Elmer "Doc" Miller
Doc was born in Thomas, Okla., on March 4, 1927, to Annie Gingerich Miller and Criss J. Miller. After a brief battle with cancer, he passed away on April 3, 2018, at age 91 with his family at his side.
Doc attended country schools in Oklahoma and Iowa. He was raised Old Order Amish and, later, Mennonite. Doc followed his passion and was a lifelong farmer. He proudly served in the Navy during World War II. After returning home from the Navy, he and a good friend purchased a 1938 Taylor Craft airplane, which they enjoyed rebuilding and flying. He was privileged to take part in an Honor Flight in 2008.
Doc married Dorothy Punke in Marengo on June 30, 1949. They were blessed with five children.
He was a member of the American Legion, Lions Club and served 12 years on the Benton Community School board. He also sold Pioneer Seed Corn for 20 years. Doc entered and won numerous local corn yield contests. In 1978, he was the first corn producer in the state to record a contest winning yield over 200 bushels/acre, measuring 202.72 bpa in the Iowa Masters Contour Yield Contest.
After Doc retired from farming in 1992, he and Dorothy moved to Bella Vista, Ark. They were active in their church, community, and enjoyed volunteering. They returned to reside in Vinton in 2003 to be near their family.
Doc always had a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye. Doc enjoyed sharing memories with his family and they enjoyed every minute of it. There never was a shortage of laughs when the Miller family got together.
He enjoyed "making sawdust" in his wood shop and all of his children and grandchildren have a treasure that he had made. Always the farmer, Doc enjoyed operating a combine when he was well into his 80s on his son's farm. Always striving to remain active, a photo of him was featured on exercise equipment in a Vinton Parks and Recreation brochure when he was 90 years old.
Doc is survived by Dorothy, his wife of nearly 69 years; and his children, Casey (Jeanene), Mary (Doug) Pearsall, Julie (Bill) Light, Criss (Michelle) and Jim (special friend Shelly). He also is survived by his sisters, Mary Ellen Ritchie and Dorothy Jean Enfield. Doc had 10 grandchildren, Eric Miller, Nikki Leach, Monica Tiemann, Ryan Bishop, Andy Light, Hanna Hofmeister, Emily Ehresman, Jonah Light, Kendra Miller and Carly Miller. He also is survived by 14 great-grandchildren, five great-great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Alvin Miller; a sister-in-law; and two brothers-in-law.
Memorials should be directed to the Wesley United Methodist Church in Vinton.
Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, April 6, and one hour prior to services at Wesley United Methodist Church, 516 Second Ave., Vinton. A Celebration of Life will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 7, at the church. Private family burial at Marengo Cemetery afterward. Arrangements are being handled by Phillips Funeral Homes in Vinton. Online condolences may be left at: www.phillipsfuneralhomes.com.