Bruce Miller: 1943-2022 | Obituary


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  • Bruce Miller, from July 10, 1943 to April 17, 2022.

Bruce Miller, born July 10, 1943 in Missoula, Montana, was a man full of passion and strength. He fought two bouts of cancer – 2004 (throat) and 2018 (bladder). His third bout with esophageal cancer took his strength and his life. Bruce went peacefully to heaven on Easter Sunday. His last clear words spoken were: “Alexa. Stop me. His wish was granted before midnight on April 17, 2022.

Predeceased by his Montana-born parents, Frederick Alton Miller and Mary Holmes Green Miller, Bruce traveled with his family to Dunsmuir, California when he was two months old. His father worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad from Klamath Falls, Oregon to Dunsmuir, California.

In Dunsmuir, Bruce attended kindergarten in the housing project office where they lived. He wasn’t the easiest child to raise – always into mischief at school that drove the teachers crazy. His dog always followed him to school. His mother has been called in for a conference. The teacher said it was good that his dog stayed, but Bruce was the problem. She needed help figuring out how to handle it. His father called him “bucket head”, a nickname that stuck in the family.

At the age of 7, Bruce lost his father in a railroad accident. The family moved to Gerber where Bruce attended Gerber High School and participated in 4-H and other youth activities. He had a pig called Lila. Bruce attended Los Molinos High School where he was active in FFA with a pig called Elvis. Living in the countryside, Bruce was able to get a driver’s license at age 14 and a half.

Bruce almost didn’t graduate from high school because he threw the janitor’s broom into a tree. His mother was again called to school. After thinking about it, Bruce was allowed to graduate as the teachers dreaded the idea of ​​him returning the following year. Reluctantly, his mother signed up for Bruce to join the United States Navy after high school when he was 17, as he planned to join him on his 18th birthday anyway. Joining at age 17, he served the minority cruiser a three-year stint instead of four years. He was proud of this military service which opened his eyes to travel. Bruce sailed on the aircraft carrier USS Midway to Hawaii, the Philippines and Japan.

Four months out of the Navy, Bruce attended Shasta College under the GI Bill and worked at US Plywood in Anderson, California. He and a friend Garnett decided to take a weekend trip to the coast where he met Rowetta Stapp. They were drawn to each other, discovered their love for dancing, and after that wild first weekend together, their love blossomed into a marriage on August 7, 1965.

Bruce moved to Eureka and worked in the woods as a choke-setter for a short time before starting work when the pulp mill started up in Samoa. He worked 30 days right after their wedding. Bruce and Rowetta’s first home was a 40ft trailer until they moved to Redding in 1966 where Bruce returned to Shasta College. They moved from Redding to Shingletown and Bruce drove the school bus from Viola to Redding, attended college during the day, and drove the school bus home in the afternoon. He graduated in 1968 when his eldest son Chad was a week old.

To further his education, Bruce’s family moved back to Humboldt County where Bruce enrolled at Humboldt State University. He drove a school bus, attended college during the day, and graduated in 1970, the year his second son Jason was born. Bruce drove a tanker for Simpson Timber over the summer. His third son, Cedric, was born the year Bruce received his teaching diploma in 1972.

Bruce decided that teaching was not for him. He loved being a heavy equipment operator and was proud to drive the motor grader for Simpson/Green Diamond where he worked for over 40 years before retiring in 2011. When Rowetta’s parents passed away, Bruce and Rowetta were able to take on the work of the Showers Pass farm known as Bootjack Timber.

After living in a double-wide mobile for 9½ years and raising three sons, more space was needed. Good humor followed Bruce and Rowetta when they discovered Fieldbrook’s ideal property in 1976 that was for sale. They built a house and became active in the community. Bruce has been a 4-H leader for over 25 years. Pork and fairs were his specialties. He started what is called the Pig-Out Ranch and raised pigs for many years.

He participated in various activities of his sons, including 4-H, FFA, soccer, football, baseball, basketball, theater and wrestling. Later, he loved attending HSU girls’ softball games. Sons being in college out of the region and into other countries, creating more places to travel. Many trips have been made.

Great travel adventures have taken Bruce to Alaska, Canada, the Caribbean, Mexico, the Panama Canal, Costa Rica, Hawaii, Sweden, Norway, Scotland, England, Germany, Austria , Hungary, Denmark, Belgium, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Portugal. , Spain, Russia, Estonia, South Korea, Italy, Turkey, Taiwan, England, Australia, New Zealand, South America, Fiji Islands, Argentina and Brazil. Plus, the train ride across the United States to New York was an adventure right after Bruce’s truck brakes locked up and he rolled down the bank of Gordon Road in Showers Pass.

Bruce’s life never slowed down with his travels to see the world. Alaska was the first of many cruises. Bruce only enjoyed unpacking once until his last cruise when Rowetta fell ill and they were kicked off the ship in Brazil. Bruce was up all night packing all the bags. Bruce with his iPad was able to communicate from Brazil to make arrangements to take them home after a week-long stay in hospital and hotel where the Tapajos River meets the Amazon.

COVID canceled trips to Tahiti, Iceland and a family trip to Alaska. You couldn’t ask for a better travel partner than Bruce as he’s always aware of what’s going on around him – perhaps Navy training and travel experiences.

In addition to his parents, Bruce was predeceased by a brother Grover E. Miller II, his in-laws Marvin and Isabel Stapp, his grandfather James Green and his grandmother Ethel Myers Green, his grandfather Grover E. Miller and Lilly Grace Fox Miller, Aunt Helen Kirkorian (Mike), Uncle Robert Green (Veda) and Uncle Donald Green (Dorothy), Aunt Jean Tuttle (Allen) and Uncle Joseph Miller (Marge).

Bruce is survived by his beloved wife and dance partner Rowetta Faye Stapp Miller and their three sons Chad Alton (Lynette), Jason Devoe (Holly) and Cedric Garth (Rachel). He is also survived by brother Chip Miller (Bonney) and sister Perdita Miller (Don Timmons). Bruce’s grandchildren who survive him are Sadie Isabel, Sophie Jean, Liam Matthew and Jade Emily; sisters-in-law Tanya Currier (Gene) and Anita Diaz; brothers-in-law Aron Stapp and Brian Stapp (Karen); and many cousins, nephews, nieces, too numerous to mention for fear of forgetting one.

Bruce was respected for his dedication to youth in sport and as a leader in raising pigs for 4-H and FFA members. He had such a family and community spirit, doing everything with such a heart. Bruce was a kind man, husband and community oriented person who went out of his way to help everyone he knew.

He wanted his love and thanks to go out to all the great nurses and doctors who have seen him through tough times over the past two years. A special thank you to Hospice for the supervision of volunteers day and night.

Bruce and Rowetta’s last dance took place at Fieldbrook Market & Eatery, located in the community they care about. Bruce’s family was with him at home on Easter Sunday where he had a peaceful and fitting send off. Bruce lived his life to the fullest and made so many friends along the way.

Towards the end, Bruce wished for a celebration of life, “I would like a revival while I’m awake – or not.” This celebration of his life will be held at Moose Lodge in Eureka on the afternoon of July 10, 2022. It would have been his 79th birthday. Family and friends are invited to join in the festivities and perhaps share a story or two, toast to a life well lived, enjoy food and music, and reconnect with family and friends.

Memorial contributions can be made to a cancer charity, the Alzheimer’s group “Fieldbrook Friends Forever”, a charity of your choice, or the non-profit Fieldbrook Community Club for which Bruce worked diligently as as Grange Master and community member for over 41 years, helping to keep the hall open for use by the Fieldbrook community.


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