Frederick Miller Jr., 84, a longtime leader of the Grace Brethren Church, Sunnyside, Wash., and a Sunnyside farmer, went to be in the arms of his Savior on Tuesday, March 19, 2013.
He was born May 13, 1928 in Yakima, the son of Frederick Miller Sr. and Esther (Becker).
Fred went to school in Harrah, Wapato and graduated from White Swan High School with the class of 1947.
On Feb. 14, 1949 he married the love of his life, Lola Morton in Toppenish. Following their marriage, they made their home in Outlook on a farm, where Fred grew sugar beets, vegetables and mint.
In 1953 Fred was named Soil Conservation District Farmer of the year. Fred along with his brother, Dale, were named Mint Growers of the year in 1972. In 1991 they were also named Agriculture Business Men of the year by the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce.
Fred held offices on the Yakima County Weed District and Soil Conservation Board. He was an active member of the Sunnyside Grace Brethren Church, where he served as an elder and trustee.
He traveled to Haiti in the early 70s with the Oriental Missionary Society on a humanitarian mission.
Fred enjoyed flying his airplane, building houses and water skiing behind the boats he built. He also was a designer and builder of a mint still, a rock picking machine and an irrigation screening system.
Fred cherished family gatherings with homemade ice cream and also enjoyed making sausage.
He was a man that made everything fit in its own special place. There was only one thing that didn’t have a place on Fred’s Farm and that was a weed. He would spend hours hoeing and spraying weeds.
Fred is survived by his wife, Lola Miller of Sunnyside; two sons, Wayne (Patty) Miller of Beaumont, Calif. and Jerry (Anita) Miller of Mercer Island; two daughters, Diane (Richard Storaasli) Miller of Kapolei, Hawaii and Lois (Jerry) Hickenbottom of Sunnyside; nine grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren; two brothers, Marvin (Elaine) Miller of Kent and Dale (Barbara) Miller of Sunnyside; and one sister, Marlene (Harold) Belcher of Chattaroy.
He is preceded in death by his parents.
Viewing and visitation will be held Sunday, March 24, 2013, from 12:30 to 4 p.m. at Smith Funeral Home in Sunnyside. Graveside serviced will be held Monday, March 25, 2013, at 10 a.m. at Lower Valley Memorial Gardens, followed by a memorial services at 11 a.m. at Sunnyside Grace Brethren Church.
In lieu of flowers, those wishing to honor Fred’s memory may contribute to Grace Brethren Church Remodeling Fund or the charity of their choice.
Those wishing to sign Fred’s on-line memorial book may do so at www.funeralhomesmith.com
Smith Funeral Home Ltd. and Crematory in Sunnyside is in charge of arrangements.