December 25 was not Christmas for us. It was the day after we buried Terry's brother. We got the phone call on Sunday morning, December 21, that Terry's brother Dennis was taken by ambulance to a hospital in Aurora, IL with a heart attack. Since he wasn't expected to live, we tried to find the best way to get to IL. The planes were grounded at O Hara airport so we put the RV in storage and drove the four- wheel- drive car.
Dennis K. Miller died on Sunday evening, December 21, 2008. He was born October 23, 1946 to William Charles and Flossie R. Miller and lived near Sugar Grove, IL with his parents and brothers, Terry and Bill until he joined the Navy. Darla Jo Miller and Dennis Keith Miller, Jr. were born while their father was in Vietnam.
Dennis worked as a deputy sheriff in Fallon, NV before returning to IL. His daughter, Stacy Miller was born in IL.
Twenty-two years ago, Dennis met Dorothy Benson and became a part of her family, which included her grown children, Greg (Tammy) Benson, Larry (Cathy) Benson and Tanda (Eric) Gevleve. Survivors also include his daughter, Stacy (Benjamin) Maffit and grandchildren, Dezirae and Reese Mafitt.
In October of 1996, Dennis had a cerebral hemorrhage, which resulted in paralysis to his right side. In spite of his handicaps, Dennis loved to travel in his scooter as he went out to dinner or shopping. He went to the County Fair, “walks” around the park, and several lakes, the zoo, and to the Covered Bridge festival with us. He delighted in moving faster in his scooter than his brothers Bill and Terry could while walking. Bill, (William Charles), who lives in the Dominican Republic, joined us for two summers and for several holiday celebrations when we visited Dennis and Dorothy. Dennis loved to hear his granddaughter, Dezirae, age 15, sing and watch her play volleyball. When we visited Dennis, Reese, age 6, came to show grandpa his Halloween costume.
Dennis held the Vietnam Service Medal (with three bronze stars) and the Vietnam Campaign medal. He was buried on December 24, 2008 in the Abraham Lincoln National cemetery with military honors.
Pictured are my husband, Terry, myself, Dennis and Dorothy. I will miss Dennis. He had a special name for me. He called me “sis”.
We arrived safely home to our RV on December 28th safely in spite of ice, snow, fog, hail, sleet, wind, and a tornado.
We plan to stay in this campground for two weeks and then go to Quartzsite, AZ.