Harold Karl Miller


Harold started his “career” November 4, 1924 in a small town in Nebraska. He was born to parents William and Amelia. William was born in Germany and Amelia in Russia, and in order to come to America, Harold’s father had to leave the German army and board a steam ship. Harold belonged to a family with 12 children, 4 boys and 8 girls. Harold only lived in Nebraska a couple years before moving to Billings, MT. This move was during the Great Depression, so it was difficult to find work. Growing up, the Miller family moved about every 2 years, so they were always in a different school. He does remember that his dad would pull them out of school to go work in the fields, and “if dad says go, you go”.

As a sophomore at Laurel High School, Harold enlisted in the Marine Corps. He was deployed to Guadalcanal and spent 6 months there. He then was in the first wave to land on Tarawa. Harold was wounded in 1943; a piece of shrapnel from a hand grenade landed in the front of his helmet, if it weren’t for his helmet, Harold might not have been here with us so long. The shrapnel did go through the helmet and into Harold’s head. He was taken to the new Pearl Harbor hospital, where it was removed and he was sent home with a Purple Heart. Once he returned home, he had several different jobs including a game farm, raising pheasants, the railroad in Laurel and roofing and siding. He ended up staying with the roofing and siding and became an independent contractor. His sister-in-law set him up on a blind date with Lydia Janshen which lasted the rest of their lives. Harold and Lydia were married December 14, 1947 and were blessed with 5 children: Steven, Loretta, Jerry, Dorothy and David. Their blessings continued with 18 grandchildren and 19 great grandchildren.

Harold finally was forced into retirement by a golf ball sized brain tumor. The removal of the tumor landed him in the hospital for 2 months. After that, Harold took up the beloved hobby of pestering his wife! Harold’s other hobbies included fishing, reading, crossword puzzles and watching baseball or hockey. The most amazing event in Harold’s life was when he asked Lydia to marry him and she said “YES”!

Harold passed away peacefully at 4:30 AM on March 4, 2019 at the age of 94. He was preceded in death by his wife Lydia; 8 siblings; and 1 grandchild. Harold is survived by his siblings: Barbara Peterson, Charlotte Rudolph & Ruth Ross; his children: Steve (Barbara) Miller, Loretta (Lewis) Gray, Jerry (Deb) Miller, Dorothy (Mike) Foster, David (Sharon) Miller.

Memorial Services will be held 3:00 PM Saturday, March 9 at Cremation & Funeral Gallery.