Cover photo for Dennis Miller, Sr.'s Obituary
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1924 Dennis 2017

Dennis Miller, Sr.

August 31, 1924 — August 7, 2017

Dennis W Miller, Sr., 92, of Lewellen, passed away Monday morning, August 7, 2017 at the Regional West Garden County Hospital in Oshkosh.

Funeral Services will be held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, August 19, 2017 at the Lewellen United Methodist Church with Pastor Jeniffer Brand officiating. Burial will follow in the Ash Hollow Cemetery.

There will be no visitation.

Memorial are suggested to the Lewellen United Methodist Church or the Giving Bee (c/o Western Nebraska VOA, PO Box 128, Lewellen, NE 69147).

Holechek Funeral Home and Cremations in Oshkosh is serving the Miller family.

Dennis Wayne Miller was born August 31, 1924 to Ellen Sponeberg Miller and (George) Wesley Miller in North Platte, Nebraska. He grew up the youngest by ten years with three siblings on a farm near Wallace Nebraska. His playmates were his two dogs and a cousin Howard. A child of the thirties, he grew up with dust storms that turned day to night, outhouses, and farming with horses. During WWII he farmed 1600 acres and harvested wheat. Though he graduated from high school in 1943, he was required to remain as a farmer to support the war in that way. He soaked in the nature of honesty, and deep satisfaction with a good days work as a young man. His love for the earth and farming remained throughout his life. Anyone who worked with him learned he would always make good on his word and work. Perhaps it was his Swedish mother who instilled in him his openness to the new, his desire to try what he had not seen before and to trust that there is always room for more.

On March 15, 1944 he married his High School sweetheart, Lucille Hise. The young couple spent their honeymoon trapped in a blizzard in Sterling, Colorado with nothing but chocolate covered cherries for dinner. Lucille loved her mother-in-law Ellen which must have made it easier to spend their first year of marriage living with Dennis’s parents. During that year, Dennis farmed, worked at the lumberyard and built his first house for his family. To their union were born six children, Dianne, Dennis Jr, Ronald, Allen, Jean and Rex. They added two children, Patricia and Tony, to their home in 1966.

Desiring a life of their own, the couple bought a small farm near Lewellen, Nebraska and moved in the spring of 1951. Here Dennis was on the school board and helped the community decide to construct a new High School. He was also a member of the fire department. Needing to make ends meet, Dennis began building homes for nearby neighbors. In 1961, he took a job with International homes and moved the family to a new home he built in Oshkosh. He and his construction team (usually including a son or two) built at least 60 homes in Garden County alone. Houses built by Dennis extend to Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska. He also owned and operated the John Deere building in Oshkosh with his brother, Merle Miller.

His children grew up to spread their wings throughout the world. At one time they worked, visited and lived in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and the Americas. To his great delight, in time, they all found their way back home or close enough for many beloved visits. His grandchildren played along Blue Creek and grew to adulthood under his loving care.

In 1971, His son Ronald passed away only days away from being released from the army and a tour in Vietnam. Lucille passed away in an auto accident in 1995. In November, 1996, Dennis married Barb Hatterman who had recently lost her spouse, Glen. The family’s gratitude to Barb for her care of Dennis in his last years can never be expressed enough. Barb made it possible for Dennis to live in his home on Blue Creek to his last day. His final years were rich with what he loved most, family, farming, gardening, and participating in community events. Dennis was a member of the United Methodist Church in Lewellen since 1951 and built the kitchen onto the church and served as trustee for many years. Even in his passing Dennis exemplified a life well lived. His reward was passing peacefully, painlessly, and happily after a full day of living, August 7, 2017.

Dennis is survived by his wife, Barbara, his children, Dianne Greenwald (Salvatore Caruso) of Boulder, Dennis (Cynthia) Miller Jr. of Lewellen, Allen (Franny) Miller of Fort Collins, Jean (Tim) Jensen of Lewellen, Patricia (John) Goytia of Orlando, and Rex (Cindy) Miller of Lewellen, Barb’s children Lana Skelton and Todd Hatterman, thirteen (plus four Hatterman family) grandchildren – Darcy Greenwald, Joshua Greenwald, Dennis Miller III, Benjamin Miller, Tieta Miller, Eddy Miller, Susette Miller, Anna Hain, Van Jensen, Elisa Jensen, Johnny Ray Goytia, Eddy Goytia, Alex Miller, Sabrina Miller, step-grandchildren Josh Skelton, Jessie Skelton, Kelsey Skelton, Keylee Hatterman and fifteen and 1/2 great grandchildren.
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