Gale Miller, 99 - Stumptown

Gale Miller, 99, of Stumptown, West Virginia, passed from this life Monday, January 25, 2010, at his residence, after an extended illness.

He lived a rich, full life just 19 days short of 100 years. He was born on Tanner's Fork of Steer Creek, Shock, WV, February 13, 1910, the eldest son of Grover C. and Oe (Minney) Miller.

He was an elementary school teacher. After attaining a degree in Elementary Education from Glenville State College, he taught school in Gilmer County for 24 years at Oak Grove, Perkins, Tanner #4, Rosedale, and Normantown Grade, before retiring in 1973.

He was a gospel preacher, preaching from time to time at Shock, Locust Knob, Millstone, Glenville, Spencer, Gassaway, Howesville (Preston County), Little Hocking (Ohio), and Sarnia, Canada. He authored three books of sermon outlines, and a commentary on The Revelation. He taught classes on shaped note music. He wrote poetry about individuals that made an impression on him, and on West Virginia nature and wildlife.

He was a member of the Shock Church of Christ, being baptized into Christ by Lewis Leroy Miller on August 27, 1938. He served this congregation as song leader, Bible teacher, preacher, and elder. He also served as maintenance man, involved in the upkeep and making improvements on the building from time to time.

He had experience in several other areas of work. He built a number of houses, and helped build the Rosedale gym. He worked on the WPA as a stone mason, helping build the wall in front of the administration building at Glenville State College. He was a steel-worker for three years in the Naval Ordnance Plant in Charleston during the Second World War. He also had experience working in timber, on a pipeline, on the public highway, operating a grist mill, blacksmithing, beekeeping, molasses making and making split bottom chairs.

He was married to Virginia Ruth Wolfe at Shock, WV by Lewis Leroy Miller, they enjoyed 67 wonderful years together farming, teaching school and raising their family. After their retirement they traveled extensively, visiting every state in the union except Hawaii. They also traveled abroad, visiting Canada, Mexico, Germany and Austria. Gale also made one trip to the Holy Land, enjoying many experiences there, such as riding a camel, standing on Mars Hill, and dipping his toe in the Jordan River.

He is survived by two sons, Gene H. (Patty) of Shock, and Marvin (Caroline) of Spencer, WV; two daughters, Yvonne (Charles) Morrison of Stumptown and Carolyn (Brooks) Norman of Aurora, Ohio; one sister, Luanne (Carl) Conrad of Elyria, Ohio; 10 grandchildren; 14 great grandchildren; and a host of nephews and nieces.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Virginia Ruth (Wolfe); eight brothers, Orbert, Obert, David, Hurley Bon, Colby, Corley, Rae and Arlyn Bly; four sisters, Minnie, Carrie, Jessie and Mae; one grandchild, Leigh Ann Morrison; and one great grandchild, Kyli Carol Marshall.

Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, January 30 at Stump Funeral Home in Arnoldsburg, WV. Evangelist Tom Miller will officiate. Interment will be in the Miller Cemetery at Shock. Friends may call at the funeral home from 6-8 p.m. Friday.

"A brilliant man who loved to teach anyone willing to learn, leaving behind an eternal gift of knowledge that will be treasured in our hearts forever." "To teach is not to create students in your own image, but to develop students who can create their own image."

A Tribute To Grover Cleveland Miller
(Dictated by Gale Miller about four hours before he died)

My father, Grover Cleveland Miller, was a "Jack of all Trades," and he taught me many things. I followed him from a very early age. I followed him into the fields to work, even when I was too small to work. Once while he was working in the field I fell asleep. When I awoke I was at home. My father had carried me home.

He taught me FARMING when to plow, when to plant, how to build a haystack, how to graft fruit trees, how to raise livestock, how to shear sheep, how to handle horses, how to cut corn, how to cradle wheat.

He taught me to be a CARPENTER how to frame and build a house, how to paint, how to build a sled, how to half-sole a sled, how to take a white oak tree from a stump and make a chair, how to select a tree and make splits for a split bottom chair, how to operate lathes, drills, and saws powered by a Model T engine.

He taught me to be a BLACKSMITH how to operate a forge, how to temper metal, how to strike while the iron is hot, how to fashion useful tools from scrap metal, how to sharpen a mattock, how to sharpen a plow point, how to shoe a horse.

He taught me to be a STONE MASON how to split and work stone, how to shape foundation blocks from rough stone, how to build a stone wall, how to build a chimney with four fireplaces.

He taught me to be a MILLER how to operate a grist mill, how to set the burrs to chop grain for feed, how to set the burrs to grind grain into meal, how to take the "toll".

He taught me to be a BEEKEEPER how to build a hive from a hollow gum tree, how to hive a swarm of bees, how to recognize the queen, how and when to rob bees.

He taught me to be a CHRISTIAN I followed him into the church. By his example, he taught me to be honest, to be kind, to show hospitality, to speak evil of no one, to do an honest day's work for a day's pay, to always do what is right. He often said, "The Bible is always right."

He taught me SHAPED NOTE MUSIC He taught me the rudiments of music, how to learn a new hymn by the shape of the notes, and how to lead singing. All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my father, Grover Cleveland Hero.

Gale Miller, January 25, 2010