Kalona-Russell (Russ) Lee Miller was born on June 13, 1942, to Ivan and Ida (Steider) Miller in rural Wellman. He was baptized at Lower Deer Mennonite Creek in rural Kalona, IA at the age of 12 where he remained a faithful member for his entire life. Russ was united in marriage to Lorna Bender on February 22, 1964, at Lower Deer Creek Mennonite Church. They lived most of their married life and raised their three children near Wellman, Iowa. He was self-employed in his farming and custom corn shelling business, Miller's Cob Peeler. He spent his retirement years as a mechanic at Mower's Plus and mowing lawns at the church and cemetery with his Walker mowers. He spent many hours helping people in their time of need through Mennonite Disaster Service and was always willing to help on outdoor and building projects at the church. Russ and Lorna moved to Kalona in 2018. He enjoyed spending time with his family and sharing his love of 2-cylinder John Deere tractors. Russ passed away at Pleasantview Home in Kalona on July 27, 2020 of vascular dementia.
He is survived by his wife Lorna; three children Loren (Deb) Miller from Stanford IL., Luetta (Lamont) Ropp from Wellman, and Lowell (Beth) Miller from Winterset; 7 grandchildren, Aaron, Tim, Ben, David and CJ from Stanford and Lia and Joshua from Winterset; two siblings, a sister, Arlene (Phil) Schwartz from Lewistown, PA, and a brother, Eldon (JoAnn) Miller from Wellman. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother David.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held 10:30 am on Thursday, July 30, 2020, at Lower Deer Creek Mennonite Church, rural Kalona. Burial will be at Lower Deer Creek Cemetery. Visitation will be Wednesday, July 29th from 3:00 to 8:00 pm at the Yoder-Powell Funeral Home in Kalona with the family present from 3:00 to 5:00 and 6:00 to 8:00 pm. A memorial fund has been established for Lower Deer Creek Cemetery Fund. Messages and tributes may be left at www.powellfuneralhomes.com.
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I just found out about Russell's passing and am truly saddened. I have so many memories of Russ, as he was a part of my/our lives growing up in the area. Russ, Arlene, David and maybe Eldon(not sure if he was there yet when we moved away) went to Pacific when we did. Some scenes are etched in my mind forever. As we became teenagers he was the dude ... because he had a car and was our wheels to go drive around in Iowa City ... or whatever other pretty harmless diversion we sought at that age. I last saw him when I was at LDC in 2012. I think we could have picked up some stories right where we left off. It would be fun to just sit and tell some of them. (I know Eldon is thinking of that wild ride on the hay slide). I regret that is not possible. He was one of a kind and my life was enriched by his.
Arlen Hershberger, Denver, CO
Loren and family, I am so sorry for your loss.
We're so sorry for the loss of Russ. I was grateful for the opportunity to attend the funeral virtually; it was such a great tribute to him. Loren, I especially appreciated your remembrances and I'm really inspired by Russ's passion for hard work and service. Sending love and prayers to the whole family.
Lorna and family. We were saddened to hear of Russ's passing but are rejoicing in the knowledge that he is whole again! May you find peace and comfort in the days ahead, knowing there will be a reunion in the future! The service was a wonderful tribute to his life.
Loren and Judy Bender
Lorna and family. We are so sorry to hear that Russ has passed. If not for the pandemic we would be there, however we are praying for you as you receive friends and have the memorial service.
Lorna, Loren, Luetta, Lowell, grands, and siblings -- I am so thankful I saw Luetta in IC yesterday, and as a result, learned of Russell's passing in a timely way.... Gary and I are both so sorry for you all. What a void his absence will leave in your lives. Russell was a devoted, selfless, and hard working husband, dad, and grandpa! He did so much for all of you and many, many others during his life! Russell was a wonderful Christian role model for all of us. Lorna, we are so glad you got to enjoy your nice, new home in Kalona together for a couple years, so you don't have to orchestrate a move by yourself now -- that would have been especially hard... You have a loving family and we know you will support each other during the coming days, weeks, and months. Blessings, love, and prayers to all of you. The Curtises
(We will not be at the visitation or funeral as we are trying to only be out when absolutely necessary during COVID, but our hearts are with you today during the visitation and tomorrow during the funeral...)
Sorry for your loss, enjoyed talking to him at Duwa's reminiscing about the corn shelling days.
Loren and family -- Very sorry for your loss. Prayers and peace to you.
Always enjoyed seeing Russell walking around the track at the Y. Occasionally we got to talk about our Miller relatives.
I am so, so sorry to see this. This sweet man will certainly be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. PAT FREEMAN
Loren--I am so sorry for your loss. Your dad sounds like an amazing man! I hope joyful memories comfort you and your family as you grieve and walk through sorrow. Amy Arkell
So sorry Lorna for your loss! Prayers
Lorna and family, my sincere condolences to you during your time of sorrow. I remember many times hauling corn away from Russ's "cob peeler". He was a kind and gentle man who gave to many and helped where he was able. He exemplified 'do unto others' in a quiet and unassuming manner. You can rest assured that he is in the arms of his Savior.
Lucetta and Family-Thoughts and Prayers for Comfort, Peace and Memories.
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KALONA, IA 52247
Kalona, Iowa 52247
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