Retired Fire Chief Harvey James “Jim” Miller, 70, of Elkhart, passed away peacefully at his home with his loving family at his side following an extended illness on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020 at 3:21 pm. He was born May 27, 1949 in Elkhart to the late Harvey J. “Junior” Miller and Joann E. (Thompson) Miller, who survives him. On Dec. 20, 1969, Jim married his childhood sweetheart Joyce Ann Wait, the love of his life, in Elkhart. She survives at home after 50 wonderful years together, professing that she knew she was going to marry him the minute she laid eyes on him.
Surviving are children Mark J. (Karen) Miller and Matt S. (Heather) Miller; brother Jeffery A. Miller; his mother Joann E. Miller, 5 grandchildren and adopted big brother Gary Shireman. He is also survived by a host of loving extended family and friends. Preceding him in death is his brother, Jerrold B. “Jerry” Miller, and his beloved grandmother, Helen “Granny” Thompson.
A celebration of Jim’s life will take place at Billings Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Elkhart, beginning with visitation and viewing from 2-4 and 6-8 on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. Services will follow on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020 at 11:00 am, with visitation beginning there at 10 am. Burial will follow services at Zion Lutheran Cemetery in Bristol.
Jim worked as a heavy equipment operator for several area companies, including C&E Excavation, for nearly 30 years retiring in 2000. He also served nearly 20 years back in the 1970’s and 80’s with the Osolo Township Fire Department on Elkhart’s north side, where he served as Fire Chief for 15 of those years. He was a state-certified EMT instructor, served as deputy fire marshal for Osolo Township, was a member of the Indiana Volunteer Firefighter’s Association and was the first paid full-time firefighter at Osolo. Other endeavors which captured Jim’s attention was being the co-owner of Miller’s greenhouse for nearly 10 years, which was the family business at the time. He also owned and operated the Hi-Way Motel in Rogers City, MI for a time as well. He was an avid hunter and fisherman and will always be remembered by his sons for passing on his fishing skills to them.
On-line condolences may reach the family by visiting the funeral home’s website. Memorial donations may be given to the Chief Harvey J. “Jim” Miller memorial fund, c/o his wife Joyce or to Jim’s gofundme page on Facebook.
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