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Earl Dean Miller

Posted September 03, 2013 in Obituaries, West Des Moines, Winterset

June 30, 1926 – August 29, 2013

Earl Miller

Earl Miller

Earl Dean Miller passed from this life August 29, 2013 at Taylor House Hospice in Des Moines, Iowa. Funeral services will be held 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at Merle Hay Funeral Home at 4400 Merle Hay Road, Des Moines. Visitation will be from 5-8 p. m. Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at the funeral home. Earl was born June 30, 1926 near Shannon City in Union County, Iowa to Bert and Ferne (Davis) Miller. Earl grew up in Union and Madison Counties, Iowa where he attended rural schools. Growing up on the farm, Earl developed a love of tractors. One of his favorite activities, besides fishing, was to attend displays of old tractors and antique tractor shows. During his last year of high school, Earl saved up war ration stamps and his paychecks from his two jobs to purchase gasoline so he could make monthly trips to visit his high school sweetheart, Marilynn Gifford, who was working at the ordinance plant near Ankeny. He graduated from Winterset high School in 1945. He suffered a serious back injury during a football game in the fall of 1944. That injury caused him to be rejected by the U.S. Army when he was drafted to serve in World War II. Earl and Marilynn were married in January 1947 in West Des Moines, Iowa. After he was married, Earl worked as a bookkeeper at Iowa Power and Light Company but he soon discovered that he did not care for working as a bookkeeper and decided to quit his office job and return to farming. He had a farm home and 240 acres of farm land rented in south Madison County, starting March 1, 1948. In late 1947, Earl contracted Spinal Meningitis. Residual effects of the disease would become more apparent during his later years of life. After farming in southern Madison County for a decade, Earl quit farming and took a job at the Swift & Co. soybean processing plant in Des Moines where he worked for the next 32 years. After renting a farm home south of Elkhart from 1959 – 1967, Earl and Marilynn purchased an acreage on N.E. 38th Street north of Des Moines where they lived for the next 46 years until failing health forced them to move to a condo in Altoona in 2005. After both Earl and Marilynn retired they were able to spend each winter in Mesa, Arizona. In 2009 they moved to Heritage Court Assisted Living in West Des Moines, and in 2012 they transferred to Fountain West Health Center. As a young man Earl chose to be part of a worldwide non-denominational Christian fellowship. It was a choice he continued in for the remainder of his life. Earl is survived by his wife of 66 years, Marilynn; Children, Dennis (Debbie) Miller of Des Moines; Cindi Decker of Des Moines; Marilee (John) Ernst of Des Moines; David (Libby) Miller of Altoona; grandchildren, Nathan (Jana) Miller of Rochester, Minnesota; Ashlee LeVang of Des Moines; Alan (Heather) Miller of Altoona; Quincy Miller of Chicago, Illinois; Derek Miller of Omaha, Nebraska; Marissa Ernst of Des Moines; great grandchildren, Peyton LeVang; Colin Miller; Addison LeVang; Izabella Miller; Aurelia Miller; Declan Miller. Earl is also survived by his sister Vera Edelman of Roundup, Montana. He was preceded in death by his parents, and brothers Robert Miller, Jerry Miller, and Carroll Miller. Memorial Contributions may be made to Taylor House Hospice.

Information provided by:
Merle Hay Funeral Home
4400 Merle Hay Road
Des Moines, IA 50310

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