John F. Miller left this world suddenly on December 29, 2021 at the age of 93. He was a loving husband, father and grandfather and Bellingham resident for over 45 years.
John was born in Seattle, Washington on August 13, 1928 to Eugene and Florence Miller. He was the youngest of three children, raised in a devout Catholic family. He graduated from O’Dea High School in 1946 and attended Seattle University for two years before entering the military as a commissioned officer. John served in the United States Air Force for 8 years, working as a pilot and was soon promoted to Captain. He was proud of his service and always spoke fondly of his military experience and the responsibilities, travel and friendships he enjoyed there. At the age of 27, he met his wife, Carmen Fly (20), at a Catholic dance in Spokane, WA. They courted for one month and married on John’s birthday in 1955. John and Carmen settled in Seattle, Washington and raised 6 children together; 3 boys and 3 girls.
John decided to leave the military and worked as a salesman and manager for the Singer Sewing Machine Company in Seattle and Tri-Cities. He later opened his own store which resulted in a family move to Bellingham, Washington in 1974. John was a business owner in Bellingham and Mt. Vernon over the next 15 years. He closed the businesses in the late 80’s and sold life insurance for a period of time but ultimately decided to retire when Carmen became ill with cancer in 1990. John experienced many ups and downs in his life, but one of his greatest losses was Carmen’s death in 1991. They were married for 36 years.
As a widow, John became an active member of the Bellingham Senior Center in 1992. It was a place he could meet others and spend time playing pool and cards. This was where he met his 2nd wife, Luellamae, “Lue,” in 1993. They married in 1994 and lived happily together for 27 years until her death in June of 2021.
Anyone who knew John observed a big personality with many talents. He could fix things that were broken, craft a pool out of cement, and made his own suits. He could be loud and persistent, but also a sweet, gentle soul with strong family values. Although he is gone, the endurance and strength of his integrity and commitment to family will live on. He is survived by his children; Sally Hanley (Ed), Jim Miller (Erin), Dan Miller (Betty), Ben Miller (Taylor), Nancy Dootson (Greg) and Peggy Souza (Walt). He also has 8 grandchildren; Adam (Jessica) and Kara Hanley, Tom Miller, Ian and Colin Dootson, Harrison and Charlotte Wager-Miller, and Carmen Souza.