting through his brother Tom. So sorry for your loss. May he rest in heaven. God bless you all.

  22. Paul Powell March 12, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    To Becky and the family,
    Jim will be greatly missed. His compassion and servitude to God’s work; his love for his family, friends and coworkers with his tireless work to help others is deeply appreciated here on earth. Now he has received his reward for his faithfulness but he has left a void that no man can replace.
    May God bless you and keep you. May his light shine upon you.

  23. Gina Sheets March 12, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    You all have become family to us through Jim’s caring heart and outreach. He taught us to serve and live and love, thank you for sharing his passion and work. We love you and we love Jim and we love Jesus deeper, dearer, and faithfully because of Jim and all of you.

  24. Russ Schwartz March 12, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    It was an honor and a privilege to work with Dr. Milstead as we both served Hope in the Harvest Missions, International. I’m glad I got to know him and hear his story. He will be missed by many, but we can still have joy knowing that he is now in a better place.

  25. Patti Beisner March 12, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    Such an honor to have worked with Dr Milstead in the ER as well as Grace On Wings.
    I’m a better nurse for his leadership, teaching and his friendship!
    To his family, my heart breaks for your loss, but I know this is Dr Jim’s homecoming, Cherish your memories!
    God Bless You All!

  26. Dan Lutes March 13, 2016 at 7:02 am

    I am deeply saddened at the passing of this great man. He was kind to all, and a mentor to me personally. I thank God for his service and for his life. I miss you Jim.

  27. Casey & Kathy Kallner March 13, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    We were so sad to hear about the passing of your father. We had not met your dad but hearing from the kids and reading about him, he was certainly someone to be proud of and loved by his family and friends. I know that you have a great group of friends who care for you and Rachel and will support you during this time. Our best to you and your family, his memories will be with you forever.
    Casey and Kathy Kallner

  28. Greg Miller March 13, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    My prayers go out to the Milstead family. Dr. Milstead was a true servant in every sense of the word. He served as our Medical Director at the Frankfort Fire Department for several years and I got to know him quite well. A man I trusted as a good friend and as an exceptional Doctor. He will always have my utmost respect. Thank you for all you have done for us.

  29. Sam Schmidgall March 13, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    Tom and Karen you have my sympathy in the loss or your brother.
    Sam Schmidgall

  30. Sally Moore March 14, 2016 at 5:02 am

    I can’t imagine the depth of your sorrow in losing Jim. He was truly a wonderful, kind, loving servant of the Lord, and we are all, every one of us, blessed to have known him. It will be years before it will seem normal to speak of Jim in past tense. His ministry and his passion will live on and on! As I’m sure Jim would have said, may Jesus, and He alone, be given the glory! We loved him so very much! Love you all, Sally

  31. Barry and Pamela Kaisner March 14, 2016 at 10:04 am

    Jim has been my best friend my whole life. The world has truly lost one of the best person I have known. I feel so sorry for the whole family as I know them as well. May God be with you in these trying times. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  32. Dr. John Bolinger March 14, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    I first met Jim in 2006, when staring practice at Union Hospital. Jim’s ability to assess and treat his patients with kindness, dignity, and respect, made him stand out as the excellent physician he was. Dr. Milstead was the glue that helped keep the emergency room going, in these times of ever changing medical practice. We had many discussions regarding these changes, and how practicing medicine had become more complicated, making it difficult to focus on the patient, rather than some new mandated treatment guideline. Jim had no trouble placing patients first. Although Jim and I only knew each other professionally, we became friends, and his advice and judgement was always appreciated. The news of his illness was a sad day for all of us at Union. The news of his death, even sadder. As I read his obituary, I realize what a humble, wonderful individual he was. Rest in peace Jim, your memory lives on.

  33. David C. Laux M.D. March 14, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    Dr. Milstead was a great role model and inspiration to me. I benefited greatly from his example on how to be a great emergency doctor when I was transitioning into the field, and most importantly on how to be a great person. With the greatest respect, I wish to extend to his wife and all other of his loved ones my most heart-felt condolences.

  34. Sonia Guerra March 14, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    Mis sinceras condolencias para ti y familia Angie,Dios les fortalezca en estos tiempos de dolor .

  35. Bob Day March 14, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    My condolences, thoughts and prayers go to you Becky, and to your family.

  36. Dona Perry March 14, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    I am so sorry to hear if his passing. My prayers go out to the family. He was a great guy and one of my favorite medical school classmates. He will be missed.

  37. Peggy Zimmerman DeFries March 14, 2016 at 11:17 pm

    Tom and Karen …Deepest sympathy. Sounds like your brother was a great Dr. that earned the utmost respect from his colleagues and was a faithful Christian man…. Very comforting! So sorry for your loss. Gone but never forgotten.

  38. Jean (Stewart) Rabe, Fairbury, IL March 15, 2016 at 7:38 am

    Becky and Tom and Family,
    I am so very sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. I have such wonderful memories over the years. I will always have tremendous respect and admiration for the man I’ve always known him to be. We have lost a great one!

  39. Bob Blincoe March 16, 2016 at 1:14 am

    Dear Becky and all of Jim’s family, We will never forget our friend Jim, and we will always treasure the happy memories that we shared. We remember the promises of Jesus Christ, and we put our faith in Him to bring us the blessed hope of seeing Jim again. Sincerely, Bob and Jan Blincoe, Mesa, Arizona

  40. Phyllis Bellot March 20, 2016 at 10:47 pm

    To Becky, Karen, Tom and families,
    We were so very sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. You all have our deepest sympathy in his passing. He was a great doctor, husband, father and brother. He will be greatly missed by everyone that was lucky enough to know him. Keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.

    Jim and Phyllis(Stehle) Bellot
    Don and Daisy Bellot
    Dean and Pauline Waters

  41. Glenn Wilken April 1, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    Becky, so sorry to hear about your loss. You are in our prayers.

    Glenn & Janet Wilken

  42. James Shaddle April 6, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    I was so sorry to hear of Jim’s departure. I just heard the news today. We were classmates as long as I can recall and fellow graduates of Forrest Strawn Wing Class of 1971. Jim was smart, capable and mindful of others. It was no surprise that he became a doctor. My thoughts and prayers go the the family.

  43. Linda E. Hungerford, M.D. August 26, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    Please accept my belated condolences. I always admired Jim’s going back to school for his MD degree. I trust the Class of ’82 joins me in expressing these sentiments to you.
    Linda E. Hungerford, M.D.
    SIU-SOM Class of 1982

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