August 24, 1916 - January 26, 2004
Gerald Elwood ("Jerry") Miller was born August 24, 1916 in Waukon, Washington, to Herman and Clara (Baeder) Miller. The oldest of the five Miller boys, Jerry moved with his family to a farm in the Chewelah area in 1932 and graduated from Chewelah Jenkins High School in 1935.

On Valentine's Day in 1937, Jerry was working in a local grocery store when his head was turned by customer Virginia Coffey. After a summer of romance, the two were married September 19, 1937. For 66 years, Jerry and Virginia found joy in each other and in their ever-growing family.

Jerry was a grocer most of his working life, devoting himself to both the commercial and the community aspects of the business. When he started East Valley Thrift Store in Trentwood, Jerry involved the whole family, teaching them how to handle customers with his characteristic grace and generosity. Hard work in the store was balanced with trips to the family's A-frame cabin on Sacheen Lake, a cherished retreat for many years.

After Jerry retired in 1972, he and Virginia enjoyed traveling regularly to Hawaii and Arizona, and in 1977 they became winter residents of Venture Out, a condominium trailer park in Mesa, Arizona. During their 25 years as snowbirds, Jerry was very active in tennis, golf, the condo board, and Sunday worship committee.

Jerry was often happiest when he was building or creating something, from a macramé chair to an addition on the house. He was determined to make himself useful, and his toolbox was always ready when friends or family members called for help. But he also treasured annual treks into the woods of Idaho, Canada, or Alaska in pursuit of big game, filling his trophy room with elk, bear, cougar, Dahl sheep, caribou, and moose. When it came time to put down his gun, he enthusiastically picked up spade and hoe and turned his Millwood yard into a paradise of flowers and vegetables. Jerry and Virginia's harvests were legendary, and shared with all. In later years, Jerry was enriched by his participation in Christian fellowship.

As a beloved husband, brother, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, Jerry leaves a legacy of many happy memories. He will be remembered for his plainspoken ways as well as his quick wit; his strong will and his unerring moral sense; his physical strength and his gentle disposition. And in the lifelong partnership he forged with Virginia, Jerry has provided his family with an enduring example of faith, loyalty, and love.

Jerry died peacefully at home in Millwood on January 26, 2004, with family members (and his feline friend) at his side. His ashes, along with a Peace rose, will be interred this summer in Fairmount Cemetery in Spokane, with portions to be scattered in Idaho and in his garden.

Contributions in Jerry Miller's memory may be made to Millwood Community Church or to Horizon Hospice, 123 W. Cascade Way, Suite E, Spokane, WA 99208.