Life Story / Obituary
Cam Milks was a vibrant person who loved his family dearly. There simply wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for them. He had an immense love of life and modeled authentic and selfless giving to each and every person he met. Gone too soon, his generosity and tender-hearted spirit will be fondly remembered by his many special friends and loved ones for years to come.
The 1960s were characterized by great social changes. Many Americans believed they were standing at the dawn of a golden age. At the beginning of this promising decade in our nation’s history, folk music was evolving thanks to young artists like Bob Dylan and The Beach Boys and The Beatles were growing in popularity. In 1963, Cameron was welcomed home as the youngest of five children to his loving parents on January 12th in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Never one to complain, it seems incredibly fitting that he was born in what was known as the era of optimism.
Cam lived a typical childhood of the time. His father was a salesman and his mother worked as a banker in addition to her role as a loving wife and mother. Cam found his fair share of mischief over the course of his developing years and was often the brunt of a few pranks from his siblings as the baby of the family! Despite their usual sibling rivalry they were close and grew up watching Disney movies, eating popcorn, and drinking Kool-Aid on Sunday nights together. As early as the age of six, he took a memorable ride in a Corvair, sparking his lifetime love of cars! Active as a youngster, he played Little League baseball as well as Rocket football. As much as he enjoyed sports, what seemed to stick was his interest in cars. He enjoyed working on cars and taking them apart as a teenager. Graduating from Loy Norrix High School, Cam set off to attend college. After spending a few years at various colleges, he found that working with people was where his heart was most content.
Cam held a wide variety of jobs over the course of his lifetime. He enjoyed his years with Dunkin Donuts, Bilbos Pizza, Howard Johnson, and the Sheraton. Funny and outgoing, he was well liked and made many lasting friendships. His closest friends were Dave Crawford, Todd Semrau, and Jim Vandenberg, as well as the rest of his close buddies from Loy Norrix. Cam was a great storyteller and loved to share many of his life stories with others making him fun to be around and especially known to make the hours of a workday go by fast! He furthered his career working with Gordon Water Service, Master Pools, Kalamazoo Swim Pool, and Meyer C. Weiner Company. During his years working at Southland Mall, his employees grew used to his many nuances. If he was in a good mood, it was guaranteed to be an equally good day. When he was in a bad mood however, they knew it was a result of him always wanting the best out himself and everyone else! Cam was a hard worker who was always willing to go the extra mile and his work ethic was unsurpassed. There was never a dull moment when he was around!
Cam was a man of many special interests. In addition to his affection for the automobile, he also treasured his motorcycles. He loved to go for long drives down country roads. For many years, he also enjoyed signing up for and completing Century Rides, rides of one hundred miles on his bike. Hard to believe from his rough nature on the outside that Cam was also a masterful artist. He was very talented yet was his own best critic. Photography was a passion of his and he used it to share his view of the world around him. Cam enjoyed all genres of music but was especially drawn to Jazz music. It was no surprise that he also loved movies as long as they had fast cars or motorcycle scenes and perhaps his favorite movie of all time was the 1963 film, The Great Escape! A dog lover throughout his life, Cam also cherished his special furry companions; Austin, Shelby, and Healy. He loved to spoil them rotten!
Above all else, Cam enjoyed the special times he shared with family. His nieces and nephews were lucky to have him attend nearly all of their important events over the years. He was known to take them shopping, attend their baseball games or view them online, fix their cars, enjoy many classic movies together, or give them one of his famous Uncle Cam knuckle sandwiches! Each time they were together there was plenty of laughter to go around and stories to be told. They were fond of his art, his teaching them how to brush hog, and above all else his example of the importance of family. He was immensely proud of each and every one of them! Known for his charming smile and delightful personality, Cam leaves behind a rich legacy of treating others with kindness. May all those who knew and loved him be comforted knowing that his memories are eternal.
Cameron Milks, age 57, of Kalamazoo, Michigan passed away on June 1, 2020. He is survived by his mother, Cara Milks; siblings; Sue (Ed) Zablocki, Cara (Tim) Kelly, and Matt (Jodi) Milks; as well as special nieces and nephews; Sarah (Ian) Brown, Emily (Brennah) Snyder, Jess (Hayden) Berry, Jenny (Chris) Berry, and Mitchell and Mason Milks. He was preceded in death by his father, Donald F. Milks and by one brother, Eric Donald Milks. A day of celebration will be announced at a later date. Please visit Cam’s personal web page at www.BetzlerLifeStory.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his online guestbook. Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900.