Norman James Miller|
Sept. 23, 1926 - Feb. 8, 2013
Resident of Los Altos
A first generation Danish American born in Riverdale, CA, Norman James Miller died peacefully on Friday, February 8, 2013 at the age of 86. His Denmark-born family included his father, Henry, who worked in the Danish Creamery, his mother, Paula, a tailor, and his older brother, Paul. The family spent the majority of their life living in Fresno, CA, where Norman graduated from Fresno High School in 1944. A talented athlete who ran hurdles in track and field, played football, basketball and baseball, he was also a proficient diver and excelled in ice-skating where he enthusiastically competed in a local hockey league. During his World War II military service, he became an amateur boxer, served in the Horse Cavalry, then as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division where he also developed expert sewing skills and learned how to fly.
Norman's love affair with his wife#8212;Noreen Bartlett from Kingsburg, CA, and daughter of Norman Helen Bartlett#8212;began with dancing with her over 64 years ago on the dance floor at Fresno State College summer session at Huntington Lake in 1948. After their marriage on April 9, 1949, their love for dance, especially with one another, lasted a lifetime. They also enjoyed singing duets, especially the tune: "Baby, It's Cold Outside." This song became their special "song" and even performed it for others, including at Norman's 80th birthday celebration. This profound love produced three children: David, Kathleen Susan, whom he deeply adored.
Early in their marriage, Norman moved his family to Tulare, CA, where they owned and he operated the Tulare Roller Rink and Swimming Pool known as the "Blue Moon," from 1950-1964. A man who wore many hats and learned multiple trades, Norman also operated a candy business and later worked for a plastic assembly business building a one-step photo-finishing machine. After completing a BS degree in Science at Fresno State, he added teaching 7th grade math and science at Mulcahy Jr. HS to his resume. But he didn't stop there. Prior to the family relocating to the Santa Clara Valley in 1964, he became a licensed real estate broker. Then, Norman worked as an appraiser for Santa Clara County for 20 years before he ventured out with his own Norman Miller Assoc. appraisal business for another 12 years. His interest in real estate propelled him into apartment ownership, management, and maintenance for over 50 years.
Besides loving dancing and singing with his wife, Norman enjoyed sailing in his own designed and built catamaran, snow and water skiing, playing volleyball and watching sports, including being an avid 49ers, Giants and Sharks fan. He also enjoyed fixing, designing, building and remodeling projects throughout his life including maintaining his vehicles, remodeling his and his son's family homes, the family's Huntington Lake cabin (Miller #7), and their Cold Springs mountain home. His prized accomplishments included designing and building two custom knotty-pine kitchens from the ground up. A teacher at heart, he gladly taught any skills he learned to those who showed interest in learning, especially to his children and grandchildren.
Norman's sweet, hard-working, and fun-loving nature found him to be a capital FAMILY MAN, for he dearly loved his wife, his children, his dogs, kitties and all those who came after. He adored his children and their spouses, David Miller (Cynde); Kathleen Miller Windsong (Mark Cochran) (Mike Kernaghan); and Susan Miller Fleming (Roger). His love for his six grandchildren, their spouses and his 10 great grandchildren was boundless: Jacob Miller (Audrey) + Hazel, Charlotte, Nelson; Greg Miller (Anna) + Melody Isaiah; Rebekah Miller Hollister (Justin) + Shirley Presley; Steve Kernaghan (Jamie) + Ellie Isabel; Janelle Kernaghan (Travis Phelps) + Noah; and Connor Miller Fleming. Special to his heart were his nieces, Paula Urrutia (Oscar), Janis Clark (David), Randi Laird, Kris Baxter (Sam), and his nephews Rob, Wayne (Faith), and Lee Halstrom. He also greatly treasured his Denmark family.
Norman lived a beautiful God-filled life with precious family in the USA, Australia and Denmark, numerous friends, and memorable experiences. The family is deeply grateful to Tom Raiula, who was his dedicated and gentle caregiver for the last three years of Norman's life. His parents, Henry Paula Miller, and his brother Paul preceded Norman in death. He is sorely missed and adorably remembered by his loving family who fortunately are bountifully supported with loving, laugh-filled memories and stories of their Danish Prince, Dad, Dada, Daddy, Boppa (bop your head off), and Bompa. Well Done, Norman! God Bless You! You found your "safe place to land."
Norman's Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, February 23, 2013, at 4pm, reception following, at St. Jude's Episcopal Church, 20920 McClellan Road, Cupertino, CA 95014 - SE corner of McClellan and Stelling. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Jude's or a
Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on Feb. 17, 2013