Elia Millan, a native of Colombia who made Montauk her home for 30 years, died at Southampton Hospital last Thursday. Diagnosed with cancer several years ago, she had not been really ill until two months ago.
Known to her friends as Rosa, Ms. Millan was born on Jan. 31, 1942, and grew up in Colombia before coming to this country. She lived first in Florida, where she worked as a nanny for a family, helping to raise their child, Ana Baldino. The two remained close for the rest of her life. She learned to speak English with the goal of one day becoming an American citizen, which she achieved.
In Montauk she took various jobs, working as a seamstress, cleaning houses, and watching over summer residences during the cold months. The hamlet was the perfect place for her. “She loved to fish. She would go as often as she could,” said Deirdre Luisi-Hands, a friend. “She was my clamming buddy.”
Ms. Millan liked to wake up early in the morning to take walks, and prided herself on her cooking.
Always concerned about the welfare of others, she volunteered at the Montauk Food Pantry at the Outreach Center at St. Therese of Lisieux Catholic Church for many years. She worried about four-footed creatures too, and always found time to care for animals in distress. She was a frequent donor to the Animal Rescue Fund.
She is survived by one daughter, who lives in Colombia. Ms. Baldino lives in Boca Raton, Fla.
“She worked hard her whole life. She didn’t have it easy. But she was a pure Montauk person,” said Ms. Luisi-Hands.
Funeral services were held at St. Therese on Monday, with burial following at Fort Hill Cemetery in Montauk.
Ms. Luisi-Hands suggested donations in her memory be made to ARF, P.O. Box 901, Wainscott 11975, or the Montauk Community Food Pantry, c/o Fran Ecker, P.O. Box 317, Montauk 11954.