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Henry Simmons Miller

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Henry Simmons Miller Obituary

December 3, 1921 - November 26, 2014

Our family and community lost a dedicated and tireless leader just a week short of his 93rd birthday. It is difficult to make a short summary of all the things he accomplished in his long and full life.

Henry was born in Berkeley, California to George Willard Miller and Ednah Simmons Miller. Henry graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1943 where he was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity, Skull and Keys and Beta Beta Honor Societies. Most important was that he met his soul mate and future spouse, Betty Jean Sibbald there. Henry and Betty married in Stockton in February of 1944.

Shortly after college he joined the military and served our country during World War II as a Marine Corps aviator. In his capacity as aviator, he wrote the training syllabus and headed the Navy Flight Surgeons program. This World War II program taught doctors to fly giving them rapid access to wounded soldiers. After the war he participated in the military reserves where he retired with the rank of Captain.

Henry moved to Marysville in January 1948 with Betty and his growing family. There he founded the Valley Truck and Tractor Company. The company he founded flourished and evolved under his direction over the years and is now one of the largest John Deere dealerships in the Western U.S.

Henry held a firm belief that it was important to give back to the community that supported his family and his business. He served the community in numerous ways, most notably as a long time director and past president of the Rideout and Fremont Hospitals. The hospitals needed to be merged to compete in the changing world of health care and he was instrumental in making that happen. Further, he was a long time Rotarian and past president of the Marysville Rotary Club, a member of the Bohemian Club of San Francisco and most recently, a member of the Grandfathers Club of Sacramento.

Henry was very gregarious and his many friends were a big part of this life. At least two or three afternoons a week you could find him enjoying his favorite pastimes, golf and dominoes at the Peach Tree Country Club.

Henry is preceded in death by his daughter, Elisabeth Miller Scott and by his wife of 63 years, Betty Sibbald Miller.

He is survived by his sons, Henry Miller Jr., John Miller, Sam Miller and many grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Respecting his wishes, there will be an immediate family only memorial. Henry explained that the 90th birthday party his children hosted for him in 2011 was the send off he wanted because he could be there and be part of the celebration of his life.

In lieu of flowers, our family asks that you consider a donation to Rideout Health Foundation, 618 Fifth St., Marysville, CA 95901.

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Published in Appeal Democrat from Dec. 4 to Dec. 6, 2014
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