Leo Arthur (Joe) Miller, 89, of Danville died at 12:10 a.m., Wednesday, November 1, 2017 at the Danville Care Center.
Born January 5, 1928 on a farm South of Burlington. He was the oldest son of Arthur Joseph and Elsie C. (Wiesner) Miller. He was a Christian. As a youth Leo was confirmed at Bethany Lutheran Church in Burlington. He married Marjorie Hollingsworth, they later divorced. On June 12, 1982 he married Gwen Marshall at West Hill United Methodist Church in Burlington, where they both attended for over thirty years. Leo served as a Trustee and helped with many projects for the church.
Mr. Miller was a 1946 graduate of Burlington High School. He was a World War II Navy Seabees Veteran where he served helping to rebuild Guam. Mr. Miller was Assistant Battalion Chief of the Burlington Fire Department, retiring in 1983 after 33 years, 8 months, and 7 days of service. He retired from Iowa Fire Fighters Association.
Leo loved the outdoors, boating, fishing, hunting, camping and bicycle riding. He was an awesome story teller. In 1953 he saved the lives of a prominent local couple from drowning when their boat caught fire. A former member of Bike Burlington, he challenged friends to a double century (200 mile) bicycle ride to celebrate his 60th birthday. Leo made the plans and mapped a successful ride. In his eighties Leo would easily ride ten plus miles every day. In retirement Leo developed an interest in wood carving. He was very artistic. Leo was a talented carpenter and builder, volunteering time and labor helping friends and family in building projects. Whatever he did, he did well and lasting. Leo and Gwen sponsored, Fabio Quirez, a student from Medellin Columbia, South America in their home in 1989. There's still a strong bond with Fabio and his family. Leo and Gwen spent two weeks in Medellin, Columbia with Fabio and his family in 1990.
When faced with cancer his 86th year he endured the successful treatment with courage and determination. Cancer treatments left him uncomfortable with serious health issues that he lived with until the end of his life.
Survivors include his wife Gwen Miller; two daughters, Becky Washington of Burlington, Jeri Miller of West Burlington; one son, Kelly Miller of Burlington; three grandchildren; six great grandchildren; one brother, Melvin Miller of rural Sperry; nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; one sister, Jean Brissey; and two brothers, Floyd (Joe) and Arthur Miller.
Visitation will be Monday, November 6, 9-11 a.m. at West Hill United Methodist Church. The funeral service will be at 11 a.m. with Rev. David Bracht-Wagner and Pastor Simeon Counterman officiating. Burlington Area Veterans Honor Guard will conduct military rites. A luncheon will be held following the services. Interment will be in Montrose Cemetery. A memorial has been established for West Hill United Methodist Church.
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