LOSS OF LONG TIME MEMBER JIM MILLER
On March 3, 2014 we lost Jim Miller, one of the oldest members of our Society. Jim has held
almost every office we have plus has been our historian, worked on our projects and just plain
helped many of us along our genealogical journey. He will be greatly missed.
God released Jim from his battle for life Monday, February 3, at Rapid City
Regional Hospital. He had battled diabetes and its ramifications for years.
James Burns Miller was born July7, 1945 to Robert W. and Kathryn (Burns)
Miller in Mobridge, SD. During his childhood years Jim’s respect and admiration
for older folks were shaped by his family having lived with his grandparents
James and Nelle (Davidson) Burns and his Grandma Alpha (Fenske) Miller. He
attended Beadle Elementary in Mobridge, then graduated from Mobridge High
School in 1963. In 1964 he attended St. Johns one year and then graduated from
Northern State University in 1967 to become the Winner High School librarian for
eleven years. In 1974 he helped establish the Winner Community Theater where
he was the Technical Director ten years. During the summers of 1968-1972 he
lived in Pierre in order to help set up the South Dakota Library for the Blind.
During the summers of his last five years in Winner he ran the Pix Drive In
In 1978 Jim moved to Rapid City where he joined his father in the Mills
Liquor Store until it was sold in 1985. The same year he started working at Video
World and ended his time there in 2001 but immediately became a part of the
YMCA until he retired in 2006.
Although Jim had begun his work in genealogy in high school, he became
very active in not only the Rapid City Genealogical Society but also the South
Dakota Genealogical Society with its inception in 1982. Jim was one of the
leaders on the yearly trips to the LDS Genealogical Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.
He was honored as South Dakota Genealogist of the Year.
Since 1990 Jim was a familiar face as attendees entered the Fine Arts
building where he also served as Chairman of the Literary section. He received the
“well deserved” Central States belt buckle while a member of the Board of
Directors. He was a member of the Springbrook Acres Board several years
starting in 1990. Many years he was an active member of the Black Hills Diabetes
Association. Also, he enjoyed the book sales and his efforts with the Friends of
the Rapid City Library. At the Black Hills Community Theater he was a familiar
face serving refreshments.
Jim was a guru with the computer, possessed a great knowledge of trivia,
was a voracious reader of all types of literature, took pride in having a home with
one of the most beautiful views in Rapid City where he displayed his Coco-Cola
collection and his hundreds of movies. The Sturgis Rally beckoned him each year
to find the perfect Sturgis T-shirt. Probably his most remembered trait will be his
joy in helping others.
Grateful for having shared his life are his sisters: Donna K Ziegler
(Joe),Rapid City, SD and Marigene Brownlee, Vista, CA; his nephew Scott
(Brenda) Brownlee, Evans, CO.
Preceding him in death were his parents, Robert and Kathryn Miller;
grandparents Nelle and James Burns and Alpha Miller.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Jim may be given to the Black
Hills Diabetes Association.
Funeral services will be Monday, March 10, at the Cathedral Our Lady of
Perpetual Help at 10:30 with Father Michel Mulloy presiding. A reception will
follow at the Cathedral. Interment will be at a later time in Mobridge, SD.
Friends may sign Jim’s guest book at www.kirkfuneralhome.com. and at the
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