Raymond Dean Miller was born October 22, 1945 to Paul and Adeline Miller in Lansing, Illinois. His family meant everything to him, so when he left them behind to move to California, he called them every Sunday and holiday. His oldest daughter Shelly was born in Eureka in 1968.
In 1970, he met Gaylene and her son Lorne. He and Gaylene married March 26, 1971. She was the love of his life. They soon had a daughter of their own, Kathy, born in 1972.
Growing up with his four siblings — Deb, Rose, Judy and brother Paul — mischief was sought on a regular basis, especially between the two brothers, and they always enjoyed the company of some very colorful characters they called friends. He also loved his nieces and nephews and their families very dearly, Richie, Dawn, Brian, Richie, Melissa, Lennie, Lisa Laura and Angie. Once his family in California was grown, he took the opportunity, with Gaylene, to move back east to Indiana to spend time with and care for his parents and Uncle Harry in their later years.
He thoroughly enjoyed connecting with others and was a man of monumental integrity, strength, love, humor and loyalty within every community he was a part of. He never said no to a person in need or avoided a job that need to be done, whether it entailed rebuilding an engine, working long hours at the Simpson Arcata Bottoms mill, or being an epic father and a more epic grandfather, which he always said he wished he had done first!! His adoring Grandchildren include Sophia, Sean, Raylene, Jeremy, Kayli, Branden, Caitlin, Kristin and Mike. He also cared endlessly for Gaylene as she was taken by cancer, passing in 2016.
He raised his family to believe that they were capable of anything and broke his body daily to make their dream reality. He never lied unless it was about his own discomfort but he did tell wild stores with giggles in his eyes. He rarely yelled, unless he was cheering someone on and hurting another living creature was beyond his capacity. His giggle brought people and parties to life and even led his lost children back to him in Great America and his love changed the world for everyone who knew him.
He passed away on October 7, 2022, in the loving care of one of his truest friends, Jeff Shidler, who never left his side even through the hardest moments. His family will be holding a graveside service at Oceanview Cemetary in Eureka on June 16 at 2:30 p.m. to celebrate the life and passing of a hero and his granddaughters favorite man. Please join us.