Fredrick (Fred) E. Miller, 81, of Sunrise Beach, MO, died September 12, 2022 at Israel Family Hospice House in Ames, IA after a vigorous battle with multiple cancers.
Fred was born March 1, 1941 in Marshalltown, IA to Ray and Rosemary Miller. The second of seven children, Fred grew up in Leavenworth, KS. He worked at his father’s pharmacy, delivering prescriptions on his scooter. He occasionally escaped across the street from his home to play on the Missouri shore, once bringing a new tramp friend home for dinner. After graduating from Immaculata Catholic High School, Fred took his freshman year at Notre Dame, then transferred to the University of Kansas on an NROTC scholarship and earned a degree in electrical engineering. He and his brothers from the Phi Kappa Theta fraternity remained best friends for a lifetime and enjoyed many get-togethers over the years.
He met the love of his life, Barbara Ann Boots, during those college years. The two were married on February 9, 1963, and went straight to Pensacola, Florida, where Fred attended Naval Flight School. Along with his eldest daughter, Lisa, the family was soon stationed in San Diego and Fred was based at Naval Air Station Miramar. The second child, Mindy, was born while LTJG Miller was leaving for several tours in Vietnam, flying an F-4C Phantom off the USS Constellation (the Connie). Upon his safe return, the family moved to Lawrence, KS where Fred pursued his MBA.
All eventually returned to San Diego where their son Brandon was born. Fred joined Arthur Young & Co. as a CPA. Many brilliant memories were made in California, dear friends, church, home, beach camping and travel adventures (many in a VW Westphalia). During this time, Fred served as president of the National Association of Accounting (NAA) regional chapter and taught single-engine flight pilots. Church leadership and community were a big part of family life at Mission San Diego de Alcala. Fred left AY to join Monitor Labs, a leading environmental company. Then another opportunity presented itself. . . taking over his father’s partnership in the first Iowa Pizza Hut franchise.
Ames, Iowa was a vibrant chapter in the life of Fred’s business community. He has served as president of the Rotary Club of Ames, Ames Chamber of Commerce, and United Way of Story County on several occasions. He was part of the team that helped found the Ames Convention & Visitors Bureau. His achievements in business and civic leadership have been recognized with several awards, including Small Business Person of the Year and Mid-Iowa’s Citizen of the Year. He and Barb were devoted members of St. Cecilia Catholic Church. His personal credo was to give back and to share with others how to do it.
Fred and Barb followed the tradition of their dear friends and family south to the Lake of the Ozarks and began the final chapter of their retirement lives. Membership in St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Laurie, life in Porto Cima in Sunrise Beach, MO, and winters in Naples, FL, were all sources of cherished friends and neighbors.
Towards the end, Fred asked to return to Ames, rest and retire to Israel Family Hospice House, which he was one of the founders of in the 1990s. His beloved carer (and Barb’s too) packed it up and drove it from Sunrise Beach to Ames on August 22, 2022. In his short three weeks there, he managed to fit in a lot of life, including family visits and old friends of Ames, and the marriage of his eldest daughter. The whole family is grateful for the outpouring of love.
Fred is survived by his three children, Lisa Johnson, Mindy Miller and Brandon Miller; grandchildren Fiona and Johnny; and five of his siblings: Marilyn Carney, Nancy Moran, Peggy Miller, Neill Miller and Linda Brugman. And her and Barb’s beloved dog, Max. He was predeceased by his wife Barbara Ann Miller and his sister Barbara Miller.
A Christian Burial Mass will be held on October 28, 2022 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Leavenworth, KS, with interment at Mount Calvary Cemetery. Any donations in Fred’s memory may be made to a charity of your choice. He would like that.