SOUTH BEND — Joseph Miller Jr.,
75, passed away Saturday at 10:45 a.m. at his home following a difficult two-year battle with mesothelioma.
He was born Nov. 18, 1938, to Joseph M. and Amanda (Schmucker) Miller in Nappanee.
In 1957 he graduated from Nappanee High School and served his alternative IW service at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. He then attended South Bend College of Commerce graduating with honors in 1961 with an accounting degree. Joe spent his life working with numbers.
In 2004, he retired as CFO from UniRoyal/ Royal Adhesives after 35 years of service. After retirement, he continued to use his accounting skills with his last position as part-time business manager of South Bend Civic Theater.
He was an active member of Kern Road Mennonite Church and served as treasurer, trustee, elder and in various other positions. He volunteered at Ten Thousand Villages, Habitat for Humanity, Fuller Center and served on the boards of Mishawaka Rubber Federal Credit Union and Community Wide Federal Credit Union.
On Jan. 7, 1961, Joe married Phyllis Hahn. They celebrated 53 years of marriage earlier this month.
Survivors include his wife, Phyllis; daughters, Lorie J. Miller (John Woods) of Indianapolis, Sheila Miller Bigelow (Todd Bigelow) of Lawrenceburg; and four grandchildren, Lauren Bigelow of Indianapolis, Katryn, Andrew and Luke Bigelow, all of Lawrenceburg. He is also survived by three brothers, Edward J. Miller (Olive Grace), Elkhart, Eli J. Miller (Connie), Puyllup, Wash., and Lester J. Miller (Martha), Toledo Ohio; two sisters, Fannie Mae Miller (Marvin D.) of Nappanee and Elizabeth Tyson (Erwin), New Paris; sister-in-law, Ruth Miller, Goshen; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Mary J. Matthews; brother, Marvin J. Miller; and brothers-in-law, Erwin Tyson and Peter Matthews.
Joe and Phyllis enjoyed traveling, camping with their daughters and taking trips throughout the states and abroad with family and friends.
Visitation is set for 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday at Kern Road Mennonite Church, 18211 Kern Road, South Bend.
A graveside service with burial will begin at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at Olive Cemetery, West, C.R. 3, Elkhart. A memorial service will follow at 3 p.m. at the church.
Many thanks to all family, friends, and medical personnel from Elkhart, South Bend and the mesothelioma department of the University of Chicago Medical Center that helped care for Joe during this journey.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Mennonite Central Committee, Center for Hospice South Bend, Kern Road Mennonite Church or to a charity of the donor’s choice.
Arrangements have been handled by Rieth-Rohrer-Ehret-Lienhart Funeral Home, Wakarusa. Online condolences may be shared at www.rrefh.com.