Kenton Lee Miller, 76, of Loma, Colorado, passed away May 11, 2020, at his home with his wife and two of his children at his side. He was born in 1944 to William and Phyllis Miller in Muncie, Indiana. His early adult years included graduating from Muncie Central High School, being drafted into the military, and graduating from Huntington College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education and Music.
Kenton is survived by his wife, Joan, and his children: Joette Barnett, Andrew Miller, Timothy Miller, Megan Miller, Noelle Paul, and 16 grandchildren, as well as by his brother, Dwon Miller and sister, Kris Beaty.
Kenton’s dad, William “Bill” Miller, was determined to give his children names that were not as common as “Bill Miller”. In the day or two after Kenton was born, his parents still hadn’t decided on a name when they were ready to leave the hospital and were just calling him by the little nickname of, “Peanut”. When a nurse asked them what the baby’s name was, they told her they hadn’t decided yet. She admonished them, “You cannot take this child home calling him ‘Peanut’. He needs a name!” They explained that they were wanting a name less common and hadn’t thought of one yet. They asked her, “Do you have any ideas?” She smiled. “I always thought that if I had had a son, I would have named him ‘Kenton Lee’.” Bill and Phyllis looked at each other and then at the nurse, “We like that name. Would you mind if we used it?” The nurse told them that she would be honored, and that’s how he got his name.
The name “Kenton” means “from the royal settlement”, and Lee can mean “a clearing or open space where villages or towns can be established”, or in sailing terms, the “leeward” side – shelter and protection.
During the Vietnam War, Kenton was stationed in Germany. Later, he worked for several years for the American Red Cross as a Safety Services Director and teacher of First Aid, swimming, sailing, canoeing, boating, and life-saving and adapted aquatics and CPR. For the last twenty-five years of his life, he owned a window washing company. He took great pride in serving his community in this way.
One of his favorite stories during his window washing years was when a teenager came home from school while Kenton was at the house washing the windows. The teenager went upstairs to his room and then yelled down to his mother, “Mom! I asked you to stop leaving my window open!” She yelled right back, “It’s not open! It’s clean!!”
Kenton was well known for his love of music. Being around him was almost like being in a musical… he had a wonderful voice and a song for every situation or topic. He would start singing some random song and his children would laugh. “What is that song from?” He would answer, “Oh, that’s from the musical, ‘Lil’ Abner’ that I sang in when I was in tenth grade.”, or it would be from some other musical or popular song from his past. He played string bass in high school and college and in his home town’s symphony orchestra. He sang in choirs. He played guitar and loved leading family and friends for times of praise and worship during church gatherings.
His entire family loves the outdoors and Kenton often took his family camping and hiking. He enjoyed sailing and canoeing, fishing, swimming, and a wide variety of sports.
We all remember Kenton’s “trademark” sense of humor and his enjoyment of good jokes and puns. One of his favorite jokes was to call the strong spring winds that are regular in western Colorado “trade winds” – because items left out in the yard blew around and you would unintentionally trade them with your neighbors.
Kenton’s relationship with the Lord was very important to him. His daily life included time spent reading the Bible and time spent in prayer. He loved fellowshipping with family and fellow believers, going to Bible conferences and seminars, and volunteering in Israel.
Kenton and Joan and the family were so grateful for all the love, prayers, support, and help during the months of Kenton’s fight with cancer. Joan and Megan and the whole family would like to thank all the family and friends who prayed faithfully and gave selflessly.
Kenton was laid to rest at the Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery in Grand Junction, Colorado.
A “Celebration of Life” service will be planned once the virus restrictions are lifted. Please email Megan (email@example.com) to be added to the update list if you would like to be informed of the service information.
Memorial contributions or donations may be sent to Kenton’s widow, Joan.
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