Local businessman and all-around fun-loving character, LeRoy Edward “Roy” Miller passed away at home on October 12, 2019 after a short battle with cancer. A memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, November 4, 2019 at Mercer Creek Church with a dessert reception to follow. Attendees are encouraged to wear red plaid flannel shirts.
Roy was born on July 28, 1941 in Cle Elum to Eddy C. and Valdine Frances (Betassa) Miller. Shortly after Roy was born, the Miller family made their home in Ellensburg, and Roy was happy to never stray from the hometown he loved. After graduating from Ellensburg High School in 1960, Roy attended JM Perry Institute in Yakima to learn the refrigeration trade. He met his wife, Ruth Elaine Torppa (who, at the time, was attending Central Washington State College) while four-wheeling with friends. The two were married on 6 August 1966, and settled in Ellensburg.
In 1967, Roy founded Miller’s Refrigeration, which he operated until his retirement in 2015. He had many loyal customers, several of whom owned restaurants, which Roy would frequent to not only support their businesses, but to support his own loving devotion to coffee (with creamer, of course, and lots of sugar!) For many years, Roy was a fixture at the Copper Kettle, where he would join friends or family for frequent coffee-breaks.
Being a refrigeration expert was a perfect occupation for the man who was a complete snow aficionado. Roy never forgot an impressive snowfall, or a birthday of a close friend or relative. In fact, he often combined the two-- calling his children or grandchildren on their birthdays, while also inquiring about the weather and the snowfall in their respective locations.
Becoming a grandfather was a high point in Roy’s life and made him noticeably “mellower.” He clearly adored his grandchildren and great-grandchildren; after all, underneath his trademark plaid flannel shirts and stocking hats, GRANDPA Roy was a big kid himself, so it’s no wonder the affection he felt for his grandkids was mutual. He talked to them, showed interest in what they did and said, and joyfully played with them without pretense. Besides playing in the snow around the Kittitas Valley, Roy enjoyed gathering huckleberries, Bolete and Morel mushrooms. On occasion, he even managed to bag an elk.
Roy is survived by his wife, Ruth of Ellensburg; daughter Rochelle (Tony) Tarbert of Palmer, AK; son Eddy (Melanie) of North Bend, WA; grandchildren Michael (Angela) Tarbert of Soldotna, AK; Eric (Nataliya) Tarbert of Anchorage, AK; and Madisyn and Allisyn Miller of North Bend, WA; five great-grandchildren - Isabella, Liliana, Elijah, Ruby and Logan as well as numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews; and his beloved Pomeranians, Waylon and Willie. He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Delores, and brother-in-law Leonard Anthony.
The family would like to thank Chad Bearup of KVCH Home Health for his excellent care and compassion. Memorial contributions in Roy’s honor are suggested to the Kittitas County Genealogical Society (of which Roy was a member) 413 N Main, Suites L and M, Ellensburg, WA 98926; or to the Friends of the Shelter (because of Roy’s love for animals) 1206 West Bender Rd, Ellensburg, WA 98926.
Steward & Williams Funeral Home and Crematory of Ellensburg has been entrusted with caring for Roy’s family. Online condolences may be left at www.steward-williams.com
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