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Thursday, October 8, 2020
12:00 - 2:00 pm (Eastern time)
Thursday, October 8, 2020
Starts at 2:30 pm (Eastern time)
Wilbur “Willie” H. Miller, 95, passed away peacefully Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at Rockynol Skilled Nursing Center, Akron, Ohio, after a period of declining health. He was born on June 11, 1925 in Crawford County to the late Ray and Minnie M. (Spiegel) Miller. He grew up with his parents and four brothers working the family farm on Caldwell Road south of Bucyrus. He was a 1943 graduate of Mount Zion High School where he participated in basketball, FFA, and 4-H.
In January 1945, he entered the US Navy, serving his country in WW2 on the USS Sherburne A.P.A. 205 in the Pacific Area Campaign. The Sherburne was one of the over 250 USA ships in Tokyo Bay while the surrender document was being signed on the USS Missouri by the Japanese Empire. Willie remembered seeing all the sailors standing shoulder to shoulder, in their dress whites, on the decks of the Missouri as they sailed by. On August 12, 1946 he was honorably discharged with the rank, Seaman 1c SVV6 USNR, having earned four medals and two bronze stars.
After returning home, he continued farming and also worked for Jersey Maid Dairy as a home delivery milkman. While on a double date, Willie met Dorothy Mae Hites. They were married on January 6, 1952 and shared 62 years of marriage before her death in 2014. They started their lives together on a farm in Dallas Twp. where they raised their family, and later moved to their own farm near Wyandot, Ohio. In 1958, he was awarded the Outstanding Young Farmer in Crawford County by the Mt. Zion Grange and Junior Chamber of Commerce. Willie farmed with his son and together they operated a lime hauling business. In 2002, he retired from a lifetime of farming and, with his wife, built a home on the south side of Bucyrus.
In March of 1959 Willie’s life was forever changed when he asked Jesus into his heart as Savior. Willie’s faith was very important to him and he enjoyed sharing the gospel with others. He attended Wayside Chapel and Wildwood Chapel, where he served as treasurer, trustee, Sunday school teacher, and building committee member. A member of Gideons International for over 50 years, he served in their prison ministry, gave presentations in many churches, and placed countless bibles into the hands of school children, prisoners, drawers in hotel rooms, and people he would meet. There was always a Testament ready in his pocket or glovebox. In addition to attending three Gideons International conventions with his wife, Willie served as an officer in the Crawford County Camp.
He was also a member of the American Legion for 69 years, Mount Zion Grange, Antrim Local School Board, and the Dallas Township Volunteer Fire Dept.
In 1962, Willie became a licensed pilot. He owned a Stinson airplane which he flew out of Marion Ohio Airport. He logged 350 hours of flight time over the next decades. His last flying hours, a gift for his 90th birthday, was a highlight of that year. He enjoyed many miles on his Honda 500 motorcycle and Yamaha 175 dirt bike. Other hobbies were learning to play the guitar, hunting, and reading his Bible. He greatly cherished time spent with his grandchildren. Taking them around the farm, attending their activities, graduations, and beating them at checkers.
As a farmer he lived by the rising and setting of the sun, the seasons, and caring for the land. Raising grain, sheep and hogs that provided for his family and food for others. He was his own mechanic, chemist, accountant, carpenter, painter, weather forecaster, buyer, seller, trader, doctor, midwife, ditch digger, fence builder, welder, and shepherd. Teaching and passing on his skills and knowledge to his children and grandchildren. A child in the depression, a soldier in WW2, we say goodbye to yet another of the “Greatest Generation.”
Willie is survived by his two children, Dennis (Connie) Miller of Nevada, Ohio and Sandra (Rodger) Robertson of Doylestown, Ohio; four grandchildren, Nathan (Traci) Miller of Lynchburg Va., Amy (Tim) Suba of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, Laura (Patrick) Brubaker of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, and Johnathan (Shelby) Miller of Bucyrus; and many cousins, nieces and nephews in the Bucyrus area. He was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy; parents; and four brothers, Warren, Carl, James, and Alvin.
Friends may call on Thursday, October 8 from 12 Noon – 2:00 pm at Wise Funeral Service. A graveside funeral will begin at 2:30 pm in Oakwood Cemetery with Pastor Tim Compton officiating and conclude with military rites by the US Navy Honor Guard and Bucyrus Veterans Military Funeral Detail. With respect to everyone's health, social distancing and face masks will be required.
The family would like to thank the many caregivers at Maplecrest, Brookdale Barberton, Akron City Hospital-Covid Unit, and Rockynol who looked after Willie’s needs over the past years till his death. Special thanks also to friends and family for all your help and prayers over the last few years.
Memorial donations are encouraged to be made payable to Gideons International and given through the funeral home. Memories can be shared on Willie’s Tribute Wall.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, 3 because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
II Corinthians 4:16 – 5:8
I am standing upon the seashore. A ship, at my side, spreads his white sails to the morning breeze
And starts for the blue ocean. He is a object of beauty and strength, I stand and watch him until, at great
Length, he hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.
Then, someone at my side says, “There, he is gone.”
Gone from my sight. That is all. He is just as large in mast, hull, and spar as he was when he left my side. And, he is just as able to bear his load of living freight to his destined port. His diminished size is in me - not in him.
And, just at the moment when someone says, “There, he is gone,” there are other eyes watching him
coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout, “HERE HE COMES!”
And that is dying…..