MILLER, James W. Lieutenant Colonel Jim Miller passed peacefully at his residence in Stanwood, Washington on June 16, 2014 at the age of 96. Jim was born on October 6, 1917 to Bert and Ida Miller in Cairo, Illinois. Along with his brother C.H., Jim enjoyed a truly "Huckleberry Finn" childhood on the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, hunting and fishing to help the family put food on the table during the depression. In the early days of WWII Jim enlisted in the Army Air Corps and became a commissioned officer in the 450th Bomb Group. Jim served his country in WWII, the Korean War and the Cold War, flying more than the required bombing missions. Jim was blessed with good luck, never suffering an injury during combat, but was injured in a peacetime accident. Jim retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1963. Jim married Marilyn Grider in 1950 and together they raised four children. Jim served as Personnel Director at Fidelity Savings for ten years and then retired again to pursue the career of his dreams, as a cabinetmaker. Jim had a gift for woodworking, which he often used to provide hand-built items for his community, his church and those in need. He built hundreds of wooden toys for underprivileged children and he often presented woodworking demonstrations in local schools. Jim served on the Board of the Lilac Festival in Spokane for many years. Jim lived in Spokane Washington for 40 years, most of them at his beloved River House off of Shady Slope Road. In 2006 Jim moved to Stanwood, Washington to be closer to his daughter Lori. Jim was a gifted craftsman, an outdoorsman, patriot and Good Samaritan. Jim is survived by his sons, Jim, Dave (Susanne) and William (Heidi), and his daughter, Lori Woodward (Dave), 11 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren. At his request, there will be no memorial. His ashes will be spread at the places he loved, the Little Spokane River and Priest Lake, Idaho. Charitable donations may be made in his name to the Audubon Society or the Salvation Army.
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Published in Spokesman-Review on July 9, 2014