Parker Dean Miller, 81, began his adult life as a wet-behind-the-ears teenager on a PT boat in the South Pacific during World War II and ended his career as a nurse who favored emergency rooms at hospitals in Lorain County, Ohio.
The dash between November 23, 1927, when Parker was born in an 1820s farmhouse on an apple orchard in Amherst, Ohio, and Thursday, September 3, 2009, when he died in Lorain, Ohio, is filled with many and varied accomplishments, interests and community service.
Parker served as an Amherst Township, Ohio, trustee in the 1950s. He prepared the baseball diamond for Amherst’s first Little League team and acted as an umpire.
He was a state representative for VUMS (Veterans of Underage Military Service) and a member of the PT Boats Inc. historical society. He also belonged to American Legion Post 30 of Lorain, AMVETS Post 22 of Vermilion, Ohio, and the 40 & 8, as well as Stonington Masonic Lodge 503 of Amherst.
He was employed in the Lorain Metropolitan Parks and in Lake County, Ohio, as a park ranger superintendent. He belonged to the Izaak Walton League, was an NRA instructor and hunted with both rifle and bow.
He contributed to historical reconstruction and reenactment of Civil War battles with the 5th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, making lead bullets on his stove, shooting vintage Civil War rifles and working on cannon restoration. He was a Red Cross swimming instructor. He amused generations of children and adults with his magic tricks.
He was an early participant in Operation Open Heart and was active in the Police Athletic League.
As a Lorain County deputy sheriff, he was among the pioneering local law enforcement officers to train in a newfangled first-aid procedure that became known as CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). After providing first aid and delivering babies as law man, he earned an degree in nursing at Lorain County Community College at age 50. He worked as a nurse in all venues, but particularly loved emergency room work.
Parker, a versatile athlete, played varsity football as a freshman at Amherst High School. He left school early to enlist in the Navy for service in World War II.
He returned to Amherst, completed his high school diploma and married his first wife, the former Mary Powers, daughter of Fred Powers, the superintendent of the Amherst schools. That marriage ended in divorce.
Parker is survived by his wife of 25 years, Nancy Miller (nee Brackett); his children, Julie Felty of Belmont, Mass., and Elizabeth Szefcyk, Norman Brydon Miller and Joel Powers Miller, all of Amherst; stepchildren, Amanda Beeman, Brett Beeman and Scott Helbig, all of Lorain; a sister, Cora Alice “Corky” Godfrey of Lorain; 10 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.
His parents, Norman and Edna (Standen) Miller, and his brothers, Robert Miller and Norman Miller, are deceased.
Family will receive friends from 1-4 and 6-9 p.m. Tuesday, September 8, 2009, at Richard J. Reidy Funeral Home, 1783 East 31st Street, Lorain (South Lorain), where a Masonic service will be held at 6:30 p.m.
Friends may also call at the funeral home from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m. funeral services Wednesday, September 9, 2009.
To reach the funeral home, call 440-277-8164.
This obituary was prepared by the family and the funeral home and slightly revised by ObitsOhio.com.
This obituary was originally posted on ObitsOhio.com on Sept. 7, 2009.