Jan. 27, 1919 — June 21, 2013
David Benjamin Miller, Dave, beloved husband of May (Glenn) Miller, died on June 21, 2013, the summer solstice, in Walla Walla, at the age of 94. David was father to Les (Sue) – Portland, Ore.; Linda (Lynn) Ferrin – Cottage Grove, Ore.; Beverly (Jerry) Jantz – Walla Walla; and Dwight (Becky) – Fall City, Wash. David loved his grandpa role with eight grandchildren, three step-grandchildren, five step-great-grandchildren. He died after a brief but quick decline after a long and well-lived life.
David was born Jan. 27, 1919 in Pawhuska, Okla. to John and Izora Miller, the fourth of nine children. Since 1955, he had called Walla Walla home, including the last 57 years in the house on Oxford Street. David grew up in Oklahoma, Missouri, and Grays Harbor, Wash., graduating from Hoquiam High School in 1937. After high school, he worked in logging and on the lumber railroad, before enlisting in the Navy in Jan. 1942. David served in the Pacific Theater on the sub tender USS Sperry.
Upon discharge from the Navy with a new trade of carpenter, David returned to Grays Harbor and soon met May Glenn at a community dance in late 1946. David and May were married Feb. 7, 1948 in Spokane, the 65th anniversary of which we celebrated this year. David graduated in Civil Engineering from Gonzaga in 1953. David‘s first engineering job was with the Alaska Highway Commission out of Valdez. He began work at the Corps of Engineers in Walla Walla in late 1955. David and May loved square dancing, dancing in the valley for 40 years. Dad had a life-long love of Christ, with active participation in the First Presbyterian Church. David became a fixture on the Mill Creek Recreation Trail, being its earliest and most passionate advocate and convincing the City, WWCC, and the Corps to pave their respective sections in the late seventies. You could often see Dave on his beloved trail (he often biked it several times a day) or with his bike parked and fishing from the weirs.
David retired from the Corps of Engineers in 1980 after 30 years of combined federal service (Navy, AHC, and Corps). David and May spent their early retirement years traveling the USA by car and train. While home, they delivered Meals-on-Wheels around the Walla Walla Valley for 25 years and packed books for Camps Farthest Out for 14 years. David also became a volunteer tax preparer, donated over 13 gallons of blood through the Red Cross bi-monthly blood drives, and labored on the maintenance of the Mill Creek Trail.
Dad was a gentle soul who appreciated the simpler things in life… time with family, reading, dancing with mom, riding his bike, baking cookies, camping at Jubilee Lake, fishing, and helping others. His beliefs and values have, and always will, mold the lives of his children. His open-mindedness and belief in the good in all of us guided how he led his life.
A memorial service will be held on Aug. 3, 2013 at 2 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 325 S. 1st Ave. Contributions can be made to the First Presbyterian Church or charity of choice through the Herring Groseclose Funeral Home, 315 W. Alder, Walla Walla, WA.