Kenneth John Miller

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Ken Miller of Drayton Valley passed away at Drayton Valley Hospital and Care Centre on Friday, August 4, 2017 at the age of 59 years.

He will be lovingly remembered by his wife, Patricia; children, Kurtis Miller and Christina Wilson; grandchildren, Talica, Axton and Karissa and siblings, Ronald, Joanna, Karen, Lillian, Rosalie and Catherine. Ken was predeceased by his parents, Johannas and Lillian.

No formal services will take place at this time.

For those who wish, memorial donations in Ken’s name may be made directly to the Lung Association.

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Karen Phillips

My Baby Brother (Memoirs from Karen Phillips nee Miller)

I don’t remember Mom being pregnant with Kenny, but I remember the baby at home and Mom being in the hospital for more than a month. It was Christmas and Dad took us to Indian Head hospital. Kids weren’t allowed in the hospital so we all stood in the parking lot and waved to Mom. We had auntie Evie (Mom’s sister) come for a while and then we split the family, Joanna and I staying at (Dad’s Sister) Auntie Eva’s for a while but in the end we were all at home looking after each other and Kenny was just a wee baby. One of my jobs was diaper duty. In those days, you scraped the poopy diapers and then scrubbed on those washboards (I have one of those boards in my laundry room to this day). So, Kenny was my baby. I remember carrying him around to get the mail or other chores in our small town and ladies would stop and tell me to make him walk because he was almost bigger than me., but I liked carrying him. He was our little blonde brown eyed boy. The apple of everyone’s eye. Along came baby sister Cathy. She was the blonde blue-eyed baby girl. Kenny lost his status, but not in my eyes…we loved them both, but I looked after Kenny. I felt so bad when the two little ones would fight and Kenny would get disciplined cause he was the older. I was assigned Kenny and Joanna was assigned Cathy. I
guess Lillian and Dody just followed behind us.

To get Kenny dressed to go to school was hard. He wouldn’t listen to anyone yelling at him while he hid under his blanket billowing with warm air over the furnace vent, (I showed that warmup trick to Kris when he was a little guy). Eventually with much reasoning I could get him to get dressed and eat. Not sure if we got his face washed and hair combed. We got a new gas stove when I was 12, a great improvement from the old wood stove. I remember little Kenny frying his own eggs, he did could barley see over the stove (he was probably about 3 years). I would just watch him do it, I guess making sure he didn’t burn himself was my supervision.

The first year of school was tough on Ken. He didn’t come home for lunches and I always had to go search for him at noon. Once I found him at Dennis Klyne’s house throwing cats in Mrs. Klyne’s washtub. I went to the local cop in town Moose, a gruff speaking man, and asked him to pick up Ken, put him in the Paddy Wagon and take him home. That seemed to work, he started to come home from then on. (I told that story at Ken and Pat’s wedding. Not sure if he was embarrassed or not)

We were forever looking for Ken, one time in the dead of winter he came home with a soaking wet snowsuit. We had to investigate where he was that day. Turns out he was at the river by the old Town Building straight down Company from our house. We went to the river and found struggling marks in the snow. The little Cohen girl and him were at the river, Ken then told us she fell thru the ice and little Kenny pulled her out, they came home totally wet and cold. My goodness they could have both fallen thru and never been found. He wasn’t even scared.

Always in pool hall hanging out with the old men. I had to go in and get him for supper many times.

Ken spent a lot of time at the Dam, fishing and swimming. Not sure what else he got himself into.

The one of many times Ervin and I went home to visit from Calgary, Kenny was only 13, he asked me if he could come visit and stay with me in Calgary. I looked at Mom and she seemed happy for him to ask. How could I say no to my baby brother. We packed him in the back of our two-seater Triump and he rode the whole nine hour drive in the back of the car, on top of the luggage. We only stopped once for burgers at Moose Jaw. We all agreed, best burgers ever. Ervin and I both were up early to be at work by 6:00 am, so Kenny was on his own a lot of that month. The upstairs tenant in the big old rental house on 12 avenue got a new puppy that summer. They hired Kenny as a dog sitter for the month. it worked out pretty good for Kenny, kept him occupied and earned some money. We took him shopping and he bought himself a little Pup tent and sleeping bag with his money. We kept him busy on weekends going to the city pool and drives, but it must have been a bit boring staying with his older sister in the big city of Calgary. To try out the new tent we camped at Fairmont on the trip home, met up with Brother Ron and Sister Joanna and their families. A bear came down the mountain into the campsites, we all ended up in our vehicles for a lot of the evening until the conservation officers got the bear removed. Pretty exciting for a thirteen-year-old boy in his pup tent.

Kenny had a paper route in the Fort and his little dog Boo followed him every day. One day he came screaming into the house carrying Boo. The Taxi driver ran over the poor little dog. Kenny crying begging Dad to help his little Dog. Dad and I both knew the dog was dying. That was the most heart wrenching task Dad had to do was tell Kenny Boo couldn’t be saved.

By this time Ervin and I had moved to Regina. I got tired of the monthly nine hour drives home for visits.

Dad and Kenny (15 years old) bought a snow mobile together, so Kenny could have fun and Dad could use it for ice fishing. Ken had an accident and broke his leg. Ken had a cast on for months and finally I asked Mom if I could take Ken into the city to see my Doctor as the Fort Qu’Appelle doctor was not doing his job. My doctor was in the Medical Arts Building in downtown Regina, and once he heard the story of how long Ken was in that cast he pretty near hit the roof. He got on the phone, called the Orthopedic doctor. We were up the elevator to that office in no time flat, that doctor ordered the cast off. Down the elevator for removal and xrays, back up the elevator to the Ortho doctor and physio was scheduled for Kenny’s poor shriveled up leg. Ken stayed with us the whole summer for physio, I think it started off twice a day and down to once a day. He had to walk every day by himself to physio. Pretty brave for a small town boy. He remembered going to work with Ervin and working in the print shop lithographic department. The shop was on South Railway and I worked at the Main Post Office just down the road.

Even though Kenny was 15 he still came and visited me into the city. Ken and Cathy used to come for the odd weekend. I only had one extra room with a single bed, I don’t know how they managed, but I remember them giggling and having fun together. Queen Elizabeth came to Regina that year (1973) and we even went to the parade.

Ervin and I moved to the Fort that Fall. Things were going sideways between Dad and Ken. Ken as a teenager was becoming harder to deal with. This was all hard on Mom and Cathy, so I would let Ken come and stay with us at times. Dad didn’t like that, he said I was harboring him and that had to stop. Ken camped in Mom and Dads front yard all that summer and partied. The neighbours must have had a heyday watching all the goings on.

I think that was the year, Joanna and Red took Ken to Sparwood BC and Ken became Red’s electrical helper. Not sure for how long that lasted, but when Dodie, who have been living in Joanna and Red’s basement suite, moved to Lethbridge Kenny must have followed, and lived with Dodie for a while. I think that’s where he started working in the trailer manufacturing place doing the electrical etc. He met and married Penny. Mom and Dad had a family celebration of their wedding and all the Aunts and Uncles came as well as Grandma and Grandpa Boyko. Ken and Penny had two children, Curtis and Christina. During that time Mom and Dad both passed away. Kenny eventually headed back to Fort Qu’Appelle. Penny, him and the kids lived on the Fort San Road. He struggled to find work in Fort for a good wage. He tried his hand at freelance carpentry work, we hired him to enclose our new fireplace chimney fireplace. he did great work, it turned out wonderful. Cathy hired him to do her hardwood floor in her house. Eventually He had to go to Regina for work, that was a lot of commuting back and forth. The marriage failed and Ken ended up with custody of the two little ones. He raised them in Seba Beach AB. He had a terrible accident with an Electric Fence Auger and they weren’t sure if he would come out OK but he did with all his faculties in tact. That was the only time he was sick since the broken leg. Once the kids were more grown up he ended up in Drayton Valley AB

That’s where he met Pat. Ken told me he asked her out and Pat told Ervin that she asked Ken. They fell in love and got married in 2004. All the Siblings were at the wedding. That was the first time together since Mom and Dad had passed. We were all so thankful Ken and Pat had a large wedding so we could all be together. That is when I first met Pat. She was so nice and seemed to really love Ken. Ken was so happy, He told me it was nice to have someone who loved him. I was thankful they were so happy.

The next time we got together was for Cathy’s 50th birthday. As usual there was lots of food and Pat being a cake decorated did the cake. We were only missing Ron at that celebration.

Ken and Pat travelled to Vernon for my son Kris’s wedding. We all stayed at the same hotel and had a wonderful visit. Lillian was missing. Ken was so happy, they were prospering and enjoying each other. Ken humour and wit kept us entertained and I enjoyed his company now that he seemed to find himself

A Miller Family Reunion was planned for 2012. The reunion was at the same beach that Dad held a reunion for the Miller side when I was 16. All the Siblings were together, first time since Ken and Pat’s wedding in 2004. We all camped and enjoyed three days of visiting and eating. Ken and Pat had the kids with them and they were both enjoying being Grandparents. Again, Ken’s humour was abundant. I think that is from the Miller side but as he was getting older he was sure starting to look like Grandpa Boyko.

I really hadn’t seen Ken much but thought one of these summers we would Motorhome up to see them.

Joanna called me in June to tell me Ken was not feeling well. He was drastically loosing weight and they started doing tests. They determined he had no bowel cancer at that time. I called him a few times and I could tell he was really struggling, but didn’t know the severity of the situation. I told him we were coming in August for a visit. In July biopsy was scheduled and they decided to start Ken on radiation the following Monday July 24. Curtis texted to Ervin on July 22 saying we should think about a visit soon. I wanted to see him before he started the Radiation so we left on Sunday to be there for Monday. Ken was in dire condition, the cancer was pressing on the lymph nodes, fluids were draining to his upper body. He was very uncomfortable and could hardly breath.

Ken told me cancer was in one lung stage 4, spots in his liver his kidneys and his bones. He was in a lot of pain and couldn’t breathe. His mind was still so clear, he was so brave. He told me he was going to fight and I could see in his big brown eyes the determination. I truly believed he would be able to do just because of his grit and determination. I wished I could give him some of my strength.

He told me if had a chance he would do a few things different. That certainly wouldn’t be his time with Pat, you could see the love they had for each other. They were Soul Mates.

The night before Kenny passed I had a dream. I was at the Dam on the Echo Lake side. The entrance to the dam was all covered with branches and gnarly bushes. It was black and dark and I was fighting to try to get to the Dam. I’m not sure what I was fighting for but all of a sudden I felt something hold me back and kiss me on the top of my head. I thought it was Ken. At that point I fell back to sleep, when I woke in the morning thinking the dream was Kenny but now I think maybe it was Dad and he just wanted me to let him go. If there is a heaven, I wish Ken is with Mom and Dad for awhile. It would be nice to think they get a second chance and have a ReDo to enjoy my Baby Brother

Lillian Ulmer(Hall)

Ron, Joanna, Karen, Lillian, Rosalie and Cathy…
Kenny was my best friend’s “little brother”. A little ray of sunshine running around the neighbourhood. My parents spoke so fondly of him too.
Always happy, always smiling, the cutest little guy ever! I spent so many happy times with the Miller family growing up. Thank you for those memories.
My condolences to Kenny’s wife and family and to the Miller family.

Joe Campbell

So sad, I remember him as a great little guy who used to tag along when we were kids

Wanda Mohn

I am so very sorry to hear of Ken’s passing. Heartbreaking to say the least My thoughts and prayers are with you Pat and family The memories we shared as coworkers will forever be with me. His love for you was expressed every day. May God and Ken hold your hand through this difficult time ❤️

Joan

Ken will be missed dearly Pat. I will miss the ” good mornin old lady ” Hugs to you and loads of love. He was an awesome man.

Lana Ramsey

Pat, death is never easy, I’ve been in your shoes. Take one day at a time. Love you, hugs from BC

Theresa Dix

We only heard of Ken’s today. I want you to know I am thinking of you Pat and you family . I enjoyed working with him at the bakery we had a few laughs for sure He was a great guy and will be missed God bless you and your family. ❤️

Jack and Trish Wiersma

Kenny you will be joyfully missed by all you’ve touched in your life. For us there will be no void in our hearts ♥️ because you filled them everyday with memories of laughter and joy. Forever and always friends to the end ♥️

Marilyn Ens

Dear Family, I am so sorry for your loss. Please know that our Creator is also aware of your loss and pain. Psalm 34:18 “Jehovah is close to the brokenhearted; He saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

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