Fredrick (Fred) E. Miller, age 81, of Sunrise Beach, MO, died September 12, 2022, at Israel Family Hospice House in Ames, IA, after a vigorous fight against multiple cancers.
Fred was born March 1, 1941, in Marshalltown, IA, to Ray & Rosemary Miller. The second of seven children, Fred grew up in Leavenworth, KS. He worked at his father's drugstore, delivering prescriptions on his motor scooter. He occasionally escaped across the street from home to play on the Missouri river bank, once bringing a new hobo friend home for dinner. Following graduation from Immaculata Catholic High School, Fred attended his freshman year at Notre Dame, then transferred to the University of Kansas with an NROTC Scholarship, and graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering. He and his Phi Kappa Theta fraternity brothers have remained the best of friends for a lifetime, and enjoyed many gatherings over the years.
He met the love of his life, Barbara Ann Boots, during those college years . The two married on February 9, 1963, and went directly to Pensacola, FL, where Fred attended Naval Flight School. Along with firstborn daughter, Lisa, the family was soon stationed in San Diego, and Fred was based at Miramar Naval Air Station. Second child, Mindy, was born as LTJG Miller headed off for several tours in Vietnam, piloting an F-4C Phantom off the USS Constellation (the Connie). Upon his safe return, the family moved to Lawrence, KS, where Fred pursued his MBA.
All finally headed back to San Diego where son Brandon, was born. Fred joined Arthur Young & Co. as a CPA. Many bright memories were made in California - dear friends, church, home, beach camping and travel adventures (many in a VW Westphalia). During that time Fred served as President of the regional chapter of the National Association of Accounting (NAA), and taught single-engine flight pilots. Church leadership and community were a big part of life for the family at the Mission San Diego de Alcala. Fred left AY to join Monitor Labs, a cutting-edge environmental company. Then another opportunity presented itself . . . taking over his Dad's partnership in the first Iowa Pizza Hut franchise.
Ames, Iowa was a vibrant chapter in Fred's business community life. He served at various times as president for the Ames Rotary Club, the Ames Chamber of Commerce, and United Way of Story County. He was a part of the team that helped found the Ames Convention & Visitors Bureau. His business and civic leadership achievements were recognized with several awards, including Small Business Person of the Year and Mid-Iowa's Citizen of the year. He and Barb were dedicated members of St. Cecilia's Catholic Church. His personal credo was to give back, and share with others how to do that.
Fred and Barb followed dear friends and family tradition south to the Lake of the Ozarks, and began their final chapter of retired life. Membership at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Laurie, life at Porto Cima in Sunrise Beach, MO, and winters in Naples, FL, were all sources of cherished friends and neighbors.
Nearing the end, Fred asked to relocate back to Ames, to rest and retreat at Israel Family Hospice House, for which he was a founder in the 1990's. His beloved caregiver (and Barb's as well) packed and drove him from Sunrise Beach to Ames on August 22, 2022. In his three short weeks there he managed to fit in a lot of life, including visits from family and old Ames friends, and the wedding of his eldest daughter. The whole family is grateful for the outpouring of love.
Fred is survived by his three children, Lisa Johnson, Mindy Miller and Brandon Miller; grandchildren Fiona and Johnny; and five of his siblings: Marilyn Carney, Nancy Moran, Peggy Miller, Neill Miller and Linda Brugman. And his and Barb's beloved dog, Max. He was preceded in death by his wife Barbara Ann Miller, and sister Barbara Miller.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on October 28, 2022, at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Leavenworth, KS, with burial at Mt. Calvary Cemetery. Any gifts in memory of Fred can be made to a charitable organization of your choosing. He would love that.
Online Condolences may be directed to: www.grandonfuneralandcremationcare.com
Tami and first met Fred nearly 30 years ago. I was the Executive Director of the Spencer Area Association of Business & Industry at the time. Fred owned a Pizza Hut in Spencer and was the President of the Ames Chamber of Commerce. Fred approached Tami and me about moving to Ames to become the Executive Director of Ames Chamber of Commerce. We agreed and from that point forward, began to develop a long-standing relationship with Fred & Barb. Fred was a mentor of mine. He was a smart, intelligent and visionary business & community leader. I admired Fred from the day I met him and, learned a great deal from Fred. I treasured the opportunity to work with Fred on many business & community initiatives. Tami and I would not be in Ames today if it were not for Fred and we are forever grateful for the opportunity to know Fred & Barb. With sympathy and respect.
Steve & Tami Goodhue
I met Fred when I was invited to join the Phi Kapppa Theta reunions/events. That group of men have a special bond. It was so evident whenever they would get together. They worked hard growing that Fraternity from almost extinction to a notable House on the University of Kansas campus. My involvement began with bus trips that went to Lawrence for football games that started and ended at The Slate Creek Depot. Laughter, beverages and of course "Loco's Chile" were always present. After the Depot burned down, there were so many reunions at Lawrence. Always a great time. I was privileged to be invited and involved with Fred, Barbara and all the Phi Kapp boys. Nothing but great memories wherever Fred was involved. I truly enjoyed the obituary information because there was so much about Fred that only he knew. He was a humble man with an amazing legacy! He was never one to brag about all his accomplishments. Rest in peace, my special friend.
One of my wonderful memories from the summer of 1962 was our first class midshipmen cruise on the USS Ranger CVA-60 out of Alameda, CA. Fred and I teamed up with Richard Norfleet. We drove in Richard's 1951 Chevy. In crossing over the continental divide in Colorado, we saw some deep snow in a valley below the highway. So, to have some fun, we parked and ran down to the snow in shirt sleeves being mid-June. After a few minutes of throwing snowballs at each other, we began to be attacked by mosquitos. They were bad, and we ran as fast as we could to the car. Inside all windows became black with a massive amount of those predators. After swatting many in the car, the windshield wipers were needed. Of course, I have many memories of that summer together, and how we quickly ran out of money bar hopping in San Francisco.
We went different directions in the Navy and in life. So, I appreciated the details of life you have included in his obituary. May the Lord bless all of Fred and Barbara's family.
I remain fraternally yours as a Phi Kappa Theta,
from the Basilica in Stillwater, NY
Fred and my husband, David Wheaton, were squadron mates in VF161. He was in our wedding in San Diego in 1965. It was Fred who gently swatted my behind with his Navy sword as I walked through. Fred and David maintained correspondence over the years and we joined him last September in a special fundraising event in Colorado. Fred and Barb gave our then newborn daughter the Winnie the Pooh stuffed animal she has to this day - 53 years ago!!
Fred is the first friend I called when David fell last year and subsequently died. The guys - Dick Brent, John Dowd, David Wheaton and Fred Miller are together again, sharing and laughing! With deepest and most sincere sympathy, Gail Wheaton
I was honored to meet your Dad a few years ago and visit with him. After reading his life story I had no idea he was born in Marshalltown, where I spent my youngest years before moving to Ames. It truly is a small world. I know your loss is great. I am praying for you all. May the memories you hear shared in the coming weeks and months be a balm to your soul as you hear how your Dad touched so many lives.
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