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1924 Arthur 2015

Arthur Miller

July 2, 1924 — April 26, 2015

Arthur Leroy Miller passed away peacefully surrounded by family on the 26th of April 2015 at 6:20pm at the Living Center in Jackson, Wyoming.

Arthur was a long time resident of Jackson after moving to this wonderful community in the early 1970’s. Art was born in July of 1924 in Salina, KS to parents Arthur Sr and Sarah Miller. Being born right in the middle of the great depression, there were many hardships growing up. Never did any of them ever bother Art as he worked wherever he could doing odds and ends until high school where he worked as a burger cook at a small burger joint in Salina called Cozy Burgers. Cozy still stands today and has been on many shows as one of the pioneers of “sliders”. I remember eating them as a little boy with Dad, and him telling stories about when he worked there you got a burger and a coke for a nickel.

Art was a standout athlete in high school and had a contract to pitch for the St Lois Browns in the spring of 1941 after graduating from high school. He instead joined the Marines at the age of 18 and was off to boot camp and training to be a part of WWII. In early 1942, Art was sent to the island of Guadalcanal as part of the 6th Marine Division. Some of the most interesting stories that I remember growing up were of his time fighting in WWII. The 6th Marine Division went from island to island clearing the way to mainland Japan. In June of 1943 as the fighting was winding down on the island of Okinawa, Art was hit with a Japanese mortar. He spent the next few months in hospitals and was finally sent home for good in October 1943. Doctors at the time told him that he would never walk again due to the amount of muscle loss and fact that he had shrapnel in his leg that they could not remove due to the limited medical industry. Never to give up, he started trying to walk and relearning how to do many of things that are part of our everyday life. He went back to school at Kansas State University and got a Bachelor’s degree in education. After finishing his masters at the University of Kansas in psychology he took a teaching job in Salina and stayed there as the basketball coach, history teacher and school psychologist. In the spring of 1972, he decided he had had enough of the flat lands of Kansas and headed out for the mountains of Wyoming. He had interviews in Laramie, Rawlins and Rock Springs. After his interview in Laramie (with the wind blowing harder than he had ever seen), he got back in the car and headed to Rawlins. When he saw the town, he decided that the town wasn’t for him and kept going, the interview in Rock Springs went well and he almost took the job yet something was tugging at him who made him pass and keep going. As he pulled into the Jackson valley, he knew he was home. Getting offered a teaching position and a school psych tech job right away, he took them with no hesitation. Now he just had to convince his newly found soul mate, Jeanne, to move to Wyoming. She moved out in the fall of summer of 1973 with very little convincing however and the stories started flying. In June of 1974, Art and Jeanne had their only child together (me), what a thrill at the ripe old age of 50 and 46 respectfully. The old joke that I remember was “that’s what happens when you drink the water in Jackson Hole”. For Art, I was a little bit of a miracle due to the doctors telling him years before that he was sterile and would never be able to have children. Art worked as a school psychologist for all the schools in Jackson, Alta, Moran, Kelly and Wilson for the next 20 years of his life until he retired in the spring of 1994. Art spent the last 20 years enjoying the company of Jeanne and great friends at their summer house in Idaho at Heise Hot Springs and the winters here in the valley. Last summer we were blessed to have his 90th birthday party at Heise. I don’t think he knew just how many friends he had until he got to spend the day with over 70 friends and family members. After wards he told me “That is the first Birthday party that anyone has ever had for me”. The look on his face when he pulled up to the surprise was unforgettable. Personally, I have never seen him so happy and full of life as he was that day in July. I will always remember him for his quick wit, humor and his incredibly sharp mind. Up until the day he passed, he never lost any of them which was an incredible blessing to say the least. Art will be missed by everyone that ever knew him as he was such an easy man to get along with and talk to. Art is survived by his soul mate, Jeanne Miller, son, Aaron Miller, Sister, Jean, step children, Don Swartz, Jay Swartz, Vickie Wearing, Stacy Weis, Cindy Spencer and of course his kitty, Angel. There are so many people that he touched in so many ways including all Jeanne’s children, grandchildren and great grandchildren as well as everyone he worked with, talked with and spent time with at Heise that it would be unfair for me to name all of them in fear that I would miss one.

Dad passed the way that anyone would want to with his family surrounding him quietly and peacefully. I just want to say ‘Thank you Dad for all the great memories, you will be missed and remembered by many. You were a hero, friend, love of a life time, inspiration to so many. If everyone was like you the world would be a much better place. We love you!’

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