Benton Evening News - Benton, IL
  • Obituary: JOHN KEITH “SKIP” MILLER, Formerly of Valier

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  • John Keith “Skip” Miller was born July 2, 1943, in West Frankfort, and died Jan. 22, 2013, at Rapid City Regional Hospital in Rapid City, S.D.
    John was given the nickname of “Skipper” by his paternal grandmother and was known to family and friends as Skip.
    Skip was the loving husband of Vicki (Winchester) Miler, father of Drake, Clay and Brandi, son of John L. and Mae (Cavinder) Miller, brother of JoAnne Girten, grandson of John and Mary Lena Miller and Edgar and Carrie Cavinder.
    Skip spent most of his early years in Valier, graduating from Valier High School in 1961. Skip attended Ranken Technical College in St. Louis efore returning home to Valier to join his father in the electrical business. Skip’s electrical career spanned 44 years and he was a proud member of the IBEW Local 702 in West Frankfort.
    Since the 1990s, Skip honed his skills as a master knife maker and was known for his detailed, quality knives. He was a member of the Professional Knifemakers Association and won national awards for his craft.
    In 2006, Skip moved to South Dakota. Retirement allowed Skip to build and enjoy his retirement home, work on his knife making, spend time with friends and neighbors and to be a grandfather.
    Skip received the diagnosis of Mesothelioma April 1, 2011. He accepted the diagnosis with courage and grace and always appreciated the care he received throughout his illness.
    Surviving him are his wife Vicki, mother Mae Miller, sister JoAnn Girten, sons and family, and daughter and son-in-law Brandi and Dan Tackett and grandson Nash.
    Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. Sunday, Jan 27, at the Gilbert Funeral Home in Christopher with the Rev. Julie Smith officiating. Burial will be in the Grange Hall Cemetery, Marion. Visitation will be after 6 p.m. Saturday at the funeral home.
    Memorials in memory of Skip Miller should be made to the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, 1317 King St. Alexandria VA 22314.
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