Blenheim loses a legend

Jan 2 • Feature Story, Local NewsNo Comments on Blenheim loses a legend

Blenheim’s Ed Miller, shown here in October celebrating his 105th birthday, passed away two days before Christmas.

A beloved and long-time Blenheim resident, Ed Miller died at the age of 105 two days before Christmas.

Miller, believed to one of the oldest living Second World War veterans, was featured just this fall in a story in The Chatham Voice regarding his 105th birthday and experiences during the war as an airframe mechanic.

According to his obituary, Miller passed away at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance after a brief decline in health.

His death came just two days short of what would have been the 42nd anniversary of the wedding to his second wife, Helen, on Christmas Day, 1976.

Miller served during the war as an airframe mechanic stationed in England, maintaining the Lancaster bombers that flew over Germany.

“Many people used to ask Ed what might be the secret of his long life. He gave various answers, some serious, some flip. Those who know him best share the consensus that his longevity was the result of the combination of his irrepressible friendliness with everyone he met, and his positive outlook on life. He didn’t complain; he didn’t dwell on his losses, and he had more losses in his life than many of us ever face in a shorter life; he looked for the good in people; he was thoughtful and kind, though seldom overtly emotive,” Miller’s obituary read.

Miller was known as a gregarious and helpful person to his family, friends and neighbours. He seldom if ever engaged in gossip, preferring to find the best and say the best about everyone.

He was known for his visiting of the lonely. He spent many volunteer hours helping out with Cedar Springs United Church, Camp Kenesserie, Craford Cemetery and the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 185.

Miller was a carpenter, both on his own and as a long-time employee at the Southwest Regional Centre.

Miller was the son of Frederick and Mary Miller, and the brother of Donald, Velma, Gordon, Margaret, Douglas, Winnifred and Janet, all of whom but Winnifred have predeceased him.

Ed was predeceased by each member of his first family; his wife Catherine, daughter Velma and son Alexander. He was also predeceased by his second wife Helen.

Ed leaves behind his grandson Chris Miller and his wife Alanna, their children Clara and Will, his granddaughter Tara Miller O’Donoghue and her husband Aidan, their children Alexandra and Abby, his sister Winnifred, stepson Michael Nash and his wife Linda, their son Daniel and Michael’s older sons Gabriel and Samuel, and many nieces and nephews.

A Memorial Service for Ed will be held at Trinity Anglican Church in Blenheim on Jan. 12 at 11 a.m. followed by a reception at the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 185, Blenheim.

In lieu of flower donations, the family would value in memoriam donations to the Mission and Service Fund of the United Church of Canada https://www.united-church.ca/tags/mission-and-serivce or the Nature Conservancy of Canada https://www.natureconservancy.ca/en/.

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