Daniel William Miller, 51, of Caledonia, MN, died Thursday, July 24, 2014 at his home following a lengthy battle with cancer. He fought hard til his last breath with his family at his side.
Known as “Dan” to his friends and “Danny” to his sisters, he was born June 11, 1963 to William and Ann (Olafson) Miller in Caledonia, MN. He is survived by two daughters: Jesse Newquist and Miranda Peterson, of Minneapolis, MN; son Mitchell Miller of New Ulm, MN; his mother, Ann Miller of Rushford, MN; three sisters: Susan Miller and Kelly Marin of Rushford, and Christie (Dan) Nicklay of St. Charles, MN; girlfriend Trina Longenecker of Caledonia; seven aunts, four uncles, many cousins, two nieces and one nephew.
Danny was preceded in death by his father, William Marcellus Miller; uncles: Lawrence Miller of Plainview, Walter Miller and Robert Miller of Caledonia, Mervin “Skip” Olafson of Holmen, WI, Omar Klug and Marcel Klug of Caledonia; aunts: Dorothy Miller of Olivia, MN, Margaret (Lawrence) Miller of Plainview, Eleanor (Omar) Klug and Mary (Marcel) Klug of Caledonia; grandparents: Joseph and Rose (Vodraska) Miller of Caledonia and Mervin and Adella (Erickson) Olafson of Caledonia; and dear friend, Wayne “Newt” Burmeister.
After living and working in Belleville, WI for nearly 20 years, Danny returned to Caledonia in 2007. He first began working for Miken, painting bats, but the love of farming turned him to Sno-Pac where he had the opportunity to work his own family farm with his long-time friends, Pete and Nick Gengler.
Danny celebrated life every day. Anyone who visited him was greeted with “Wanna beer?” and a trip to the shed, where he shared his infectious laugh, jokes, poking fun, and tinkering with one project or another. He loved splitting wood with his brother-in-law Dan Nicklay and cousin Jason Klinski; and was especially pleased with the last load that cousin and best friend Wayne Miller cut and stacked for him. From his hospice bed in the living room, Danny looked out the window at the wood pile and said “That looks good, Odie!”
Danny was also known for his fondness for his animals. He loved his dog, Patches, and was adamant in finding better ways to care for his chickens. His newest critter was a baby lamb named Simba, later nicknamed “Chops” by Danny and cousin Alan Klug. His love of life, his family, friends and his animals made Danny the kind of man everyone loved to be with. So if you’re heading out to Danny’s, bring a 12-pack and a bag of ice. He’ll be in the shed.
A memorial service will be held Tuesday, July 29 at McCormick Funeral Home in Caledonia, MN from 4:00 to 8:00 pm with a prayer service held at 7:00 pm. In lieu of a funeral, Danny asked that he be cremated and his ashes spread on the family farm where he grew up with his parents and sisters.
The family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the doctors and nurses of Gundersen Health System and their Hospice care. And a very special thank you to Lisa Miller who was always there when Dan needed her, especially when he was craving KFC chicken.