John's Story

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(John) Nelson Miller, 70, of Blakesburg, died Monday, July 17, 2017, at the Hospice House in Ottumwa. He was born Thursday, January 2, 1947, in Muscatine, the son of Ira and Lois Townsley Miller. Nelson attended school in Muscatine, Fairfield and Rose Hill. In 1965, he was united in marriage to Cheryl Peters. To this union four children were born, John, Russell, Dorene, and Michael. Nelson and Cheryl later divorced. Nelson worked at Hon Industries in Muscatine for 36 years and retired from there in 2002. On June 26, 1985, Nelson was united in marriage to Shirley (Sterling) Van Polen at Harrison, Arkansas. He enjoyed fishing, coon hunting, mushroom picking and woodworking. When he was younger he enjoyed racing cars. He delighted in his family, especially his grandchildren. He attended Blakesburg Christian Church.
Nelson is survived by his wife Shirley Miller of Blakesburg; two sons: John (& Bobbie) Miller, Jr. of Ketchum, Oklahoma and Russell (& Peggy) Miller of Muscatine; a daughter: Dorene (& Chris) DeVore of Rock Island, Illinois; 9 grandchildren; 9 great grandchildren; five step children, Pete (JoEllen) Van Polen of Fremont, Ron (Barb) Van Polen of Oskaloosa, Tim (Barb) Van Polen of New Sharon, Stephen (Desiree) Van Polen of Victor, and Susan Young of Grinnell; 13 step grandchildren; 5 step great grandchildren; a brother, Ira (Libby) Miller of Washington; a half-sister, Kathy (Martin) Scholtus of Rose Hill; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, a son, Michael Miller; and a sister, Patty Paige.
As was Nelson's wish his body has been cremated. A celebration of life ceremony will be held at a later date. The Bates Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements. Memorials may be made to the Blakesburg Volunteer Fire Department.
Published on July 18, 2017
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