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Arlis Stanley Miller, Sr.

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Arlis Stanley Miller, Sr. Obituary
Longtime Durango resident Arlis Stanley Miller Sr., 89, of Rio Rancho, New Mexico passed from this life on November 30, 2018, at Las Palomas Center Hospice in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Arlis came into this world in Tulia, Texas, on June 22, 1929, to Arthur and Della Mindora (Minnie)(Jones) Miller. He was preceded in death by his parents, and his brother, Paul Wilson (killed in the Pacific Front of WW II), and his sister, Lillian Margaret (Hutson) (Ruidoso, New Mexico).

Being too young to serve in active duty during WW II, Arlis enlisted in the National Guard as soon as he was of age to do so, in order to serve his country. Arlis moved to Durango in 1953 and started working for Creamland Dairy as an ice cream packer. He soon met a local girl, Donna Rose Miller, who quickly became the love of his life. Unfortunately, before he was to be married, a hay baler fell off a flatbed truck and crushed him, breaking his back. The doctors said he wouldn't walk again and more than likely wouldn't live much past 35 years old. Six months later, through grit and determination, Arlis proved the doctors wrong, as he walked down the aisle, marrying his love, Donna, in Durango, Colorado in October of 1956. He also outlived most of his peers, to be the ripe old age of 89 years 5 months. Arlis and Donna made Durango their home, where they raised three children - Stan, Kim, and Shari.

Arlis enjoyed hunting in the mountains around his new hometown with his father-in-law (Clyde) until Clyde's death. Many will remember Arlis as a fixture on the softball fields where he usually pitched due to his "bad leg" from his broken back, and the bowling alley, where he held many league/association officer positions, as well as having won the Masters Tournament in the mid-1970s. He was also a lifetime member of the BPOE (Elks) Lodge #507.

Those that knew Arlis well will remember his quick wit, smile, and joy of story and joke telling, with a hint of a laugh in his voice at the punch line.

Arlis worked as a salesman/department manager at the Durango Montgomery Wards until its closing in the mid-1980s. After which, he worked in several jobs in and around Durango, including at North Point Home Furniture, from which he retired in 1994, in order to spend more quality time with Donna. After retirement, Arlis and Donna spent much of their time fishing and boating on the lakes in the Durango area. They moved to Rio Rancho in 2008 to be closer to their daughter, Kim, and her family.

Arlis is survived by his wife of 62 years, Donna; his three children, Arlis Stanley (Stan) Miller Jr. and wife Janette, Kimberly Rose (Kim) and her husband David Raleigh along with their two children, Ashley and Christopher, and Sharily Ann (Shari) and her husband Randy Ferris; as well as many nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Arlis' quick wit, infectious smile, and love of life will be lovingly remembered by all.

A memorial service will be held at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Rio Rancho at 2:00 pm on Thursday, December 6. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Arlis' name to the Seventh Day Adventist Church of Rio Rancho, 1351 19th Ave SE, Rio Rancho, NM 87124. A graveside memorial service will be held for Arlis at Greenmount Cemetery in Durango, at a future to-be-announced time in the spring of 2019.

"Remember me with smiles and laughter, for that is how I will remember you all. If you can only remember me with tears, then don't remember me at all." - Laura Ingles Wilder -
Published in The Durango Herald on Dec. 3, 2018
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