November 22, 1928 - February 13, 2014
The trout in the South Fork of the Boise River can relax; their adversary Neal Miller passed on to bigger and better things February 13, 2014.
Neal was born November 22, 1928, in Saint Anthony, Idaho to Dortha Wayment Miller and E. Leo Miller. He grew up fishing the Snake River, which runs through the middle of town. At age twelve, he saved his money and bought his first fly-fishing gear and taught himself to fly fish.
Neal graduated from Saint Anthony High School in 1947, where he excelled in sports and vocal music. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1948 and served four years. After a whirlwind courtship, he married Margaret Jean Lodahl of Rice Lake, Wisconsin in the Chapel of the Transfiguration in Moose, Wyoming in 1953. It was the "baby boom," and the family quickly grew to include Michael, Lisa, Debra and David.
Neal spent his entire career in the retail business and became a shoe buyer and merchandiser for the Idaho Department Stores. He later worked as a district manager for the Berkley Fishing Tackle Company, covering tackle shops in Idaho and surrounding states. He retired in 1990 and devoted himself to fly fishing and taught himself to tie fabulous flies.
Neal and Jean celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in 2013 and marked his 85th birthday with a family party at Emerson House, where he lived in his final months due to advancing Parkinson's Disease.
Neal is survived by his wife, Jean; son Michael (Pamela Richardson); daughter Lisa (Robert Wilkosz) and daughter Debbie (Bill Laabs); granddaughters Amber Sieber, Kiersten Laabs (Michael Takagi) and Noel Laabs; and great grandchildren Kierian Laabs, Erika Sieber and Colton Takagi. Neal is also survived by his sister Elaine Hilton (Jerry) of Rexburg, Idaho and Beverly Johnson of American Fork, Utah; sisters-in-law Sonya Lodahl of Minneapolis, and Kay Redditt of Berryville, Virginia; brother-in-law Steven Lodahl (Bonnie) of Colleyville, Texas and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his son David and sister Marjorie Dixon. The family extends thanks and gratitude to the staff of Emerson House and to Legacy Hospice for their compassionate care.
Funeral services will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 19 at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 707 W. Fort Street in Boise. Interment to follow at Dry Creek Cemetery. Arrangements under the direction of Alden-Waggoner Funeral Chapel.
Alden-Waggoner Funeral Chapel
5400 Fairview Avenue Boise, ID 83706
Published in Idaho Statesman on Feb. 16, 2014