Jim Miller dies in Rapid City
God released Jim Miller from his battle for life on Monday, March 3, 2014, at Rapid City Regional Hospital. He had battled diabetes and its ramifications for years.
James Burns Miller was born on July 7, 1945, to Robert W. and Kathryn (Burns) Miller in Mobridge. During his childhood years Jim’s respect and admiration for older folks was shaped by his family having lived with his grandparents, James and Nelle (Davidson) Burns, and his grandma, Alpha (Fenske) Miller. He attended Beadle Elementary in Mobridge, graduating from Mobridge High School in 1963. In 1964 he attended St. Johns for one year and then graduated from Northern State University in 1967 to become the Winner High School librarian for 11 years. In 1974 he helped establish the Winner Community Theater where he was the Technical Director for 10 years. During the summers of 1968 through 1972 he lived in Pierre in order to help set up the South Dakota Library for the Blind. During the summers of his last five years in Winner he ran the Pix Drive In Theatre.
In 1978 Jim moved to Rapid City where he joined his father at Mills Liquor Store until it was sold in 1985. That same year he started working at Video World and ended his time there in 2001 but immediately became a part of the YMCA until he retired in 2006.
Although Jim had begun his work in genealogy in high school, he became very active in not only the Rapid City Genealogical Society but also the South Dakota Genealogical Society with its inception in 1982. Jim was one of the leaders on the yearly trips to the LDS Genealogical Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was honored as South Dakota Genealogist of the Year.
Since 1990 Jim was a familiar face as attendees entered the Fine Arts Building where he also served as Chairman of the Literary Section. He received the “well deserved” Central States belt buckle while a member of the Board of Directors. He was a member of the Springbrook Acres Board for several years starting in 1990. For many years he was an active member of the Black Hills Diabetes Association. Also, he enjoyed the book sales and his efforts with the Friends of the Rapid City Library. At the Black Hills Community Theatre he was a familiar face serving refreshments.
Jim was a guru with the computer, possessed a great knowledge of trivia, was a voracious reader of all types of literature, took pride in having a home with one of the most beautiful views in Rapid City where he displayed his Coca-Cola collection and his hundreds of movies. The Sturgis Rally beckoned him each year to find the perfect Sturgis T-shirt. Probably his most remembered trait will be his joy in helping others.
Grateful for having shared his life are his sisters, Donna K. (Joe) Ziegler of Rapid City, and Marigene Brownlee of Vista, Calif.; and nephew, Scott (Brenda) Brownlee of Evans, Colo.
Preceding him in death were his parents, Robert and Kathryn Miller; grandparents, Nelle and James Burns, and Alpha Miller.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Jim may be given to the Black Hills Diabetes Association. (P.O. Box 9653, Rapid City, SD 57709).
A memorial service was held on Monday, March 10, 2014, at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help with Father Michel Mulloy presiding. Inurnment will be at a later time in Mobridge.