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James Miller

James Miller

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ARENA -- James Harold Miller, 73, Arena, died Oct. 17, 2002, at his home with his family by his bedside after fighting a courageous battle with cancer. Services will be held at 1 p.m. Monday at Church of the Nazarene, Tuttle, with the Rev. Terry Graham officiating. Burial will be in Tuttle Cemetery.

Visitation will be held from 1 to 9 p.m. Sunday at Eastgate Funeral Service, Bismarck.

James H. Miller was born July 16, 1929, near Arena, N.D., the son of Albert and Pauline (Weisenberger) Miller. Raised and educated in rural schools near Tuttle, he married Betty Sackman on March 12, 1950, in the Tuttle Church of the Nazarene. They farmed north of Arena from 1955 until retiring in 1991. During his farming and ranching years, he collected many Indian artifacts, naming the farm the "Broken Arrowhead Ranch". He also did grain bin moving and CAT work.

In earlier years Jim enjoyed trapping and ran an extensive trap line. He enjoyed doing metal work in his shop and invented his own version of "Miller Bilt" hydraulic presses, a metal shear, a metal bender, two wheeled trailers, wheelchair ramps, boat docks, crystal radios, a log splitter, a steam engine, and many other creations.

Jim was an artist in designing and making mailbox or yard ornaments and signs for various organizations. His handiwork can be found throughout the area countryside and in 26 states. He is also known for designing and building the world's largest sandhill crane, which stands in Steele.

Jim never met a stranger -- his infectious smile, "Miller laugh," and storytelling were shared with many.

He is survived by his wife, Betty, Arena; three daughters, Judi Trygg and her husband, John, Baldwin, Susan Burrer and her husband, Virgil, Madison, Ala., and Penni Fatula and her husband, Phil, Gillette, Wyo.; five granddaughters, Jill Berg and her husband, Chad, Baldwin, Joan Kleven and her husband, Craig, Steele, Stephanie Burrer, Auburn, Ala., Jane Trygg, Baldwin, and Alana Fatula, Gillette; two great-grandsons, Wyatt and Sutton Berg, Baldwin; three brothers and two sisters-in-law, Bruce and Valoyce, Tuttle, Leo and Jan, Sterling, Alaska, and Duane, Minot; two sisters and brothers-in-law, Lorraine and Reiny Hertz, Bismarck, and Bernette and Alan Bowen, Charlotte, N.C.; and two sisters-in-law, Kathy Miller, Billings, Mont., and Lois Miller, Bismarck.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Albert and Pauline; and three brothers, Archie, Dennis and Donald.

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