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On the front row of Wesley United Methodist Church each Sunday, sat a voicetress, well-dressed man whose loyalty to his preacher wife spoke louder than the voices that sang. John Edward Miller was that man. His love for God’s Word, service to the church, and passion for helping others -- speaks volumes about a life well lived by a humble man with a fighting spirit.
John Edward Miller was born on July 29, 1946 in Parksdale, Arkansas. Affectionately known as “Buck,” he was the second of 16 children born to George and Maxcine Miller. Both of his parents and two sisters, Joyce Clark of Pontiac, Michigan and Judy Pace of Las Vegas, Nevada preceded him in death.
The Early Years . . . It was in Parksdale, Arkansas that he professed his faith in Christ at an early age. He attended the public schools of Lake Village, Arkansas. In his early years, he followed the footsteps of his father and the love of the Lord and became a well-known quartet gospel singer. He was a member of a group called, “The Song Birds of the South.” One of his favorite songs to sing was “Jordan River I’m Bound to Cross.”
A Fighting Spirit . . . John’s fighting spirit relocated him to Los Angeles, California, but he later returned home to raise a family in his first marriage. That marriage was dissolved, and God led John on a new journey to Pontiac, Michigan where he started a new career and found the love of his life, Marion Crowder. They were united in holy matrimony in 1971 -- for a total of 50 years. To this union they raised two daughters, Tonya Miller-Cherry and Marla Miller-Lewis.
A Life of Service . . . John, along with his brothers, continued a pursuit in music with a new group called, “The Gospel Blue Jays.” But he was not only a singer, John worked for Pontiac Motors for several years, until he found the career of his life – that of a “Bus Driver.” As a little boy going downtown with his Mother on weekends, Greyhound Bus Drivers fascinated him. So he said to his Mother, “That’s what I’m going to be when I grow up!” He first drove for Airport Limousine Services, and later drove “road coaches” all across the country. John found his true calling in ministry when he moved to Indianapolis, IN and became “Bus Driver of the Year!”
His Love For God . . . John’s love for God was infectious. He had such a loving and cooperative spirit that truly was exemplified throughout his life as a Christian servant. His love for children spilled over into the school, the church and the surrounding neighborhood. After relocating to Jeffersonville as a retiree, he still applied and was hired by the Clark County Schools System. He became a member of Wesley United Methodist Church where they named him, “First Gentleman John.” He was a member of the Wesley Male Chorus, Wesley Super Seniors and a Communion Steward. My Sweetie demonstrated his love for God and others by preparing delicious, mouth watering southern cooking and entertainment -- always filled with fun and laughter. Sweetie and I found much joy in sitting around the dinner table as husband and wife. He was a man of wisdom, inspirational, humorous, loved to dress, and a true man of God. John was also a compassionate follower of Jesus Christ, a faithful and loving partner to his wife -- who served as his beloved pastor.
On Thursday, July 22, 2021 he departed 75 years of life. His precious memories will be cherished by his loving wife Rev. Dr. Marion Crowder Miller of Jeffersonville, Indiana; and children, Cedric Darton (Kimberly) of Houston, Texas, Zackery Evans (Wilma) of Dallas, Texas, Sonya Gaddy (Vincent) of Dallas, Texas, Tonya Miller-Cherry (Gerald) of Harper Woods, Michigan, Marla Miller-Lewis (James) of Carmel, Indiana, Rita Bucknight of Monticello, Arkansas, Miles Miller of Detroit, Michigan, and Jonathan Miller of St. Louis, Missouri.
Sisters: Georgia Matthews (Robert) of Southhaven, Mississippi, Cherry Rose (Andrew) of Waterford, Michigan, Janice Shadid (Abdullah) of Oakland Township, Michigan, JoAnn Dobbins (Clyde) of Little Rock, Arkansas, Brenda Hurner (Joseph) of Pontiac, Michigan, Sheliah Campbell (Jeffrey) of Fresno, Texas, Viney Jackson (Rodney) of Fort Worth, Texas, Chandra Johnson (Diaz) of Arlington, Texas; adopted sisters, Joyce Chambers (Howard) of Pontiac, Michigan, Jewell Grant of Dermott, Arkansas
Brothers: Donnie Miller of Columbus, Tennessee, Earl Miller (Wendy) of Waterford, Michigan, Benny Miller (Sharnin) of Rochester Michigan, Gregory Miller (Jackie) of Memphis, TN, Bruce Miller (Jackie) of Pontiac, adopted brother, Franklin King of Elk Grove, Illinois, and 15 grandchildren, 4 great grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:7-8
A Viewing will be held on Friday, July 30, 2021 from 5:00pm to 8:00pm at Wesley United Methodist Church, 1201 Thomas V. Bryant Drive, Jeffersonville, Indiana 47130. Also a Celebration of Life worship services will be held at Wesley on Saturday, July 31, 2021 at 11:00am. Interment will be at Walnut Ridge Cemetery in Jeffersonville, Indiana.
Thank you for your thoughtfulness and your interest in designating a memorial gift honoring John Edward Miller’s Legacy and 75th Birthday. His love for children throughout the community will continue to thrive. Your donations will help purchase a “Church Bus.” Please make checks payable to Wesley United Methodist Church, 1201 Thomas V. Bryant Drive, Jeffersonville, IN 47130. Or, TEXT: WUMC JEFF to 77977; CASH APP: $WesleyJeff or go to our Website: wesleyatthebridge.org.