Harrison 'John' Miller Jr.
November 10, 2017
MASON CITY | Harrison (John) Miller Jr., of Mason City, passed away November 10, 2017 at Heritage Care and Rehabilitation Center in Mason City, IA, from complications of bladder cancer and failure to thrive. His wife and son were with him after a day of visits from many of his family and friends. He was 83 years old. Known as John all his life, he is survived by his wife of 60 years, Elaine (Johnson), two sons, Larry (Julie) Miller of Baxter, IA, and Barry (Sharon) Miller of Gaithersburg, MD, 4 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. Of 16 children born to his parents, Harrison and Clara Miller, John was the big brother. Ten of his siblings survive him: Gerald (Jerry and Francine) of Waterloo, IA, Francis (Gwen) of Mason City, IA, Jackie (Jack and Della) of Des Moines, IA, Dane (Janet) of Parkersburg, IA, Dwight (Carol) of Mason City, IA, Bobby (Bob and Doris) of Brandon, SD, Louise Simonton, of
Parker, CO, Rodney (Rod and Bill) of Minneapolis, MN, Elizabeth (Liz) of Ankeny, IA, and June (Bob) Black of Mason City, IA. John is also survived by 35 nephews and nieces, 9 great-nephews and nieces.
John is preceded in death by his parents, Harrison and Clara Miller, his son, William (Shari) Miller, his grandson, Aaron, and two siblings, Lorain (Bud), and Gene. Three infant siblings also predecease John.
John served in the U.S. Army between 1954 and 1956. He lived in Mason City his entire life and worked as a glass fitter before his retirement. John's family and friends could count on him to help fix their cars, with home repair projects, and for advice on a host of issues whenever he was asked, which was often. John met his wife when she was just 11 years old and pursued a friendship that lasted into adulthood when they married in 1957. They were inseparable. Their love and affection for each other was openly displayed whenever they were together and it served as an example to the Miller family. John's commitment to his three boys never ended. Part of his engaging personality, and likely the most agreed on characteristic by his family, was John's tendency to “tell it like it is.” He was a classic man of few words but when he spoke, you listened. You never had to guess where John stood on any issue. He never lacked an opinion but always allowed others theirs. He was accepting of the many differences in the Miller family and was non-judgmental.
Years ago, many of the children in his neighborhood feared John more than their own parents. But as the years went by, we all knew his bark was worse than his bite. He became a gentle giant. He practiced and taught us the power of hugs that were as meaningful as his spoken “I love you.” It's never too late to follow his example. John's love for his family will never be forgotten. He will live in the hearts and memories of all who were fortunate to know him.
A memorial service celebrating John's life will be held November 16, 2017 at
10:00 a.m. at The Salvation Army Church, 747 Village Green Drive, Mason City, IA. Please join family and friends at 9:30 a.m. to share memories of John. Light refreshments will be served following the service. John's cremated remains will be privately interred at a later date.
Hogan-Bremer-Moore Colonial Chapels, 126 3rd Street NE, Mason City, 641-423-2372.Colonialchapels.com.