Kenneth Owings Miller, 76, of Bozeman, MT, died on March 15th, of a sudden cardiac event while home recovering from recent heart surgery. Ken was born January 24,1947, outside of Harlowton, MT to Emerald Lily May (Owings) Miller and Lewis Henry Herman Miller. Ken was the 4th of eight kids and had a childhood full of adventure living in the country. He attended elementary school in Ryegate, MT before the family moved to a ranch outside Livingston, MT. Ken graduated from Park County High School in 1965. He followed his older sister to Evangel College in Springfield, MO, graduating with degrees in History and Art in 1969. He played on the soccer team and upon graduation joined his favorite coach at Southern California College in Orange County, CA, where he was their soccer coach, instructor and head of the Physical Education and Recreation Department. Ken received a Master’s Degree from Chapman University and worked on two doctoral programs from the University of Southern California and Montana State University.
In 1978 Ken met the love of his life, Robin Cole. Ken and Robin were married in Laguna Beach, CA, in 1980 before moving to Harlowton, MT, in 1981. As a coach, rancher, contractor, business owner and educator, Ken wore many hats and excelled at everything he did. Education was his passion. He served as Wheatland County Superintendent, Superintendent of Schools in Roy, Plains and Red Lodge, MT, Saratoga, WY, and Principal in Brush, CO. He finished his career serving as the Director of Head Start for Park and Gallatin Counties. Ken lived a life of service volunteering over the years as a Deputy Sheriff, fireman, EMT, coach, and a hospital and school board member. His strength of character, kindness and integrity were humbly exemplified in everything he did.
At the age of 70, Ken retired and spent the next two years building his dream log cabin on the hill behind their home. One of his greatest passions was hunting antelope, deer and elk (especially with his bow). This past hunting season was no exception, he always filled his tags! Ken found joy in cooking for others. His famous elk jerky, antelope dinners, sourdough bread, cinnamon rolls, and pies will be missed by so many. Ken was a gifted artist who created beautiful artwork (including oil paintings, pottery and stained glass). He also enjoyed golfing, gardening, photography, reading, camping and traveling with Robin, family and friends. Ken valued relationships. Connecting through social media with friends and family brought him great joy. Ken’s gift of storytelling was loved by all who spent time with him.
As the father of five and grandfather of eight, Ken’s greatest joy was his family. He was the chef, photographer, handyman, jack of all trades and steady voice of wisdom. Robin and Ken’s 46 years of unconditional love and bond was apparent to all who knew them. The deep ache that is left with the loss of our hero, husband, father, grandfather and brother will only be lightened by the strength he showed us every day. He was one of the truly good ones and while there was not enough time on earth with his loved ones, we know God has greater plans for him.
Ken is preceded in death by his parents who met him joyfully in Heaven. He is survived by his wife, Robin Miller of Bozeman, MT; children, Kim (Janina) Miller of Long Beach, CA, Amber Baltierra of Corona, CA, Jennifer (Collin) Duneman of Bozeman, MT, Adam (Kolista) Miller of Belgrade, MT, Lacy Willhite of Bozeman, MT; eight treasured grandchildren, Arthur, Alyssa, and Ava Baltierra, Chase, Taylor, and Morgan Duneman, and Jake and Ian Willhite; seven siblings; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
A Memorial Service to celebrate his extraordinary life lived to the fullest will be held Friday, April 7, 2023 at 1:00 pm at the Bozeman United Methodist Church, 121 W. Willson Ave, Bozeman, MT, followed by a gathering at Valley View Country Club at 302 E. Kagy.
In lieu of flowers, the family is establishing the KM Legacy Memorial to support community, education and health endeavors close to Ken’s heart. Checks may be mailed to: KM Legacy Memorial ℅ Robin Miller, 3701 Trakker Trail, STE 1B #222, Bozeman, MT, 59718.