George Celestine Miller
George Celestine Miller, 98, of Elkader, Iowa passed away on August 25, 2013, at the Elkader Care Center in Elkader. George was born on June 9, 1915, in West Union, the son of Henry and Sara Jane (Foley) Miller. George attended and graduated from West Union High School in 1934. Following high school, George attended Iowa State College for one year and finished his education with a degree in dairy manufacturing from Purdue University School of Agriculture.
On September 11, 1939, George was united in marriage to Edith Slifka at the Holy Name Catholic Church in West Union. In 1947, George and Edith bought the LEN-HA-HA Dairy in Elkader, which they renamed and operated as the Miller Ice Cream Company. Together they operated a very successful business that became a household name for its one-of-a-kind quality ice cream. The business offered home delivery milk, hand-packed ice cream, a soda fountain, and over the years expanded to rural delivery of their dairy products. George and Edith retired and sold their dairy business in 1977.
For many years, George and Edith enjoyed their cabin on the Mississippi River. After retirement they enjoyed traveling in their motor home. George also looked forward to his annual trips to Saskatchewan, Canada, for walleye fishing in the spring with the Dead Lake Five and fall goose hunting with friends. Shotgun deer hunting was another annual outing that George very much enjoyed. He always seemed to find the right stand to get the trophy buck or at least a glimpse of him.
He enjoyed golf, which he was able to play until he was 96. He looked forward to the Wednesday Men’s Night socializing with his friends. George, along with the others in his foursome, took full advantage of the “gimmes” offered to one another once they were somewhere near the cup.
George was an avid Iowa Hawkeye fan. He looked forward to the football and basketball seasons. George also had a love for barbershop music and always looked forward to harmonizing with his barbershop friends. For 47 years, he was a member of the Barbershoppers Keystone Chorus. Twice George received the “Man of the Year” award.
George was proud to have served on the Elkader Fire Department for 29 years, with 10 years as fire chief. He was a member of the St. Joseph Church, the Knights of Columbus, and Elkader Lions. He was always ready to serve whenever needed.
George was a proud, very independent, and determined individual who never complained and was always on time.
George enjoyed time spent with his family, especially with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Survivors include one daughter, Georgana (Alan) Johnson of Elkader; two grandchildren, Kristine A. (Jonathan) Feist of Cedar Rapids and Gregory A. (Abby) Johnson of North Liberty; five great-grandchildren, Andrew and Allie Feist and Alana, Avery, and Archer Johnson and many friends.
George was preceded in death by his wife, Edith Catherine Miller in 2011; his parents, Henry and Sara Jane (Foley) Miller; three brothers, Edward, Clarence and Charlie; and six sisters, Lucille, Gertrude, Charlott, Agnus, Mabel and Helen.
A mass of Christian burial was held Thursday, August 29, 2013, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Elkader with Rev. Paul R. Peters serving as celebrant. Interment was at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, Elkader. Visitation was 4 to 7 pm Wednesday, August 28, 2013, at Leonard Funeral Home in Elkader. There was a Knights of Columbus Rosary at 4 pm. Visitation was also held one hour before mass time at the church on Thursday.
Leonard Funeral Home of Elkader is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be left with www.leonardfuneralhomes.com