Paul W. Miller, 1936 - 1999; A Memorial
I'm sure most of us believe their daddy is the best daddy ever. I'm no different. My Daddy was an incredible man!
He was born in St Louis, Missouri in 1936. He was the middle child having one older brother and one younger sister. He was raised in a sometimes struggling, but always loving household.
At the young age of 14 he met my Mom. They dated all through high school. When he was 19 years old, they married. Two years later, they started a family. I am the baby of four children, all with very different personalities, interests, and talents. We four live in different states, but are very, very close. All of us have the same morals taught to us by our parents including faith, honesty, and family values. My parents have five grandchildren also. Dad was a devout Episcopalian, and we were always very active in our church. Unfortunately, my parents eventually divorced due to irreconcilable differences. However, my Daddy remarried another terrific woman who, to this day, loves him dearly, as does my Mom. I am fortunate to have one awesome Mom and one awesome Step-Mom (and a great Step-Dad too). I am fortunate to have had all of my parents’ unconditional love, support, and special time together. Ok, I’m a bit spoiled. Just ask my husband.
My Daddy was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in late, 1993. He was in and out of hospitals and had Chemo Therapy several times. Regardless of how sick he was, or how scary the treatments, he always had a joke and a smile bringing joy to all who came in contact with him. He appreciated all the love from family and friends, as well as, the superior caretakers from the medical staff and, of course, his loving wife, and my sister (Who was a Hospice Nurse at the time). He was such a bright beacon of light, that those who nursed him during the nearly six years he was fighting the disease, called him Paul W. Miller “the W. stands for WONDERFUL“. He was admired by his children, each of them feeling as though they were special, without jealousy. He was a terrific father. He loved Jesus, his family and friends, and life in general.
During his last days, he was bedridden in his home. He was surrounded by all of his family, including his wife, brother and sister, children and in-laws, nieces and nephews, and close friends. His older grandchildren were there, but we felt it wasn’t a good idea for the younger ones to see him in such a weakened state, and suffering so. His entire family, doing what we always do, was telling memorable stories about my Daddy, laughing, and enjoying each others’ company. He was there. He could hear us. I couldn’t think of a better way to leave this Earth and move on to Heaven. I hope I am blessed to be surrounded by that much love when it’s my turn.
Career & Talents
Growing up, we fell on some hard times. We did, however, always have enough to eat, wear, and a comfortable roof over our heads. Dad was a jack of all trades. I believe he learned to be this way from his father. My grandfather only had a second grade education. He grew up on a farm in Mid-Missouri, and being the only boy at the time, was pulled from school to work on the farm. This never stopped him from providing for his family. My grandfather worked in construction, mostly, but had many handyman jobs, thus teaching my Daddy many skills.
We also had some prosperous times as well. Eventually, my Daddy built a successful business being a General Contractor, licensed in two states. He built custom homes that retailed in the range of 1/4 to 1/2 million dollars, and sometimes more. Those homes would be worth millions today (well, maybe not during this current economy). Until then, he served as a United States Navy Reservist. He also worked as a television repairman, and a scuba and swimming instructor. He had many, many talents including, building custom furniture, and creating his patented Wire Pictures (He sculpted wire and attached the piece to a velvet background and beautifully framed them. These were quite popular in the 1970’s.) He also sold vacuum cleaners door to door, and of course was a construction worker for many years.
One of his construction jobs was in the Bahamas. So, we lived there for about 18 months. I have found this to be a topic of interest for most people I have conversations with. He also was involved in building Disney World in Orlando, Florida, as well as building a feed lot for cattle in Pendleton, Oregon. He also contributed to the building of Palm Beach Polo Grounds in Wellington, Florida, where Prince Charles plays polo.
Fun, Adventure, and Stories
My Daddy was always so much fun! There were adventures we took with him that were quite expensive. There were adventures we took with him that didn't cost a dime. He always was cutting up and being silly, making us laugh so hard.
His favorite pastime was snow skiing. He skied some of the most majestic mountains in America. North Carolina, West Virginia, Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington were some of the states in which he “conquered” a mountain. My Daddy was an athlete, plain and simple. Baseball was one of his favorite sports (he played in high school), but he also loved football, golf, and of course swimming.
Every summer we had fun at pools, beaches, and family picnics. We would go for walks around the local lake and feed the ducks. We would visit our local drive-in theater bringing our own home made popcorn and burn a mosquito coil. He was also a musician. He often entertained us by playing the organ, and the clarinet.
We visited many cities. St Louis, of course, New Orleans, and Miami were just a few. He took us to unique and fun places like Circus World, Disney World, The Playboy Dinner Club, and Medieval Times Dinner Theater.
Many evenings, we would play family games, usually cards and sometimes board games. The rest of my family still enjoys games of all types. It makes for such a great time providing much laughter and memories. My Daddy also had lots of toys. He had a toy slot machine, gravity defying toys and technological games, fitting for the era. He also loved music and dancing (I’m sure he inherited this love from his mother who never sat still if there was a beat going somewhere). The music and dancing have been inherited by his offspring as well. You will see it at any wedding or party that one of us throws.
Two of many important things my Daddy taught me are as follows: Christmas, birthdays and other holidays can be celebrated anytime. My birthday is in November. If I wasn’t able to spend time with him in November, we would celebrate in October, or December. The important thing was that we were together celebrating my birth.
Another important thing he taught me was to live my life working hard and playing hard, just as he did. My Daddy always set a great example, and I am so proud to be his daughter.
"Be kind to one another" ~ Ellen
God Bless You ~ Margaret Sullivan
God Bless America!
A heartfelt Thank You to all of our Troops, especially Daddies (and Mommies). God Bless all of you for your sacrifices, so that your children and ours can have a chance at freedom and liberty. Just as our Veteran ancestors have given to us. You are appreciated more than you will ever know.
On a serious note, the reality of war:
The Being Conservative team saw this heart-wrenching yet sobering reminder of our troops' sacrifice and wanted to share. This is a photo of Landon. His father, Marine LCpl Andrew Carpenter, was killed in Afghanistan a month before he was born.
Please pray for this baby and his family.