James M. Miller

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James Masen Miller, 66, of Volga, passed away peacefully after an enduring illness in his home of 54 years. He was born Feb. 14, 1956, to William Lowell and Arlys (Norcross) Miller, the youngest of three siblings. He spent a portion of his youth in Cedar Falls until 1968, when the family moved to Volga to plant their roots at Spring Valley Ranch. It was there he discovered his love of mechanics, ranching and photography. He graduated from Central High School in 1975. From there, he pursued his diesel mechanics certification and began to take part in the daily operations of the ranch.


In 1976, he met his wife, Marilyn Adam, and after dating for a short time tied the knot at the Little Brown Church in Nashua on Nov. 12, 1977.


It was in the early 80s the couple took on Triple M Dairy where they milked cows faithfully for 15 years. It was also that time when they were joyful to have their only daughter, Cassandra Anne. Throughout the years milking cows and repairing vehicles, he also served as a bus driver for a total of 23 years among local districts. After selling the dairy herd in August 1998, he began to mechanic full time with K&K Repair of Volga, of which he stayed for many years before deciding it was a good time to revive his personal repair business. Many people benefited from his mechanical gifts. His signature blue work shirt and pants were a welcome sight to the many people he served. His love for the land also aided neighbors in harvest, mechanical consults and Diet Coke breaks downtown. 


When his son in law, Matt, came into the family in August 2007, it was the beginning of the transition of the ranch operation. Matt and Cassie and their four children, Audrey, Grant, Lauren and Carson, now carry forward the ranch legacy. 


The past five years presented a variety of health challenges, which Jim faced with perseverance. He is now at peace, surrounded by family who went before him. These include his oldest granddaughter, Martine Rosalia; his great aunt, Vernadell Taylor; brother in law, Cecil Rosburg; great niece, Beth Patterson; his brothers, Jeffery L. and William K.; his parents, William Lowell and Arlys; and his in-laws, Elmer and Dora Adam.


He is survived by his wife, Marilyn; daughter, Cassie (Matt) Winters; his four grandchildren, Audrey, Grant, Lauren and Carson; his in laws, Carrie Miller, Darlene Rosburg and Marvin and Janice Adam; god-daughter, Nicole (Klingman) Paustian; 19 nieces and nephews; 19 great-nephews and nieces; 25 great-great-nieces and nephews; and his dog, Sadie. Jim had many people in his life whom he also called family who were not blood.


A celebration of life was held Oct. 16, with a visitation and memorial service, at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Volga. Private family interment will be at a later date. 


Leonard-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service of Elkader is assisting the family.

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