Cover photo for Kenneth E. Miller's Obituary
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1926 Kenneth 2024

Kenneth E. Miller

November 9, 1926 — February 9, 2024

North Manchester

Kenneth E. Miller passed away in North Manchester, Indiana on Friday, Feb. 9, 2024, while receiving hospice care. He was 97.

A lifelong musician, Kenneth was conducting in his sleep up until his final days.

Kenneth was a steadfast provider and loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Quiet and to the point, he was a great listener, often content to let others lead the conversation but always ready to chime in when he had something to add. Kenneth’s family fondly remembers his frequent refrain of “whatever,” when his opinion was asked, which signified his “go with the flow” attitude.

Music was one of Kenneth’s greatest joys in life, and his passion was an inspiration for his family members, several of whom followed him into a career in music. He was a great singer and choir director throughout his life. At gatherings, Kenneth would often lead the family in song, whether that was a prayer before mealtime or a round of Christmas carols.

His fine tenor voice got the attention of Rose Marie Dickey, who sat in the row in front of him during their shared music class at Manchester College. That’s when she knew she wanted to get to know the young man she heard singing behind her.

The two married on Aug. 13, 1949, at the Liberty Mills, Indiana Church of the Brethren and they were set to celebrate their 75th wedding anniversary later this year.

One of Kenneth’s great gifts was his sense of humor, which was so dry you could sometimes miss it thanks to his laid-back delivery. Then you’d see the sly smile on his face and catch the joke. Even in his final days, Kenneth was still chuckling at his own jokes and bringing smiles to his family’s faces.

Kenneth taught music for many years at Cottey College, Northeast Missouri State University (now Truman State University), and the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL). Kenneth joined UMSL in the third year of the campus’s existence and chaired the Department of Fine Arts from 1967-1971, during which time the university established a music major and began offering a Bachelor of Music degree.

He is the author of several books on music, including Handbook of Choral Music Selection, Score, Preparation and Writing (1979), Vocal Music Education: Teaching in the Secondary School (1988), Principles of Singing (1990), and Anthology of Songs for the Solo Voice (1994).

Kenneth was a longtime member of the Normandy United Methodist Church in St. Louis and the Manchester Church of the Brethren in North Manchester.

After moving to Timbercrest Senior Living Community, Kenneth directed the Timbercrest choir from 2011-2015.

Kenneth Eugene Miller was born Nov. 9, 1926, in rural North Manchester to Russell and Elvah Ogden Miller. He attended grade school at Laketon, graduated from high school in Chester in 1944 and then served in the United States Merchant Marine for several years as a radio operator.

He received a bachelor’s degree from Manchester College (now Manchester University) in 1950, and a Master of Music Education degree (1952) and a Master of Music degree (1958) from the American Conservatory of Music, Chicago. He received his Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 1963.

He is survived by his wife, Rose Marie Dickey Miller; children Ann Gruber-Miller (John) and Kay Miller Kempf (Dale); and grandchildren David Kempf (Krista), Scott Kempf (Kate), Stephen Gruber-Miller, Timothy Miller (Kayla), and Theresa Gruber-Miller; as well as three great-grandchildren.

A visitation will be held at 1 p.m. on Feb. 17 at the Timbercrest Senior Living Community chapel, 2201 East St., North Manchester, IN, followed by a funeral service at 2 p.m.

A private burial will be held later at Pleasant Hill cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations in honor of Kenneth can be made to Heifer International, 1 World Ave., Little Rock AR 72202.

Arrangements are entrusted to McKee Mortuary.

Donations:

Heifer International
1 World Avenue, Little Rock AR 72202

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Kenneth E. Miller, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, February 17, 2024

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Timbercrest Senior Living Chapel

2201 East Street, North Manchester, IN 46962

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Timbercrest Senior Living Chapel

2201 East Street, North Manchester, IN 46962

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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