Vernon Emil Miller
Vernon Emil Miller, son of the late Erven Wesley Miller and Dorothea (Altermatt) Miller, was born June 28, 1923 in Comfrey, MN and died at his residence in Birmingham, AL.
Preceded in death by his parents and brother Robert; he is survived by his wife Helen Anna (Bjordal) Miller and their children: Richard and Juanita (Huff) Miller, Las Cruces, NM; Randy and Cindy Miller, Birmingham, AL; Joan and Conrad Haden, Austin, TX and Grandson; Benjamin Miller of Davenport IA. Other survivors include many cousins and nephews; Rob, Craig, Kurt, Christopher, and Mark Miller; and their families.
A graduate of Comfrey (MN) High School, and South Dakota State University at Brookings, SD, Vern began his college studies at Mankato State Teachers College (now Minnesota State University-Mankato). Drafted into the Army for service in World War II, he took Basic Training at Camp Hood, TX before being sent to the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana for study in the basic engineering sequence of the ASTP (Army Specialized Training Program).
After ASTP closed, he joined the 8th Armored Division at Camp Polk, LA and was assigned to the 130th Ordinance Maintenance Battalion where he was a Jeep and tank mechanic until re-assignment to Battalion Headquarters as clerk-typist.
As overseas shipment came closer, he volunteered to go with the division's Advance Cadre to Camp Tidworth, near Salisbury, England in October 1944. The unit was called into action following the German breakthrough on December 16, and subsequently earned battle stars for Ardennes (Battle of the Bulge), Rhineland, and Central Europe. While in the combat zone, Vern drove a 2 1/2-ton truck supplying gasoline, ammunition, water, and other materials.
Returning to civilian life after the war, Vern enrolled at South Dakota State. As an undergraduate, he worked in the photo lab, taught beginning photography, and worked on the student newspaper. Upon graduation he was newsman for the Tracy (MN) Headlight-Herald. Shortly after their marriage on September 11, 1948, Helen and Vern moved to Fairport Harbor, Ohio where he was editor of a weekly newspaper, the Fairport Beacon, for three years. They then moved to Columbia, Missouri where Vern enrolled in the graduate school and joined the faculty of the Journalism School as an Assistant Instructor. Several years later they moved to Little Rock, Arkansas where Vern was Assistant Editor with the University of Arkansas's Agricultural Extension Service.
They moved to Birmingham, Alabama in 1955 when Vern joined the editorial production staff of PROGRESSIVE FARMER magazine. He was named Editor of the Georgia-Alabama-Florida edition in 1966 and retired as Senior Editor in 1986.
He was a member of the Press Club, the Downtown Club and Sigma Delta Chi and Kappa Alpha Mu honorary fraternities. As an associate of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers, he had a special interest in alternate fuels and wrote many articles about using soybean oil and other vegetable oils to fuel diesel trucks and tractors. He was selected to make a presentation at the International Symposium on Alternate Fuels held at North Dakota State University in 1980 to tell of his experiences operating a diesel truck with biodiesel fuels. He was on the first Board of Directors of Sunbelt Ag Expo in Moultrie, GA. and appointed to the National Executive Reserve Corps for Alabama by President Richard Nixon. In recent years, he was the State President of the National Battle of the Bulge Association for veterans and conducted monthly meetings for local veterans of the Battle of the Bulge.
A member of St. Paul's Cathedral parish since moving to Birmingham, Vern was a choir member for many years, a reader, a special minister, and was elected president of the St. Paul's Parish Council for two successive terms.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, November 13, 2019 at 9:00 AM with Memorial Service to follow at 10:00 AM at St. Paul's Cathedral, 2120 3rd Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35203.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the American Association of University Women (AAUW).
Published on November 9, 2019


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