James (Jim) Miller

James (Jim) Miller

James (Jim) Miller

Cedar Rapids

James (Jim) Gordon Miller, age 92, passed away in the comfort of his home, in Cedar Rapids on Saturday, March 2, 2024, surrounded by his loving family. A funeral will be held at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 8300 C Avenue in Marion, on Sunday, March 10 at 2:00 pm. A visitation will be held one hour prior to the service.

Jim was born on September 22, 1931 to Paul and Margaret Miller in Waterloo, IA. Jim was the brother of Carole and Richard (Butch). Their close-knit loving family positively impacted Jim his entire life.

Jim was a gifted athlete and educator who led by example throughout his life. He attended Waterloo West High School and was respected by his peers who voted him Athlete of the Year. Jim graduated from Iowa State Teachers College (University of Northern Iowa) where he was a varsity football and track team leader. He remained a Hawkeye and Panther fan his entire life.

He served in the Army for two years and then began his teaching and coaching career in Orange City, IA. Jim’s seven years (1955-1961) in Orange City saw many highlights – beginning with meeting his wife, Bonnie, in June 1958 sheltering from a thunderstorm next to a pillar outside the University of Colorado Norlin Library. A year later they were married. Jim received his Masters degree from CU and they were blessed with two sons, Steve and Paul. In the following school year, 1959-60, his football team won the state championship and his track team won the state track meet. Jim received the Siouxland Coach of the Year Award for the accomplishment of his football team. He always paid tribute to the exceptional athletes he coached.

Jim also coached for one year (won all but one game) at Osage and taught and coached for five years at Washington High School in Cedar Rapids. In 1968, he became the Director of Admissions at Kirkwood Community College. Jim was elected by his peers to be the first President of the Iowa Association for College Admissions Counseling, representing all colleges and universities in Iowa. He was a loyal and respected member of Kirkwood for 26 years.

Jim succeeded in balancing work and family by focusing on family first. He was the “Miller Pillar” – strong, upright, supportive, and dependable. His sons consider him their role model and the finest coach they ever had. Jim spent time with family whenever possible. Fond memories include visiting his sister Carole’s family in Texas, helping and enjoying his sons Steve and Paul as they grew and became fine Washington High School athletes, visiting Paul, Amy, and Natalya in Colorado, and enjoying golf outings with Paul. Jim also enjoyed fun at the Mississippi River with nieces and nephews, golfing in Arizona with Butch (Karen), and plenty of time with Cedar Rapids friends plus annual summer family reunions at Leech Lake.

Friendships and community activities were important to Jim. He enjoyed officiating football on the Primrose crew, attending St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, post-game analysis with Butch and Ken, and the Wednesday morning breakfast camaraderie shared with strong minded tenderhearted good guys followed by golf or pool.

Celebrating 65 anniversaries with Jim’s sweetheart, Bonnie, brought the most warmth to his heart and meaning to his life. Surely goodness and mercy will follow him to a life of perfect love and eternal peace in heaven.

Memorials in Jim’s honor may be directed to The National Association for the Mentally Ill (NAMI), The International Foundation for CDKL5 Research (IFCR), or St. Mark’s Lutheran Church.

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