|On July 2, 2012, J. John J. Miller of Kalona, Iowa completed his life here on earth, which began on July 3, 1919. He joined his life journey wife Mabel Brenneman on June 1, 1941. J. John will be remembered as long-time minister of East Union Mennonite Church, near Kalona, Iowa.
John was often noted for his name, and when asked about all the J’s, he would explain that he was named for his four grandfathers and two great grandfathers - Jacob John Jeremiah.
J. John lived most of his life in the Kalona - Wellman community, except for ten years of growing up in Arkansas. He worked at Kalona Oil Company until he was drafted in 1942. He went into Civilian Public Service (CPS) in Fort Collins, Colorado, and Malcolm, Nebraska, from 1942-1946. Upon his release, John farmed near Kalona for a number of years. In 1948, John and Mabel were part of a group who reopened the small rural Pleasant Valley Church.
In 1953, he was ordained as minister at East Union Mennonite Church. Following his call to ministry he enrolled in Bible studies and general courses at Hesston College in Kansas, graduating with an Associate of Arts degree. During John’s early years of ministry, he continued farming. Members of the congregation gave much assistance with harvesting his crops. John also worked at Home Gas Company in Wellman, from 1960-1969.
In 1969, John was ordained bishop. He also served as a mediator with churches in the Iowa-Nebraska Mennonite Conference.
While his years of ministry were very busy, John made spending time with his family a priority. Monday Family Night was a regular on his weekly schedule.
John retired from the ministry in 1984. In his “retirement” he continued to enjoy meeting and visiting with people while selling advertising specialties for Newton Manufacturing Company. His clients often noted that he was more than a salesman, he was a friend. He continued in sales through December 2007.
John is survived by Mabel, by two sisters-in-law Mary Ellen Miller of Kalona, Elvira Brenneman of Lubbock, TX, brother-in-law Al Neuenschwander of Berne, IN, by his five children - Linda Rowold and friend George Brown of Austin, TX, John David and wife Rebecca Miller of Lexington, KY, Marlin and wife June Miller of Kalona, Jim Miller and fiancé Jody Benson of Minneapolis, MN, and Gary and wife Gwen Miller of Gary, IN. He is also survived by eight grandchildren - Alice Schermerhorn, Sarah Miller-Piper, Shonda Hershberger, Jamie Trueblood, Rachel Snowden, Ben Miller, Margo Young, Jared Richey; and twelve great grandchildren - Max and Will Schermerhorn, London and Camden Hershberger, Jonathan and Kate Piper, Tatum and Maggie Trueblood, Isaiah and Ezekial Snowden, and Skylar and Kirkland Young.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Leroy and Lydia Troyer Miller, step mother Lydia Beachy Miller, a brother Ralph, two sisters - Grace Tiessen and Mabel Neuenschwander, son-in-law Milam Rowold, and two infant great grandsons, Kai and Boston Hershberger.
Celebration of Life Service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 8, 2012 at the East Union Mennonite Church in rural Kalona. Rev Jay Miiller and Rev. David L. Yoder will officiate. A private graveside service will be held prior to the service in the East Union Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 9:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. at the Yoder-Powell Funeral Home in Kalona where the family will greet friends from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. In lieu of flowers a memorial fund has been established for Pleasantview Home and Urban Faith Works in Gary, Indiana. (Ministry of Gary and Ben Miller’s family.) |