Donald Arthur Miller

Died: Mon., Jan. 20, 2020


4:00 PM to 7:00 PM, Thu., Jan. 23, 2020
Location: Woodland Hills Funeral Home

Memorial Service

11:00 AM Fri., Jan. 24, 2020
Location: Bethlehem Lutheran

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Mankato resident, Donald A. Miller, age 88, died Monday, January 20, 2020 at Pathstone Living in Mankato.  Memorial services will be 11:00 a.m. on Friday, January 24, at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Mankato with Rev. Collette Broady Grund officiating.  Interment will be at Woodland Hills Memorial Park.  Visitation will be 4-7 p.m. on Thursday at Woodland Hills Funeral Home and will continue 1 hour prior at the church.  Woodland Hills Funeral Home is handling arrangements. Memorials are preferred to Bethlehem Lutheran Church, the Riverblenders, Mankato East Athletics or Gustavus Adolphus College.

Don was born January 9, 1932 in Waseca, MN to Guy and Lulu (Billiard) Miller. He graduated from Waseca High School in 1950.  On August 1, 1953 he married Granis Olson in Granite Falls, MN.  They lived in Hinckley and St. Peter before moving to Mankato in 1964.  Don was a four-sport letterman for three years and made a trip to the state basketball tournament in 1948.  He quarterbacked two championships in football and was named All Conference three times.  In 1954 Don graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College with a B.S. degree in physical education and mathematics. He participated in baseball and track and was also co-captain and all conference in football.

Don’s first teaching job was in Hinckley, MN where he also coached football, baseball and basketball. He then moved to St. Peter to teach and coach football and baseball.  He moved to Mankato in 1964 and taught and coached until his retirement in 1989.  He coached football, baseball, swimming and gymnastics.  In 1973, when Mankato East High School opened, he became the boys athletic director and held that position until his retirement.

Don was a member of the Coaches Association, NIAAA, and Minnesota Athletic Directors Association.  He was chairman of Region 2AA Athletic Directors Association and the football liaison for the Big 9 Conference. He was honored as Region 2AA Athletic Director of the Year in 1984 and State Athletic Director of the Year in 1988-89 and received his 25 Year Coaches Award. He was inducted into the Gustavus Adolphus College Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Minnesota Athletic Directors Hall of Fame in 2001.  He was also in the Waseca Hall of Fame and the Mankato East High School Hall of Fame.  Don was a member of the Mankato Riverblenders and sang with the “Magic” Quartet.

He is survived by his 6 children; Steve (Eileen) Miller of Mankato, MN, Douglas Miller of Minneapolis, MN, Sue (Jerry) Thul of Mankato, MN, Jo (Keith) Snow of Waseca, MN, Dave (Ruth) Miller of Rosemount, MN, Amy (Mark) Wersal of North Mankato, MN;  18 grandchildren, Ginette (Joe) Koeck, Camille (Jake) Gerdts, Christina Miller, Jacqui Miller, Michael (Kelly) Miller, Abby (Aaron) McGraw, Kate (Billy) Blanck, Nick Thul, Brad (Cathy) Snow, Brandi Snow, Heidi (Tom) Cahill, Jason (fiancée Kirsten Callahan) Glaser, Jessica (Jerad) Lanes, Jake (Julianna) Glaser, Bryon (Jenny) Miller, Leah Miller, Brad (Beth) Wersal, Scott (Ashley) Wersal; 21 great grandchildren, Aubree Gerdts, Dash and Dixie McGraw, Lilly, Ethan and Ava Snow, Grace Copa, Corley Carter, Samantha Cahill, Logan Glaser, Silas Gordon, Mitchell Glaser, Ryleigh Nelson, Amelia Lanes, Matthew Glaser, Andrew and Lucy Miller, Lila, Luke and Liam Wersal, Easton Wersal; many nieces and nephews; sister-in-law, Phyllis Miller of California, sister and brother-in-law, Sharon (Gene) Buchholz of Granite Falls, MN.

He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 53 years, Granis; parents; 3 brothers, LeRoy (Goldie) Miller, Irvin (Lorraine) Miller, Glenn Miller; sisters and brothers-in-law, Marion (Dean) Erdmann, Darlene (Dorian) Erickson.

We will remember our Dad, Grandpa and Great Grandpa for his never ending love, support and guidance in our lives.  We will miss our Sunday dinners that were always open to family and friends!

Our family would like to thank Dr. Eric Storvick and Dr. Manpreet Kanwar for their many years of heartfelt care of our dad. We’d also like to thank Pathstone staff and Mayo Hospice for their care, kindness and support.

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Sue Parkins
   Posted Mon January 20, 2020
What sad news to hear of Don’s death. Don had the most beautiful smile and the most upbeat attitude which was such an encouragement to others. To all of Don’s loved ones, please know how much Don was loved and respected by his colleagues. My sympathies to you all.

Dale Lenertz
   Posted Tue January 21, 2020
My heart felt sympathy to Steve(Goof) and the entire Miller family. I got to know Don as a student and athlete at Mankato East in the mid 70's. He was a straight shooter who was easy to look up to. RIP Mr. Miller

Shashi Madadi
   Posted Tue January 21, 2020
Dave, Accept my condolences. My prayers are with you and your family.

With sincere sympathy,

Shashi Madadi

Shirley Senden
   Posted Wed January 22, 2020
My sympathy to you, Amy and your family. Always hard to loose a parent. My prayers are with you.

Manpreet Kanwar
   Posted Wed January 22, 2020
Don was such a delightful person to care for. We will remember him very fondly. His smile and his wit will be missed.

James Miller
   Posted Wed January 22, 2020

Designers Choice was sent by James LeRoy Miller.

Our Best and Condolences to Steve, Doug, David, Susan, JoAnn, Amy and All the Miller Gang. Thinking of you, Jimmy and Larry Miller

neal lewandowski
   Posted Wed January 22, 2020
To David and the Miller family -
I wish you peace and strength through this very difficult time.

Nordeene and Mary Lou Haldorson
   Posted Wed January 22, 2020
Our deepest sympathy to Don's great family. Our thoughts are with you during this time. We so fondly remember Don and his great contributions to East High School and the community. He was one great guy!!!And to you Steve; Nordeene remembers so well when he allowed only you to stand on your desk during our biology football game!!Anything to win a competition!! Fond memories!

Jerry and Renee Cahill
   Posted Thu January 23, 2020
We send our sympathy and heart felt love to Heidi, Samantha and Tom during this time of the loss of your grandpa and great grandpa. Plus all your family Heidi. ❤️

Bob sexe
   Posted Thu January 23, 2020
Prayers for you Steve and your family.

John Maiers
   Posted Thu January 23, 2020
To my friend, Steve and his immediate and extended families:

I wish for you indelible
and beautiful
those with wings
so they take flight
fly to you
when your thoughts
summon a breeze.

Mickey Foster Johnson
   Posted Fri January 24, 2020
So sorry to hear about your dad Steve-such a nice guy! You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers

Chuck Pesta
   Posted Fri January 24, 2020
As a former Mankato High School math student's of Don's and a fellow classmate of Steve, I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the Miller family. A loss of a parent is very difficult. Don will be remembered for his exemplary character and the positive example he always set others. He will be remembered for generations by his great family.

Barb ( Goff ) Dunker
   Posted Fri January 24, 2020
Hi Steve,

According to all that we read, your dad was the poster boy for 'How to Lead a Wonderful Life'. What a fabulous role model.

We were sorry to hear of his death. Our thoughts are with you.

Barb and Larry Dunker

Doug Ferguson
   Posted Mon January 27, 2020
To the Miller Family:

As a latecomer to the Mankato area in 2001, I first knew Don only by his previous reputation as a coach and later personally as Barbershop Chorus member after I joined the Riverblenders. He was a great friend to newcomers like me and was a very positive influence on everyone involved in the chorus. I was glad to have known him. You can be very proud of him and the example he set in his later years after "retirement".

I now live in Alaska, but I fondly remember Don and the rest of the Riverblenders gang.

Doug Ferguson
Palmer, Alaska

Vicky and Kevin McLaughlin
   Posted Fri February 07, 2020
Loving thoughts to you Steve, and all your family!
We will always remember your dad's great smile and "can-do" attitude!
Vicky and Kevin

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