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Donald Leroy Miller

Donald Leroy Miller
Donald Leroy Miller
- February 1, 2018

Donald Leroy Miller, devoted husband, father and friend, passed away on January 28, 2018 at Bickford Assisted Living in Macomb, IL, surrounded by those who loved him, after a long and courageous battle with Parkinson’s Disease.

Don was born September 14, 1927 to Herman F. and Florence M. (Matthews) Miller in Chamberlain, SD. On June 12, 1952, he married Kathleen Shirley Buss at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church in Redfield, SD. She preceded him in death in 2013 after 61 years of marriage.

Don graduated from Chamberlain High School in 1945 and served as a corporal in the US Army 1946-49. He was stationed with the 2nd Army Air Force (AAF) Radio Squadron Mobile in Allied-occupied Germany in 1946-47, and later posted to the Ft. Jay detachment, Governor’s Island, NY. Following his army discharge, Don returned to Chamberlain where he partnered with his father and founded the Miller Construction Company. He was a self-taught draftsman and custom homebuilder. He built many homes and commercial buildings in the area, and was considered an artisan in his craft.

A keen interest in teaching led Don to enroll at Colorado State University in 1968 to pursue a teaching certificate. He taught at Mitchell Technical Institute (formerly Mitchell Area Voc-Tech School) in Mitchell, SD and later at Utah Valley University (formerly Utah Technical College) in Orem, UT. He was a generous and innovative teacher, and he mentored students to do the kind of work that would endure for many years.

After his retirement from teaching, Don resumed his construction business in Orem.  Ready to try new ideas, he built one of the first solar homes in Utah. He was always diligent and would go the extra mile to ensure any job, large or small, was done to the best of his ability.

Having an insatiable curiosity, Don was an avid reader and had a great love of learning. When confronted with an obstacle, he would say, “It’s not a problem but an opportunity for a solution.” He was courteous and respectful to everyone he met. His strong and quiet faith made him always hopeful and was an inspiration to those around him. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus Council 6341 and volunteered many hours of service to his home parish, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Sturgis.

When Don was in his 70’s, he and Kathy retired in the Black Hills of South Dakota where he designed and constructed their Boulder Canyon dream home. It was a special place where family gathered for reunions, laughed and cried, and made wonderful memories.

He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers John and Edward, and sister Harriet “Dottie” Baker.

Grateful for his loving presence in their lives are his children: Nancy (John) Gruidl of Macomb IL; Timothy of Mitchell, SD; Theresa (Christopher) Tsoi of Fort Collins, CO; Robert of Midvale, UT; Mary McElroy of Spokane, WA; Patricia McGee of Rapid City, SD; and Susan (John) Bird of Excelsior, MN; fourteen grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be held Sunday, February 4, 2018 at 6-7:30 pm, immediately followed by a Vigil at Kinkade Funeral Chapel, Sturgis SD. A funeral Mass will be celebrated Monday, February 5, 2018 at 10 am at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, Sturgis SD, with Reverend Timothy Castor presiding, followed by burial in the Black Hills National Cemetery.

Memorial donations may be made to the Donald and Kathleen Miller Seminarian Burse (for the education of seminarians) at the Diocese of Rapid City, 606 Cathedral Drive, Rapid City SD 57701 or to St. Paul School, Macomb, IL.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual Light shine upon him.



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