Robert D. Miller 1922-2004

Robert D. Miller, 82, of Charlevoix, died unexpectedly Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2004, at his daughter's home in Spring Lake.

Funeral will be 2 p.m. Monday, Dec. 27, at the Winchester Funeral Home in Charlevoix, where friends may call from 1 p.m. until the time of the funeral. The Rev. Jonathan Mays will officiate and burial will be in Brookside Cemetery, Charlevoix.

Bob was born July 13, 1922, in Charlevoix, the son of Miley and Laura (Bassett) Miller.

He worked as a commercial fisherman, then for the Beaver Island Boat Company on the North Shore, making his home for a short time on Beaver Island.

On Nov. 3, 1951, he married the former Elizabeth "Betty" Kleinhenz in Detroit, and they made their home in Charlevoix.

Bob retired from D.M.E. (American Mold) in Charlevoix in 1983 after 24 years.

Betty preceded him in death on Nov. 4, 1986.

Bob enjoyed traveling to Florida, camping and ice fishing. He dearly loved his family, by whom he will be greatly missed.

He is survived by his daughter, Cindy (Tim) Shindorf, of Spring Lake; stepdaughter, Beverly Moody, of Charlevoix; grandchildren, Heather Matheny of Grand Haven, Holly (Jeff) Kleyn of Muskegon; stepgrandchildren, Terri (Mike) Smith of Charlevoix, Debbie Brown of Mancelona, Leston (Jill) Brown of East Jordan, Colleen (Bob) Thorne of Central Lake; greatgrandchildren, Lucas, Blake and Kennedy Elizabeth Kleyn; stepgreat-grandchildren, Christopher Smith, Kevin Robert, Caleb, Ashlynn, Eric, Cory; brother David (Marilyn) Miller, of Charlevoix; brother-in-law, Louie Kleinhenz, of Petoskey; special friend, Marguerite Welsh, of Willingboro, N.J.; many nieces and nephews.

Bob was preceded in death by a daughter, Bobbie Jean; brothers, Billy, Miley, Willis "Pee Wee;" sisters, Marilyn Ann, Dorothy, Virginia "GG," and Helen.

Bah Humbug to Caroling??

Either everyone suffered the same brain cell short-circuit or was afraid of a bit of cold weather or just said, "Bah Humbug" because the annual caroling of Vera's carolers was rather sparse... just four adults and one child. After last year when so many took part, the organizers thought it would continue to grow. Kudos to Michelle LaFreniere, Cindy Gillespie-Cushman, Jeanne Gillespie, Jacque and Danny LaFreniere for braving the elements to bring those old favorite carols door to door. Incidently, they did pick up one more voice at the Moore household as Courtney joined the group. Let's all plan to do better next year and take holiday music to the shut-ins of the community.

Snug as a Bug

Nestled all together against the old Gillespie dock are three tugs, snug as bugs.. or rather snug as tugs in the ice. One is the familiar American Girl and the other two belong to Great Lakes Docks and Materials of Muskegon, Michigan who did the complete face-lift to the Yacht Dock. The little tug reminded me of the children's story "Little Toot".


The Christmas season has arrived with a blizzard. Snow is building up and the wind is howling. Kids are hoping that the last day of school before the holiday vacation will be cancelled (the last day of school before Christmas vacation was cancelled due to snow). At the rate it's coming down, we are pretty much guaranteed a white Christmas. Even the Emerald Isle arrived back at the island today decorated - with ice. The harbor has been fringed with skim ice the past few days but this blizzard is changing it from smooth and mirror-like to more of a ruffle of glittery pieces. Winter has definately arrived.


While the ferry and the harbor are sporting new looks for the holiday season, many of the homes are too. Although these were taken a few days ago, I hope to add to them as the week goes on. The town tree is lit and just waiting for the 23rd when the carolers' arrive to add more decorations to it. So far the only thing missing is the huge wreath on the lighthouse at the point.



Although I didn't get any more decorated homes, I was down at the ferry dock as the Emerald Isle returned to her berth for the winter. While well covered with ice, she certainly wasn't as weighed down as she has been some years. As the old LaFreniere store sign said, "If we don't have it, you don't need it" and I guess if you don't have it you'll have to get along without it until April.

Snow mobiles are out in full force as we now have plenty of the fluffy stuff to guarantee a white Christmas. The woods are full of evergreens covered with snow that puts those artificial flocked trees to shame. Driving to work yesterday and seeing all the pickup trucks with plows along with the county trucks brought back memories of the huge piles that were plowed up around the old medical center building and the dandy tunnels though those that the Cole boys made every winter. The harbor ducks are now retreating to spots where the bubbler systems are working around the docks although the entire harbor hasn't completely froze. Just the same, it's looking a whole lot like Christmas and perhaps Mother Nature's gift to us will be plenty of snow for playing in.




Holiday Nagging

I see that Neal Green is home for the holidays which was a reminder, not just for him, but for all those who have/are islanders serving in the Armed Forces to give/send me information to update their pages. Promotions, moves, babies, weddings, email addresses if you'd like to hear from folks, whatever. I may have to be the Grinch and remove those pages if I can't get them up to date as some are well over a year old. Thanks. Now get to work at it Neal... and don't make your Mom do it for you :)

Page Two of the News on the 'Net