James Clifford Miller Sr. was born on November 9th, 1930 to Clifford & Kathryn (Morrison) Miller. Known as Jimmy throughout his childhood to family and friends alike, he joined in the family with older half-brother Wayne Smith & older half-sister Irene (Renie) Tomney, plus, older brother Robert L. Miller (Patricia) & younger sister Margorie Elaine Romano (Anthony). Jimmy’s youth was characterized by his illnesses. His mother listed every malady he ever endured from Scarlet Fever to having Polio at the age of 15. Miraculously he survived them all. The family moved to East 8th St. in Kansas City, MO in 1940 where he would come of age and attend both Northeast Jr & Sr. High Schools.
In 1948 at the age of 17, Jim’s parents gave their permission allowing him to join the United States Navy. He served from 1948 to 1952 during the Korean Conflict. PN3 Miller served with Air Squadron VP28 at Barbers Point Hawaii where he was the personnel man. Decades later PN3 Miller could still recall his squadron shipmates by full name & service number. While serving his country PN3 Miller would earn the following accommodations; Good Conduct Medal, Navy Occupation Service Medal, China Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal & United Nations Service Medal.
Also, while serving his country, PN3 Miller would meet and start a relationship with Joanne Marie Weaver. The two would marry in Honolulu, Hawaii in May of 1952. Their union would produce four children; Daniel Joseph (1953), David Lee (1954), James Clifford Jr. (1955) & Dawn Ann (1959). Jim & Joanne took up residence in south Kansas City, MO where they would raise their four children. While living in south KC, the family would endure and survive the May 20th, 1957 Ruskin Tornado. Jim’s & the families exploits on that fateful night would later be fully described by him in a letter to his children. During those early years, Jim also coached baseball and held leadership positions in Scouting, SSJBA Baseball and was involved in the Ruskin High School Booster Club.
During Jim’s early professional career he was involved in many different jobs to help support his young family. Including cleaning oil/fuel tanks in the Fairfax District of KCK to selling insurance door to door. In 1958 Jim found employment at the South Kansas City Bendix Plant where he would work for 7 years, before being recruited to become a Production Control Manager for Parmelee Industries. Jim would spend 18 years at 15th & Walnut working for Parmelee Industries. After leaving Parmelee, Jim returned to Bendix (Now Allied Signal/Honeywell) again as a Senior Production Control Manager. He would stay at Allied Signal/Honeywell until his retirement in 1990.
During his 2nd tenure at Allied Signal/Honeywell Jim would meet and marry Jean Lynn (Hook) Sherman in 1991. The two would remain married for 32 years until his passing. Often times the 2 would brag that their union included over 100 immediate family members. Jim had four children, 11 grandchildren & 19 great grandchildren. Jeannie had 6 children, plus 14 grandchildren & 14 great grandchildren. Through marriages and divorces, at least another 4 step grandchildren & 6 great grandchildren were added. Jim & Jeannie did not differentiate between the grandchildren. They accepted and loved them all. Attending every recital, sporting event, grandparents’ day & graduation they could. Jim & Jeannie loved their big huge family and loved attending any and all family events from Christmas Eve to the 4th of July and beyond.
Other than family, Jim’s passion in retirement came from participating in the markets. A daily vigil of watching the ticker tape on TV, along with managing his portfolio. Often one would receive a phone call with a stock tip and/or advise on how to invest and save for the future. Additionally, Jim & Jeannie organized and conducted 14 reunions for Jim’s old Navy Squadron. Jim also researched, wrote and published a collector’s edition book on the history of “U.S. Naval Patrol Squadron Twenty-Eight (VP-28)”.
In his later years, as Jim began to decline in health, Jeannie would remain constantly by his side. Caring for him day & night for as long as she could endure until his passing on Thursday, May 25th, 2023.
James Clifford Miller Sr. leaves a legacy that will remain long after his passing. He was preceded in death by his parents, half-brother Wayne, half-sister Irene, brother Robert, 1st wife Joanne & his beloved mother-in-law Madelyn A. Weaver. He is survived by his wife of 32 years Jeannie, his four children, Daniel J. Miller (Joellen), David L. Miller (Debbie), James C Miller Jr. (Kimberly) & Dawn A. Roy (Bill). All of the Kansas City area. Additionally, he is survived by all of the (Now) 106 immediate family members; including Grand Children, Great Grand Children, Nieces, Nephews & Cousins.
How does one aptly and poignantly characterize a life that existed for over 9 decades. Maybe by noting that his children revered him as a dad, a father, a mentor and as their ultimate supporter. Or, by noting that his grandchildren & great grandchildren adored his silliness & his sense of humor. Maybe by just saying he lived a truly blessed life. That he brought joy, laughter & a soothing caring nature to those he both cared about and those he would interact with. Finally, he was just a good & decent human being whom the planet was fortunate enough to have for 92 years.
Services will be held on Monday, June 5th, 2023
Park Lawn Funeral Home
8251 Hillcrest Rd
Kansas City, MO 64138
Funeral Services: 10:00am
Gravesite Service with Military Honors to follow
(Note – The bridge at I-435 & Hillcrest Rd is under construction with the west bound exit closed if you are traveling North on I-435. Suggest using US-71 to 87th St. east to Hillcrest Rd.)
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in the name of James C. Miller Sr. to:
Camp Valor Outdoors (A Veterans Non-Profit Organization)
Camp Valor Outdoors
1527 SW 300 Rd.
A “Celebration of Life” gathering will be held for any and all who choose to attend directly after the services at the home of David Miller. Lunch & beverages will be provided.
10810 Cave Road
Lone Jack, MO 64034