CODY, Wyo. -- Roger Miller, age 67, passed away on May 23, 2006, in Cody, Wyo., while vacationing with his wife, Pat.
Roger was born Aug. 15, 1938, in North Platte, to Merle and Ann Miller.
At age 10, he drove the family tractor and worked by his Dad's side on the farm in Wallace. Following high school, he attended McCook Junior College, and between classes, drove an ambulance and assisted at Herrmann Funeral Home. He then continued to San Francisco College of Mortuary Science where he received his B.A. And B.S. Degrees, followed by a two-year apprenticeship at White's Mortuary in Watsonville, Calif. From 1961 to 1963, Roger served in the U.S. Army.
In November 1963, Patricia Fontana came into Roger's life and they were married on Aug. 8, 1964. Their first child, Chris was born in 1966, and after working for White's Funeral Home for five years, they moved to Corona in 1969 to purchase Thomas Mortuary. Shortly thereafter, the Millers renamed the funeral home Thomas Miller Mortuary. Their second child, Stephanie, was born in 1970.
Roger immediately embraced the city of Corona with his involvement in civic and social duties. He served as secretary-treasurer and president of Orange Belt Funeral Directors Association; has been a continuous member for 55 years of The Order of the Golden Rule; and a member of the California Funeral Directors Association. Roger has been a member of the Corona Chamber of Commerce since 1969 and was awarded the Jaycees Distinguished Service Award for civic involvement. Also to his credit is past chairman of the Corona Red Cross, past president of the Advisory Board of Corona Community Hospital, member of the United Way board, past director of the YMCA, a 4th Degree Knight of Columbus, past president of Navy League, member of the Elks Club, Commodor and member of Corona Boat and Ski Club and past president and member of Corona Lions Club.
Recently, Thomas Miller Mortuary was the recipient of the 20o5 Distinguished Service Award and holds the honor of being the oldest business in Corona.
Roger Miller was a true pillar of the community. During his 12 years of business, he served more than 12,000 families. He generous nature helped support Corona Regional Medical Center Foundation, Hospice, T.I.P. (Trauma Intervention Program) and many local churches. He sponsored the Officer Bill And Drug Programs for the Corona Schools through the Corona Police Department for 12 years and donated to other programs sponsored by the police and fire departments.
Roger's son, Chris, joined the business in 1992, in order to continue the family legacy and to allow his parents the time to pursue their pleasures in life. Roger and Pat enjoyed traveling with friends to many far away places. In addition to traveling, Roger loved to fish, cook, motor home, and just recently pursued his new hobby -- golf.
His favorite sport, however, was fishing. He fished from Alaska to Costa Rica and everywhere in between. It could be salt water, fresh water -- oceans, lakes and streams. It made no difference because he loved it all.
Roger's heartfelt enjoyment came with the arrival of his three grandchildren. He loved spending quality time with them and sharing all the things he valued in life.
Roger is survived by his wife of 42 years, Patricia; his son, Chris and wife, Rhonda, with their two children, Reagan and Colin; his daughter, Stephanie Kendall and husband, John and their daughter Brayden, all of Corona. He is also survived by his sister, Maureen and husband, Dennis Carr, sister, Peggy and husband, Dennis Phelps, all of Colorado; along with many nieces, nephews and dear friends.
A memorial service will be held in Nebraska at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Corona Parks and Recreation, partners of the park -- Roger Miller Memorial, Rimpau Park Project, or the Foundation of Family and Community Health.