Kenneth "Kenny" Miller, 68, of Drake, passed away Monday, Nov. 26, 2012, at the Souris Valley Care Center in Velva, surrounded by his family, after a courageous battle with brain cancer.
Kenneth James Miller, son of Jack and Rose (Ziegler) Miller, was born Nov. 24, 1944, in Rugby. As a young boy, he grew up on a farm near Fulda. At the age of 12, he moved with his family to the Ziegler family farm northwest of Drake, where he lived most of his life. He attended country schools through the eighth grade before attending Drake High School, graduating in 1962.
He enlisted in the Army on Nov. 30, 1962, and served his basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. In the spring of 1963, he was assigned to a battalion in Germany and was stationed at Spinelli Barracks in Feundenheim.
He was married to Maritta Schneider on Feb. 11, 1966, at Ludwigshafen, Germany. To this union three daughters were born: Dany, Sheila and Sherry.
Ken and his family returned to Drake in 1967 where he farmed and ranched with his father, Jack, and brother, Gary, on the family farm for many years. He was known as a "handyman" and "jack of all trades." He had a knack for knowing how to conquer many things from carpentry to mechanics and beyond. He wouldn't quit until he found a solution.
Ken was a serious, hard-working person. Through the years he held various jobs including construction, Drake Public School bus driver, roadside weed spraying for McHenry County and Strege Township, custom combining for area farmers and as a propane truck driver for Ziegler Oil of Drake. He worked at the anhydrous plant and as a propane truck driver for Farmers Union Oil Company of Drake until the time of his illness. Ken enjoyed the visits he had and friends he made over the years with his customers and co-workers.
Ken especially enjoyed family time and was proud of his "girls" and grandkids. He was a patient and kind man always willing to help others. His hobbies included playing music he enjoyed on his keyboard, chess, pinochle and watching westerns. One of his biggest enjoyments was combining at harvest time in the fall.
Ken was active in the community. He served on the Drake Farmer's Elevator Board for many years and also the Strege Township Board. He was a member of St. Margaret-Mary Catholic Church, the Knights of Columbus and the David D. Nehrenberg American Legion Post #32, all of Drake.
He is survived by: his wife of 46 years; three daughters, Daniela 'Dany' Seehafer and Sheila (Dale) Duchsherer, both Minot, and Sherry Filler, Drake; his mother, Rose Miller, Drake; six grandchildren, Kristin (Steve) Settersten, Megan Seehafer and Danny Duchsherer, all Minot, Macy Seehafer, Grand Forks, and Brett and Bethany Filler, Drake; one great-grandchild, Baby Settersten, due in May; two sisters, Barbara (Joe) Thompson, Shephardsville, Ky., and Linda (Ryan) Kreideman, Drake; two brothers, Gerald "Gary" (Nancy) Miller, Drake, and Jerome (Kay) Miller, Minot; sisters-in-law and brother-in-law, Brigitte Schmitt, Ludwigshafen, and Ursula (Paul) Vandelinder, Branch, Mich.; aunts and uncles, Evelyn Weninger, of Drake, Pete Ziegler, Minot, Louie (Bernie) Ziegler, Hazen, Mae Ziegler, Moorhead, Minn., and Margaret Ziegler, Anaconda, Mont.; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Ken was preceded in death by: his father, Jack; granddaughter, Kylee Duchsherer; grandparents; in-laws; and several aunts and uncles.
Funeral: Saturday, Dec. 1 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Margaret-Mary Catholic Church in Drake.
Burial: St. Margaret-Mary Catholic Cemetery, Drake.
Prayer service: Friday, 7 p.m., at the church.
Visitation: Friday, from 2 to 5 p.m., at Bethke-Nelson Funeral Home in Drake.