A Tribute to my Grandma Miller

I had the honor of giving a tribute to the memory of my Grandmother Miller at her funeral last Friday. She died on Tuesday, March 18, 2008, at the age of 86 almost 87.


Memories of Grandma Miller

Thoughts from the King’s (from my brothers Brian & Jason & my sister Diane) about the memories and the values that made Grandma who she was.

Grandpa’s home was always a bit of an extension of our home. I remember staying there quite often when mom and dad went to Ministers meetings (my Dad has pastured a church about as long as I can remember). It was always a place where we felt at home. I remember many times after church in the evening if we didn’t have any other plans we would often stop at grandpa and grandma’s house because we knew even if we didn’t have an invitation we were still welcome. I don’t think we ever caught grandma without some kind of snack. There always seemed to be ice-cream or popcorn or something she had recently baked that was put on the table to be consumed. Even for the great-grandkids there were coolies baked as a special treat.

At grandma’s house cleanliness wasn’t next to godliness, it was godliness. A dust bunny in grandma’s house never had a fighting chance for survival. It was from Grandma that we learned phrases like “Saturday cleaning,” “Fall cleaning,” and “Spring cleaning.” Grandma was the reason why grandpa’s shop and desk didn’t simply disappear in the piles of priceless bits and pieces, from the most recent auction or publication of Jack Van Impe, that he would one day read or use. Like her house, her small half acre garden in which she planted “just a few things” was also the object of her constant care. When grandma spoke of how her garden had become so weedy we knew that to weed it one would probably need to walk out into the garden and pull that weed.

And ironing – she ironed everything including the sheets and pillow cases. —– All of this was done with that funny little whistle – more like just air blowing threw her teeth.

Having come through the Great Depression grandma was not afraid of hard work. Whether it was her own house or our house picking strawberries, or doing corn or applesauce, grandma was always ready to tackle the job. She would take time to take a coffee break with friends and neighbors, but the instant coffee had to be boiling before it was hot enough. But then it was right back at it because there was always soooo much to do – from cleaning to making full course meals for every lunch – to quilting – to cleaning – to ironing – to cleaning – etc. This included going out in the woods and helping my brother gut his first deer. A few times in her life she did sleep in to the late hour of 6:00 am and then she talked about her late start to the day and how that set her back..

Pennsylvania Dutch was her native language so if there was something to say that required a little more emphasis is usually came out in Dutch. As kids when she scolded us is was “Sauk” or “Padda” or maybe both of them together. I’m not sure why she said “Padda.” – When she was disappointed she would say “Ach my.”

One of the things I remember of grandma was how much she appreciated her grandchildren. She babysat us many times when were growing up. Though as a child grandma was a power to be reckoned with and would let us know when we had stepped out of line. She told us when she disapproved – even offering to pay for my brother to get a haircut when it was too long. When he got he got it cut she said, “Well I guess I need to pay you now.”

During the winter time Grandpas loved to spin the car around – cut donuts – in the parking lot. Church had one of the best parking lots for this. So when they drove into the church parking lot and it had a good cover of snow Grandpa would look over at her with

that mischievous grin and say “Varoom, varoom!” and she would respond with emotion – “Now Mahlon, don’t you do it.” Or “Grandpa, don’t you dare!” But when she drove looking through the steering wheel was just how you did it.

At lunch time the news was important and of course the best news announcer / commentator was Paul Harvey. Grandpa wanted to listen to him loud on the radio and Grandma knew the importance of this and accommodated him shushing us grandkids if we talked at all during the broadcast. She said it was so grandpa could hear, but I think she liked Paul Harvey just as much.

Her faith which she took very seriously was lived out to the best of her ability. Her family and her church family were a part of her life. She was a the church with Grandpa anytime the doors were opened and it pertained to them. Saturday evening were reserved for studying her Sunday School lesson and I believed she prayed for her family that they would follow Christ.

As I grew older I could see how much grandma really appreciated each one of her grandchildren. She showed her appreciation of us she was there at most of our birthdays. She spent hours making a quilt for each of her grandchildren’s graduation and wedding. As she grew older and we would visit her and grandpa she would often tell us about a letter or picture she had received from one of the grandchildren living at a distance or a visit that she had received from one of the grandchildren living locally. She always talked very highly of her grandchildren. She couldn’t seem to understand why we wanted to move out of town or to another state or to the other side of the world, but when it came time for us to leave she promised to be praying for us.

She had a servant’s heart. Any chance she got she was helping her friends and family with something. In this way she was a very giving person. Her concern for others drove her. I want to carry on that legacy in my life.

Jesus says in John 14 that He was going to go and prepared a place for all who follow Him, and the Father had many rooms in that great house – heaven for those who loved Him. So if given half a chance I believe Grandma will help get those rooms ready to those of us who will see her there in heaven.

Grandma – you have finished the course – you have kept the faith and now there is a great reward for you with Jesus.

Grandma – if you can hear this – Thank you for the legacy you left us – we’ll miss you & we love you.



~ by genelking on March 26, 2008.

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