Leonard Charles Miller, a longtime Craig resident, died Friday, Feb. 4, 2011, at the home of his son in Grand Junction. He was 88.
Leonard was born June 28, 1922, in Ink, Mo., the son of Otis Hansford and Effie Elizabeth (Keeling) Miller.
The family moved to the Elkhead area in 1928 and Leonard attended the country schools on Elkhead. He then worked on the family ranch until joining the U.S. Navy in 1944. He was a general seaman and worked with the Navy blimps in the northwest doing general surveillance and weather reporting.
Leonard married Velma Harvey on Nov. 29, 1947, in Lander, Wyo., in a double ceremony with Harold and Helen Pankey, and to this union three children were born. They made their home in Nebraska while Leonard worked on a seismograph crew in southwestern Wyoming and northeastern Colorado.
They returned to Craig in 1952 and Leonard worked as a truck driver for J.J. Stanton Trucking in the oil field business, for Gilbert Meats Grain Co. driving to Salt Lake City, for Koch Oil Co. driving from Vernal to Craig and for Colowyo Coal Company from which he retired.
Leonard was a Million Mile Truck Driver with a perfect safety driving record.
Velma died in July 1988 and on Jan. 6, 1989, in Las Vegas, Leonard married Maureene Davidson Murphy, a lifelong friend. He then became stepfather to her three children.
Leonard enjoyed fishing, especially the streams around Hahn’s Peak, camping and attending rodeos. He loved living in Northwest Colorado and being with his family at their many family gatherings.
Leonard is survived by his daughter, Debbie Earls, of Craig; sons Gary (Terry) Miller, of Ouray, and L. Eugene Miller, of Grand Junction; grandchildren Chris (Jamie), and Scott (Cathy) Miller, Tracy (Jake) Leonardi, Nick and Matt (Rebecca) Miller, and Jake and Jenny Earls; great-grandchildren Aiden and Ayzia Miller, Makayla, Layton and Hayden Combs, Ashley Leonardi, and Billy and Elizabeth Miller. Leonard is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives and his stepchildren Dennis Murphy, of Craig, Terry (Peggy) Murphy and Kevin (Jill) Murphy, of Hayden, and their families
He was preceded in death by his parents, Otis and Effie Miller; sisters Maudeline Simpson and Bernice Miller; and brothers Irby and Harvey Miller.
A funeral service was held on Friday, Feb. 11, 2011, at The Grant Mortuary Chapel with Norman Harvey officiating. John Allen was the soloist and the pallbearers were Chris, Scott, Nick and Matt Miller, Jake Earls, and Justin and Kevin Pankey.
Honorary pallbearers were Winfield Pankey, Jim Simpson and Keith Pankey.
Interment followed in the Craig Cemetery, where Leonard was laid to rest next to his wife, Velma. Military Honors were by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265.