Well, today is the big day! My great grandfather turns 100 today. String Bean and I are celebrating with 5 generations of family out in Seattle this weekend. I thought you might enjoy some excerpts from a news article about his life that was printed in the Monroe Monitor.
Before arriving in Washington, Miller, one of 10 siblings and the only boy to graduate from high school, was somewhat footloose, working as a traveling salesman in the Midwest before heading to Los Angeles for work in the airplane manufacturing business.
“I had an aunt in Los Angeles,” he said. “I lost my job, I was out of work, and I had interviewed with (plane builder) Lockheed with a rep. in Minneapolis. They didn’t call and didn’t call, so I decided to come out to Los Angeles where they were anyway.”
It worked; he got the job and the career he would pursue until retirement.
He started out working on the P-38.
After six years, though, the job ended.
“Lockheed was going to lay me off, and I had a brother with a dealership in Minnesota,” said Miller. “I moved back there and joined that firm.” Then came World War II, and Lockheed cranked up production.
Back to Los Angeles went Miller, working on the P-38, this time outfitting the planes with guns for the war effort. He also worked on the C-69, a large cargo plane. After a while, he became a teacher, which lead to his next job.
“I was teaching about the airplanes,” he said. Some people from a company called AirResearch Manufacturing came in to take a class from him. “I asked them if they had jobs in their field service department.”
He switched careers after clearing it with military, as those involved in the war effort were required to do in those days, and continued to teach about airplanes for the rest of his
He also had a large family; he and his wife Dorothy had seven children.
Upon retirement, in 1972, he moved to Startup. “I built the first house in Startup in two years,” he said. “They hadn’t had any houses built in that long.” He and Dorothy bought a manufactured home on two acres and joined the Hillcrest Baptist Church in Sultan.
After 68 years of marriage, Dorothy died in 2000. Miller moved to Merrill Gardens three years ago, at the age of 97.
He currently lives there with his second wife, Lois XXX Miller.
He will celebrate his birthday with his five surviving children at the Northshore Senior Center in Bothell. Many of his 20 grandchildren, 41 great-grandchildren and six great great-grandchildren are expected to attend.