David A. Miller – January 14, 2017

David A. Miller, 75, of Dover, passed away Saturday, January 14, 2017 in Country Club Retirement Center at Dover, Ohio.

David was born October 21, 1941 to the late Elmer and Goldie Baker Miller at Union Hospital. He joined older sister, Elizabeth (Zimmer); brother, John, killed in Korea, December 9, 1950; sister, Helen, who died at three months from pneumonia; and a brother, Fred, one year and one day after his birth.

The first nine months of his life mostly spent at Rainbow and Babies Hospital in Cleveland with his diagnosis as Scurvy. Since that experience, physicians began prescribing vitamins to pregnant mothers. The Scurvy caused many parts of his brain not to fully form causing him to struggle with school. About the 3rd grade, Lois Holderbaum took David under her wing and she was his lifelong mentor and friend. School finally was bearable for him.

David grew up in the west end of New Philadelphia until Junior High when the family purchased their first home at 130 Park Ave. David has lived in the home since 1953. Being so close to Tuscora Park, he was able to spend time (mostly fishing) at the lake.

While fishing at the park, David heard the park carousel’s music track, which must have made an indelible impression on him. In the mid 1960’s, he began his employment with the New Philadelphia Cemetery Department under Superintendent Jim Exley who bent over backwards to help David. Dave also applied for a position in the evening with Tuscora Park running the carousel. He continued that joy until 2013 when health problems prevented him from no longer being able to be at the park. The total service was about 46 years.

Everyone who came to the park knew Dave. His greatest joy was assisting children on and off the horses. Sometimes the little ones would be scared but Dave made them feel at ease and soon smiles came. The first 20 or so years, the nickel ride might last for 15 or 20 minutes. “Too long” said management, so they put a timer on the carousel. Of interest to the family “was how many times did Dave go round and round?” Conservatively, he went round and round 1, 324,800 times in his tenure.

David married his wife, Linda, on the Carousel by then Mayor Leo Benjamin with Larry Cheney serving as witness 32 years ago. Linda had a son, Rob Bayer, and he helped raise her daughter, Rachel.

David was so thankful for the efforts by Tuscora Park managers John Gilgen and Rod Miller and all the leaders of RTY, Inc., especially Rich Geib, longtime president of RTY, and Carey Gardner. Each one went the extra mile for Dave. He was very appreciative for the gift on his retirement from the park by The First Town Days Board and Director, Sam Hitchcock. The Ed Ditto family who took him along to many miniature carousel gatherings and transported Linda to Mercy Hospital when David had his last Open Heart Surgery also befriended Dave. Lastly, David was so thankful for Tom Farbizo offering him the job of parking cars and opening the gates for the visiting band busses at the NPHS stadium. Rain, sleet, snow, or heat never bothered David.

The crème de la crème came in 2015 when Sam Hitchcock told Dave “The First Town Days were bestowing the honor as Grand Marshall for 2015.” The smile on his face was the best medicine he has ever taken these past 20 years.

He is survived by his wife, Linda (Williams) Miller of Dover; his step daughter, Rachel Eaton, of Pennsylvania; a sister, Elizabeth Zimmer of Wooster, Ohio and a brother, Frederick E. (Becky) Miller of Bolivar, Ohio.

In addition to his parents, Dave is preceded in death by his sister, Helen Miller and his brother, John Miller.

Visitation will be held Monday, January 23, 2017 from 9 to 11 Am in the Linn-Hert-Geib Funeral Home & Crematory at New Philadelphia.  A memorial will begin at 11 AM with his brother, Fred Miller, officiating in the funeral home’s chapel.  A private burial will take place at a later time in East Avenue Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Dave’s memory may be made to RTY Inc., 161 Tuscora Ave NW, New Philadelphia, OH 44663 or to the Quaker Club, PO Box 202, New Philadelphia, OH 44663.

Linn-Hert-Geib Funeral Home & Crematory
116 Second Street NE, New Philadelphia, Ohio 44663

Geib Funeral Service
5600 North Wooster Avenue, Dover, Ohio 44622

Geib Pet Crematory
5600 North Wooster Avenue, Dover, Ohio 44622