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Life Story / Obituary
Webb Miller was a loving husband, father, and grandfather. A caring nurturer, he cherished his years as a father and was delighted with the arrival of his grandchildren and great grand children. Living his life to the fullest and enjoying the company of each and every person who came his way, he leaves behind a wonderful example of accepting all people with compassion. Webb faced each day with an attitude of learning something new. His warm personality, genuine friendship, and reverence for his Lord and Savior will be deeply cherished by all who knew and loved him.
The 1930s were significantly impacted by the effects of the Great Depression. Banks were still closed but there was a promise of a new election year awaiting. During the middle of one of the toughest decades in American history, Noah and Sarah Miller welcomed home the arrival of their newborn son, Wilbur, on April 27th in Three Rivers, Michigan. His birth brought much joy to the family during tough economic times.
Webb grew up on a small farm and lived with Amish traditions until later, by the age of ten, his family became Mennonite. He and his siblings were known to pitch in around the family farm alongside their hard-working parents. To supplement the family’s resources, his father also worked long hours at a local factory. Webb never balked at his responsibilities which included churning butter and raising chickens. Although he was earnest in his work, he also enjoyed a little mischief and would often tease his sisters over the years. Without much extra money, he and his siblings would make their own toys. Working with his hands as well as relying on his own ingenuity led him to a lifetime of mechanical interests. He built numerous things, often praying and seeking the Lord on wisdom on how to do something. One time Webb even built a honey extractor for beekeeping, an interest he enjoyed for many years. The operator of over one hundred hives at one point, he was able to hand this legacy down to others in his family by sharing his wealth of knowledge and skills.
Once an adult, he enlisted in the United States Air Force , earning The Korean Service Metal with 2 Bronze stars and the United Nations Service Metal. He admitted to serving as an aircraft mechanic during the Korean war, while being stationed in Japan. He never spoke of what he did to earn his Service Metal with two Bronze Stars or the United Nations Service Metal., and in fact never spoke of the awards to his girls. They did know that Webb looked back fondly on his years of serving his country and was proud of his service.
After he was discharged, Webb enjoyed socializing; especially rollerskating, attending local outdoor movies and going to dances. One summer evening while at a dance he met Vivian, the woman of his dreams! Dating for roughly a year, the happy couple joined in marriage in 1954, welcoming their first daughter Londa in 1955. In 1956 Sandy was born and the small family moved to Gobles where Webb began building their forever home. 1959 brought more renovations to the upstairs as Pam was born and he built bedrooms for his girls. Luckily, he had the foresight to add a workshop as for many years the home was under renovations and additions. Webb loved to take on projects and was known to have several going on at once! Always one to help out or pitch in, if he saw someone working on a project he would gladly come alongside and help complete the task!
As hard as he worked, he played equally as hard. Webb never passed up an opportunity to take his family on vacation. In addition to raising their own children, he and Vivian fostered several children over the years and treated them like they were their own. Every winter he took his kids on a two-week vacation to Florida. They were thrilled to visit Disney the first year it opened. Many summers, they would pull a camper up to northern Michigan and camp with family and friends. Each vacation was always filled with fun and laughter! When he retired from Coca Cola in 1995 he took his family on a trip of a lifetime to see the Grand Canyon and much of the western Rockies by visiting several national parks along the way. Above all else, family meant everything to him. These special memories as well as teaching them to value others and lean on their faith were the lessons he gave to his children. He wanted nothing but the very best for each and every one of them.
Webb held many special interests. He cherished his time outdoors and loved to hunt deer hunt up north and duck hunt in the Dakotas with his family. Devoted to his faith, he took his wife and mother-in-law to Israel where he was baptized in the Jordan River. Each and every family meal he led in prayer and would read his Bible every night before bed. Active in his faith life, Webb was one of the founding members of Grace Fellowship Church and served the Lord in various capacities in the church. One of the original Deacons, he served as an usher and prayer team member for over twenty-five years. In addition, he was elected to the Board of Directors and served as an Elder for over seven years, serving as a guide to the Pastor in the business decisions of the Church. His church became his second home. For many years he also maintained the church lawn and helped with routine maintenance at the church. Webb was always willing to help with various special projects including refinishing the pews, painting, and installing the new furnace. At many of the church events, he came early to help set up and was known to stay afterward to do the dishes!
No job was too big or too small, he was just always there doing what needed to be done, showing the heart of a true servant. He often recalled that the best part of all his service to the Lord was the ability to pray for people, leading them to the Lord and baptizing them in the Holy Spirit. Webb was a well respected and highly regarded man in his church community. Although his church community and many special loved ones are deeply saddened by his passing, they are comforted in knowing that he is now with his Heavenly Father who has called him by name and whispered into his ear, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
Wilbur “Webb” Miller, age 89, of Gobles, Michigan, died peacefully at his home on January 30, 2020. He was preceded in death by his wife of fifty-five years, Vivian, in 2009; his brothers, Levi and Edward, his sister, Kathryn Hudson, and granddaughters: Janee and Kristy. Members of his family include his daughters: Londa Miller, Sandra L. Miller, Pam (Mike) Turner; 11 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren; siblings: Rueben (Sophia) Miller, Clara Grubert, and Lydia (Frank) Schragg and many special nieces and nephews. Visit with family and friends on Tuesday, February 4, 2020, from 4-6 PM at the Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900. His funeral services will take place at 10 AM on Wednesday, February 5, 2020, at the funeral home. Burial will be at Almena Cemetery with a luncheon to follow interment back at Betzler Life Story Funeral Home. Please visit Wilbur’s personal web page at www.BetzlerLifeStory.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his online guestbook before coming to the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to Bethany Christian Services.