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Obituary for Joe Miller

Date of Birth: 5/26/1923

Date of Death: 11/4/2012

Age: 89

Prescott AZ

Joe Miller went to be with the Lord and his wife of 54 years on Nov. 4, 2012. Joe was born in Prescott, Ariz., on May 26, 1923. He grew up a cowboy, working hard for his dad Hank Miller on their ranch in Yava and later in the desert around Congress. Joe's mom, Clara Miller, moved Joe and his brother, Cliff, to Prescott when Joe was in sixth grade to finish high school. There, Joe was exposed to football and pole-vaulting, which he learned to excel at, winning the state pole vault championship. After high school, Joe entered NAU (ASC at the time) with his brother, where he played football. Summers were spent working in the Iron King Mine. College was interrupted by WWII. Joe and Cliff went to work in the naval shipyards in Seattle for several months, then enlisted in the Navy for Joe and Army Air Corps. After three and a half years in the Navy in the Pacific, Joe returned home to Prescott to resume his education and play football. Joe was introduced to a pretty young nursing student named Jane Ashley. It wasn't too long until they were married. Jane finished nursing school and Joe finished at NAU. They made their home in Prescott, where Joe began teaching and coaching ay PHS. Joe moved his family to Sunnyslope in 1956 and spent the next 14 years teaching and coaching at Sunnyslope High School. Over this time, he became the proud father of five children. Sunnyslope went undefeated in 1959 and finished second in the state playoffs in 1969. Most summers Joe worked for the Forest Service, patrolling and fighting wildfires and making trails. In 1970, Joe and Jane moved back to Prescott, where Joe worked for the Forest Service for a time. Soon, however, he was back teaching and coaching - first at the junior high and then again at the high school. In 1984, Joe was inducted into the first class of the Arizona Coaches' Hall of Fame. This was one of Joe's greatest honors. Three years later, he retired from teaching and coaching for good. He went to work at the site for the Hassayampa Golf and Country Club, cutting trees and clearing brush for the roads, golf course and home sites. He and Jane also found time to do some traveling and help out their children as needs arose. Joe lost his wife of 54 years in May of 2001. About a year later, he was married to Joan Corbitt, a good friend from high school. Joe spent most of the last 10 years of his life living in Gilbert, Ariz., but spending lots of time visiting with his children and especially bass fishing with his son, Tim. Joe is survived by his wife of 10 years, Joan; his five children, Pat Ellsworth, Terry Geldmeyer, Mark Miller, Roseanne Jackson and Tim Miller; plus 11 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. There will be a memorial mass at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012, at St. Catherine Laboure Catholic Church in Chino Valley. Funeral services will be on Tuesday, Nov. 13, at Arizona Ruffner Wakelin Funeral Home, 303 S. Cortez St. in Prescott. Public viewing will be from 11 a.m. to noon, with a celebration of life at noon. Burial at Mountain View Cemetery will follow. In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Joe's name to Point of Light, 1840 E. University, Suite 2, Mesa, AZ 85203. Arizona Ruffner Wakelin Funeral Home assisted the family