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Barry M. Miller

August 11, 1940 November 16, 2013
Barry M. Miller
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Obituary for Barry M. Miller
Barry Markham Miller was born on August 11, 1940, in Bellwood, Pennsylvania. Nearby, the Norfolk Southern line bows through the Horseshoe Curve, wending its way 250º through the Alleghenies. Growing up there, Barry loved trains. He collected the O-Scale models, amassing more than 300 Lionel and Marx cars and hundreds of feet of track.

Barry leaves behind three sons and daughters-in-law, four grandchildren, and two siblings (his sister Fredia Rafferty and his brother Ralph Miller). The lessons he learned working alongside his dad on building sites stayed with him all his life. Barry made extensive renovations to nearly every home he owned and skillfully made furniture, toys and decorations.

He came to Spokane as an Airman in the United States Air Force stationed at Geiger Field. He fell in love twice: first, with Mary Engle, a Deaconess nursing student and graduate of North Central High School; second, with the beauty of the region. Barry and Mary were married for fifty years.

Soon after their marriage, Barry was deployed to Misawa Air Base in Japan. When his service ended he returned to Spokane where he enrolled in courses at EWU and worked at the Ridpath Hotel and the Y Drive-In. A decade of swing-shifts on the manufacturing floor at the Lincoln Welder factory in Cleveland, Ohio followed. When he and Mary returned to the Inland Northwest, he did so as an English teacher. He had completed his Bachelorâ??s Degree at Lake Erie College and later earned a Masterâ??s Degree in Education from Whitworth College. He taught English in Priest River, Idaho and Salmon, Idaho, leading his students through great works of literature. He directed school plays at both schools and tried out some acting in local theaters. During the summer and after his retirement Barry worked in the Salmon and Challis National Forests.

Barry was a devoted fan of James Bond. This was probably the source of his life-long appreciation for English cars, including his beloved MGs. He ran the Coeur dâ??Alene marathon in his mid-forties and took many long bicycle tours across the Rockies. He dragged his two oldest sons along with him across some of those miles. As they pounded out each pedal stroke, usually in breathless silence, they forged deep bonds. They refueled with bags of Cheetos.

Barry was fiercely proud of his sons, whom he taught some of the most valuable lessons a father can pass on: to love without judgment and to work hard. If things go wrong, as they inevitably did with his home renovations, then you should fix it. Cut it again to fit, glue it in place, and nail it down.

In lieu of flowers, the family urges friends to consider making a donation to the â??Mary M. Miller Nursing Scholarship Fund.â? Checks can be made out to the Inland Northwest Community Foundation, 421 West Riverside Avenue, Suite 606, Spokane, WA 99201-0405.
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