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Donald Franklin Miller


1924 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences
Donald Franklin Miller Obituary
DONALD FRANKLIN MILLER (89), third son of Ethea Hopper Miller and Miner Ross Miller of Ness City, Kansas, and husband to Betty Lee Miller. Born in Los Angeles on May 21, 1924, and raised on a Kansas farm with his older brothers Robert and Glenn, and educated in a rural one room school. Don attended Ft. Hays State College for one year before signing with the U.S.Navy and attending Officers School at Northwestern University in Chicago. Don was commissioned as an Ensign and made many trips across the Pacific during World War II. Following his Navy career he graduated from Kansas State University, while playing catcher for the Wildcats, earning a degree in Agricultural Engineering. He married Betty Lee Hall on May 31, 1948. For the next 10 years Don managed Soil and Water Conservation offices in northwest Kansas for the Federal government, built the first golf course on their property and managed the family farm in Washington, Kansas. Don also found time to be chairman of the Methodist church administrative council, Master of the Masonic Lodge and vice president of the Lions Club. In 1961 Don advanced to area conservationist in Sacramento, California and moved his family living in Santa Cruz County and later settling in Riverside, California in 1969. After retiring at the age of 55, Don climbed onto his bicycle and made a solo 1,300 mile ride to Ness City, Kansas, arriving just in time to attend the Settler's Reunion on Memorial Day. An early retirement afforded Don time to pursue his many passions with his family, friends and the youth that he loved to mentor. Don was an active member and Commodore of the Riverside Sailing Club and enthusiast of bridge, golf, camping, and a devoted environmental conservationist many years before it was hip. Don was a master gardener and generous volunteer sharing his time and knowledge as an elementary school instructor and church gardener. Don leaves behind Betty, his wife of sixty six years; three sons, Ross Raymond Miller, Jon Hall Miller and his wife Deborah, Jere Lee Miller and David Burch; granddaughter, Kelsey Lee Miller and grandson, Jonathan Charles Miller. After a wonderful time with his entire family on Christmas Eve, Don suffered a stroke. While rehabbing at Air Force Village West, he was able to continue to spend time with his family and friends and maintain his kind spirit and sense of humor until he joined our Lord and Savior on February 24, 2014. A memorial service will be held at Grace United Methodist Church in Riverside on Sunday, March 23, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to Grace United Methodist Church or the Riverside Community Sailing program.


Published in Press-Enterprise on Mar. 16, 2014
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