Friday, June 17, 2011

Remembering Albert Miller...

Albert Miller, USMC
Albert Miller was born near Scottsbluff, Nebraska on October 25, 1925.  He was the youngest boy born to Peter and Dora Miller

Albert surely spent his most formative years growing up in and around Whitney, Nebraska.

While his older brother Fred served in the Army Air Force during World War Two, Albert signed up for a tour of duty with the U. S. Marines.  He joined on December 3rd, 1943 and traveled to San Diego, California, where he completed boot camp and was then trained as a 90 mm anti-aircraft gunner crewman.  Shortly after training, he was shipped out to Hawaii and then on to Midway Island in the Pacific for the rest of his tour.   A couple of years later, on April 8, 1946, he was released from active duty at the Treasure Island Naval Station near San Francisco

He then went home to Nebraska.

Five months later, on September 14, 1946, he married Edca Kiron Shafer, who had been born in Albion, Nebraska.  When they married, Al was 20 – Edca was 19.  Interestingly, Edca’s mother, Mary Dussel Flock, was an older sister to Charlotte Flock, who married Albert’s brother Fred.  Thus, Edca’s aunt Charlotte was also her sister-in-law!

Albert & Edca Miller - 1980
Despite their roots in Nebraska, Albert and Edca moved to Washington state in 1948, landing in Malott, where they picked apples until the end of harvest. Then it was on to Metaline, where they lived in “sheep sheds.”  Albert worked at the old Diamond Match/National saw mill at Sulivan Creek and also at the Grandview Mines.

A short time later, moved to Metalline Falls and went to work in the Lehigh cement plant.  He later moved to nearby Ione, Washington.  It was there that Albert and Edca Miller would raise their family.  Their children were  Cecelia Lou, Betty Jo, Albert Michael and Mary Dot.  Cece and Betty Jo were born in Nebraska, while Mike and Mary were born in Washington.

When Lehigh workers went on strike in about 1954, Albert Miller bought the Carnation milk route that ran from Spokane to Metaline Falls.  It was a distributor-owned business that he operated for more than 32 years.

Sadly, Edca died on September 14, 1981, their 35th wedding anniversary.  She was just 54 years old.   Al continued to work for a few more years, retiring with a disability at age 62.

In 1988, Al attended the 1988 version of the Miller family reunion at Wilson Park in Chadron. 

Albert Miller died in Spokane, Washington on June 25, 1997.  He was 71 years old.

This photo was taken in 1980 not long before Edca Miller passed away in September 1981.
In back (l-to-r):  Mary Dot, Albert, Edca, and Cece.  In front: Betty Jo and Mike.
Thanks to cousin Mike Miller for sharing photos and information with us.  Mike is retired as a communications electrician for Seattle City Light, working his last several years at the Boundary Dam project near the Canadian border north of Metaline Falls.  He lives in Ione.

About Albert and Edca’s children:  Cecelia lives in Ione, while Betty Jo Traphagen resides in Green Valley, Arizona.  The youngest in the family, Mary Dot Kilbourne, lives in Sequim, Washington

You'll find a variety of photographs in the Miller Family Gallery