Gerald L. Miller, 74, Marshfield, Missouri, son of Victor E. and Madge (White) Miller, was born on Aug. 25, 1944, and departed this life on May 5, 2019, in his home with his loving family by his side.
Gerald was born in Junction City, Kansas. His parents brought him to southwest Missouri in 1953 when they moved to Verona. At Verona High School, in 1961, in a sophomore class of only 18 people, he met Connie Buehler. They married four days after Connie turned 18, in 1962. To say that Gerald had a few irons in the fire during his life is an understatement. He was a carpenter, turkey farmer, dairy farmer, USDA vegetable inspector, volunteer firefighter — if you remember what Sears stores used to be, he operated one on Marshfield’s square for many years. Except for pouring the cement of the basement, he and Connie built their house with their own hands. From the studs to sheetrock to the metal roof, they drove every nail and turned every screw. Even the rocks that made the chimney were pulled from those original 48 acres. For most of his life he was a truck driver. He drove well over five million miles and never had a moving violation. He drove from Massachusetts to California and from Texas to the Northwest Territories and Alaska. He sacrificed for his family and to pay for his dream of being a farmer. Thirteen years ago, he drove his last semi-truck and retired to begin Miller’s Berry Farm. Gerald would often say, “Lots of people want to travel or play golf when they retire, but I have driven around this country my entire life so that I can be right here to farm, cut wood and garden.” Besides talking about his grandchildren, the activity that brought him the most joy was to spend all day cutting firewood. A Thermos of coffee, a jug of two-cycle fuel and a small fire kept him going all day, splitting and hauling wood. He would also tend to an abundant garden of strawberries, blackberries, tomatoes, okra, green beans and sweet potatoes, some as big as your head. Gerald was a man of tremendous faith. He was baptized at age 12 in the Spring River in Lawrence County, Missouri. After moving to Marshfield, his family joined First Baptist Church in 1971, and he was a fixture in the church since. When he was still able, he was always helping with repairs to the church or serving members in need and was the chairman of the board of trustees for a time. Even when he slowed down, he was here to share a plate of biscuits and gravy and talk with all, every Saturday during Upwards basketball. He loved the Fishers of Men Sunday school class. He loved the learning and conversation these men had every week.
He was a patient father and grandfather, a loving husband and a caring friend and neighbor. He is survived by Connie, his wife of 56 years; daughter Mary Beth Miller; son John Miller and his wife Mika Miller; grandsons Matthew Burks and his wife Nicole Burks; Stephen Todd and his girlfriend Taylor Price; Jacob Miller; and granddaughter Quinn Miller. Funeral services for Gerald L. Miller will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday May 11, 2019, at Day Funeral Home, Marshfield, with burial in Marshfield Cemetery, Marshfield. Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, May 10, in the funeral home chapel. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to First Kids or St. Jude’s in care of the funeral home. Online condolences may be made at www.dayfh.com.