Ronald Miller

Published 9:00 am Sunday, April 17, 2016

Ronald L. Miller, 70, passed away Dec. 5, 2015, with his family at his side in Melbourne, Florida, due to complications from a heart attack.

Ron was born in Des Moines, Iowa, and grew up outside of Lyle, where he was a precocious boy on the farm. Ron was often found taking things apart and building new things with the parts. As a young man he enjoyed driving fast, as the police in town could attest to. Drag racing was a favorite past time until he was drafted into the Army and served during the Vietnam War. During his service he was stationed in Maastricht, Netherlands, where he worked for NATO in coding and communications. It was also there that he met his wife of 45 years, Maria Dirix. Ron soon convinced Ria and her two boys, by omitting the truth about Minnesota winters, to marry him and move to Albert Lea.

Ron became a mechanic at Ruud Motors and worked there for 15 years until he changed careers and became an auto/diesel instructor at Riverland Community College. Ron enjoyed working with young men and women and teaching them the profession. After 15 years in that role, he retired to spend Minnesota winters in Barefoot Bay, Florida, where he continued to enjoy chatting with neighbors and fixing anything for them for a payment of a cup of coffee or plate of brownies. Ron also enjoyed speeding around in his Miata in the sun.

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Ron was a kind, giving man who would say hello to everyone. He was the kind of man who worked hard, would mow a neighbor’s lawn if they couldn’t, would pull over to help someone whose car had broken down and had a giant vault of corny jokes he cracked open whenever he had a chance. He was a wonderful father to his two boys and daughter, and was someone they could look up to for many reasons. He loved his grandchildren and in between the many tickles would joke that he was going to drop an old, broken down car in the front yard for them to put together. A favorite memory for them is Opa making them laugh by making his farm animal sounds.

Ron is preceded in death by his parents Henry and Leila Miller.

He will be dearly missed by his wife; his children Paul (Evelyn) Miller, Andre (Diane) Miller and Deb (Paul) Rasmussen; grandchildren Chris, Ashley, Brittany, Virginia, Sidney, Anya, Bram and Anika; his special aunt, Irma Rae Harris; sisters Char (Robert) Abraham and Joyce (Nyles) Pederson; brother, Russ (Joan) Miller; and their families.

Condolences can be sent to 949 Laurel Circle, Barefoot Bay, FL 32976. No flowers please. A memorial service will take place in June in Albert Lea, with details to follow. Ron will be laid to rest this summer at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis.