James Lee Miller (1934 - 2018)

  • "to pat and all who knew jim (cat man) miller. a prince of a..."
    - Kenneth Carlton
  • "My sincere condolences to your family and friends. May the..."
    - Yvonnia M
  • "To the family of James Miller. When someone you love..."
  • " Please accept my deepest and heartfelt sympathy. May the..."
    - A.B

James Lee Miller passed away on Dec. 17, 2018, at the Alaska Veterans Pioneer Home in Palmer, Alaska, due to complications from Alzheimer's.
Jim was born on Aug. 31, 1934, in Tonasket, Wash., to Sam and Anne Fite Miller. Jim was raised in Prince George, B.C., Canada, and Orient, Wash. He worked in the logging industry, and it was there Jim learned to operate heavy equipment - basically anything with a diesel engine. Jim came to Alaska in 1955, and worked for Garrison Fast Freight in Anchorage. In 1960, he started driving for Consolidate Freightways, hauling mail from Seattle to Anchorage over the Alcan Highway. Over the next 17 years, Jim drove for Consolidated, Sea Landand Weaver Bros. as an owner-operator.
In 1977, Jim married Pat McIlroy and they moved to Vashon, Wash., where they owned and operated a sand and gravel business. They sold the business in 1981, and returned to Alaska and lived in Eagle River. Jim drove for Kodiak Oilfield Haulers and started purchasing Cat equipment, and gradually started his own construction company. He successfully built several campgrounds for the Department of Natural Resources; an airport in Healy for the Department of Transportation; and completed a major underground fuel storage tank removal project at Lake Hood, to name a few. Jim was a proud member of Teamsters Local 959. He loved animals and usually had a dog with him in the truck.
In the late 1990s, Jim semi-retired from contracting and started a small gravel business in Sutton, Alaska. Jim and Pat moved to Palmer in 1999, and by 2005, Jim was fully retired and enjoyed working on his old Fords, being with his dogs and, with much grumbling, helping Pat with the lawn.
He is survived by his wife, Pat of Palmer; grandson, Chris McIlroy (Melody); and great-grandson, Liam, also of Palmer.
A special thank you to all the employees at the Pioneer Home for their caring, kindness and compassion that was shown to Jim and is shown to every resident.
There will be a celebration of life for Jim at Turkey Red in Palmer on Jan. 26, 2019, from 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, please support your local , or your local pet shelter.
Funeral Home
Kehl's Palmer Legacy Funeral Home
209 S. Alaska St.
Palmer, AK 99645
(907) 745-3580
Funeral Home Details
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Published in Anchorage Daily News on Jan. 11, 2019
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