Donald Miller Obituary (2022) – Wilkes-Barre, PA
Donald W. Miller, 65, a loving husband and father, died Tuesday, April 5, 2022, after a long and courageous battle with younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
Born in Kingston, he was the son of Elaine Eley Miller and Don and Marie Miller. He graduated from Meyers High School and attended Luzerne County Community College. Don joined the Coast Guard in 1975, achieving the rank of Petty Officer 2nd Class. He served in Cape May, NJ, as a member of the Hospital Corps. Don received several search and rescue accolades while volunteering for medical rescues aboard USCGC Cape Cross (WPB-95328) and USCGC Point Franklin (WBT-82350). He transferred to Wilkes-Barre as a CG recruiter in 1979 and was honorably discharged in 1982. Don owned several small businesses and was last employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He was a member of the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Wilkes Barre.
Her proudest moments and greatest joys in life were her family, especially her sons, Brian and Jeremy. Don was a very involved parent, encouraging his sons to participate in all possible activities, especially the Boy Scouts. Don was very committed to Scouting, eager to teach the values and skills he learned as a young boy and pass them on to his sons and so many other children. Don loved his visits to elementary schools as a Cub Scout, where he enjoyed every moment of teaching Boom Chicka Boom, singing as loud as he could, making every boy sing and dance with him. He continued his leadership positions as Cub Master, Assistant Scout Master, and District Chairperson, receiving the District Merit Award. He was filled with pride to see his two sons earn Eagle Scout and then return to their troops to teach the young Scouts the lessons they had learned. He was saddened when his illness did not allow him to continue his service, but remembered every moment of every rainy camping trip. He felt honored to see all his sons had accomplished and the men they had become.
Although Don’s diagnosis was devastating, he never asked, “Why me? He said only that it was only temporary because he believed so strongly that a cure was imminent. He participated in several drug trials over the years in hopes that one could be developed to effectively cure this disease, not only for him, but also for others who suffered from it. Our prayers are that one day soon, Don’s dream of healing will come true.
He was the person who always had a vision of better things to come and the ability to convince people of that vision. Even with his toughest days, he insisted that it was only temporary and that better days were ahead of us. He was an amazing, funny, hardworking and loving man. He lived each day to the fullest, always waking up with a smile on his face, ready to face each day.
Don is survived by his wife, Diane; son, Brian and wife, Kristy; son, Jeremiah; brother, Bob Miller and wife, Cathy; his extended family, Grace Boris; Ed and Joan Triolo; Tony and June Gober, whose love and support was endless and so grateful. He also leaves to mourn several nieces and nephews.
Additional thanks to friends, especially Pete and Mary Kochanski; Jack and Donna Delaney, who always kept an eye on him and watched over him on his daily walks to make sure he was safe. To Maryan Daily and Kay Fairley, who welcomed him with open arms into the Meadows Alzheimer’s Support Group and offered love and guidance to the entire family throughout this journey. To fellow Coastie George “from Maine” Grabler for sending Don a very special CG cover that put a smile on his face and helped him remember some antics never made public. To the NEPA USCG Veterans Association for their support of local veterans. To the staff at Kingston Health Care Center for their care and kindness, especially Nurse Practitioner John Rosencrans, RN Jen and all support staff. Finally, to the staff of the Hospice du Sacré-Coeur for the comfort provided to both Don and our family.
Don was predeceased by his mother, Elaine Eley Miller; father, Don Miller and wife, Marie Miller; and his sister, Sandy Thomas.
Our hearts are forever broken, but we take comfort in knowing that he is finally at peace. He has been freed from his shattered body and mind and is fully conscious, finally free of Alzheimer’s disease. We know he shakes the heavens as he dances wildly and sings loudly to Boom Chicka Boom and every Neil Diamond song ever written.
We honor Don’s wishes that there be no viewing as he wanted to be remembered for the good and happy things in life and not the sadness of death.
Don’s family will celebrate his life privately.
Share your memories and condolences with Don’s family at www.mjmclaughlin.com.
Published by Citizens Voice from April 6 to April 7, 2022.