Orvan J. Miller, age 82, of Sturgis, passed away early Thursday afternoon, May 19, 2011, at Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo.
He was born Dec. 27, 1928, in LaGrange County, Ind., a son of the late John S. and Delcie (Miller) Miller.
Orv had resided in Sturgis for the past 51 years, coming from Constantine, and his early life was lived in LaGrange County.
On Nov. 20, 1949, he married Vivian Wisler at Lima Evangelical Church in Howe, Ind.
He retired in 1997 from White Supply in Sturgis following 15 years of managing the Sturgis office. For more than 20 years he was co-owner of Dobberteen and Miller Plumbing, Heating and Electric in Sturgis. For many years Orv was a commercial contractor and had built houses with his father and brother and with Max Harker in Sturgis. He was a gifted woodworker and was called upon by many area contractors to install bay windows in new and remodeled homes and many people today are enjoying the custom cabinets he built.
Orv was an active member of First United Methodist Church and was currently holding the position of secretary of the church board. He also was a member of the St. Joseph County Old Engine Club. Orv was always willing to volunteer his time when needed. Some of his efforts include his serving on the CTE Building Trades Board for many years and he was a past president and member of the Sturgis Band Parents Association. While a member of the Band Parents Association, he had chaperoned many trips, including district and state festivals, the band trips to Whitewater, Wis., and the orchestra trip to Ottawa, Canada. He enjoyed reading, fixing old tractors and traveling. He will be dearly missed by the family he so loved, and many will miss his stories and jokes.
He is survived by his loving and dedicated wife of 61 years, Vivian; two daughters, Cheryl (Philip) Teitelbaum of Portage and Connie (Steve) Yorks of Three Rivers; five grandchildren, Daniel Teitelbaum, Kenneth (Krista) Teitelbaum, Mendy (Dave) Witt, Christopher Yorks and Nicole Yorks; five great-grandchildren; three sisters, Beulah Neff, Ruby (Gene) Weaver and Vera Bontrager; two brothers, Truman (Joyce) Miller and Mervin Miller; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Bernice Yoder; three brothers, Ernest Miller, Payson Miller and Howard Miller; and an infant half-brother, Orval Miller.
The family will receive friends from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Monday at the Hackman Family Funeral Homes — Rosenberg Chapel, 807 E. Chicago Road, Sturgis. Funeral services celebrating the life of Orvan Miller will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at First United Methodist Church in Sturgis. The Rev. Deb Johnson and the Rev. Robert Keim will officiate.
In accordance with his wishes, cremation will follow the funeral service.
The family suggests those wishing to make a memorial donation in Mr. Miller’s memory consider First United Methodist Church 200 Pleasant Ave., Sturgis, MI 49091; or Sturgis Wind Symphony, P.O. Box 164, Sturgis, MI 49091.