Norma (Clark) Miler

Born: Mon., Dec. 13, 1920
Died: Wed., Nov. 6, 2013


Funeral Service

2:00 PM Sat., Nov. 16, 2013


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Music by The Piano Brothers


A Funeral Service for 92 year old Norma Miler will be held on Saturday, November 16, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. in the Drewsey Community Hall.  Norma Miler died on Wednesday, November 6, 2013 at her home in Drewsey.  Contributions in Norma Miler’s memory can be made to the Chas & Norma Miler Scholarship Fund in care of LaFollette’s Chapel, PO Box 488; Burns, Oregon 97720.

Norma Louise Clark Miler was born December 13, 1920 to Harry R. Clark and Emma Muller Clark at home on the Middle Fork of the Malheur River west of Drewsey, Oregon. Her earliest memories were of living with her Grandma Clark who was the postmistress and a milner in Drewsey.
She started to school at Pine Creek where she finished first and second grade the first year. Her mother was her teacher the next two years at Pine creek and one year at Kimball Flat where Marjorie Sitz and Eunice Cronin were in her grade.
While she and her brother, “Laddie” walked to school at Kimball Flat  from Howards' with their mother, they ran their “trap line” (snares for rabbits which brought a bounty of 5 cents per pair of ears)--a hefty sum to them at that time. They hunted pheasants and ducks to eat and muskrats and mink for fur to sell. She said times were hard, but they didn't realize it.
Life was fun for them and Ned Howard that year.  They harnessed Ned's pet goat and hitched it to a wagon or sled and put Ned's gentle saddle horse in the bronco chute and swung on and off of him until he got tired of it.
The next summer the family traveled over the Cascades to Portland and on to California where she experienced many firsts, the redwoods, the ocean, cities, and her mom worked in a tuna factory while her father built houses with his brother-in-law.
She lived in Burns the next two years where her mother ran a maternity home and she and Laddie had an “Our Gang”  “clubhouse” in the backyard where they and their friends played. The new friends they met there remained real friends the rest of their lives.
At home on the river, she and Laddie helped with the chores, the haying and trucking, but swam all summer when they weren't busy – swimming until they chilled and moving into the warm water from the hot spring that ran into the river until they got warm enough to move back to the cold water.  She always loved swimming and taught her girls and grandkids to swim early.
Norma always loved horses and spent lots of time riding as a young girl and on the ranch after she married until she let Carol and Marjorie take over that part of the ranching.
She attended Wolf Creek School for ninth grade and Crane High School for her sophomore, Junior and Senior years where she was a top student, played basketball and was editor of the school paper, the Whirlwind and her high school year book. She had always wanted to be a teacher, but in high school she thought she might want to be a beautician or a secretary. She abandoned these plans to become a ranching wife and mother when she married Chas Miler on December 27, 1938 and moved to the Kimball Flat ranch where she lived for the rest of her life. Their daughter, Carol was born in May of 1940 and Marjorie was born in January of 1942.
She loved working outdoors, riding, working with the cattle, raising leppy calves and bummer lambs, milking cows and raising chickens.  All the while taking her girls out with her which instilled a love for the outdoors in them, too.  She separated cream to sell and make butter and traded eggs to the store in Drewsey for groceries. She drove horses and later a jeep to help Chas feed and when he purchased a Caterpillar, she drove the Cat to pull the hay onto the stacks during haying, jumping off and hooking the cable between each buckload.
Although she would rather have worked outdoors, she became an excellent cook, canning, cooking for her family, the hay crews, and community potlucks. Her pies were out of this world delicious and she derived joy from cooking dishes which were a special treat to someone. She was also an excellent seamstress, making clothing for the girls and sewing many dance costumes for them and their friends whose mothers did not sew. She tirelessly spent time teaching her daughters to cook and sew. She also led a 4-H leather club for several years, teaching her grandchildren and many of the community children leather craft. She wrote poetry and drew pencil drawings for her own and her family's enjoyment.

Norma was the wind beneath the wings of all around her.  She was never one to seek notoriety, but supported everyone else in their endeavors, quietly sacrificing her own time, energy and desires. She served as chairman of the Cattlewomen's Buckaroo Breakfast for two years and was on the Drewsey Community Church board for several years. She also served as the Cemetery Board secretary for several years. In 1985, she was honored as Harney County Woman of the Year.
Most of all, Norma is the beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother to a family who were the most important of all to her throughout her lifetime.  She remains an example of selfless Christian motherhood to all of her family.
She was preceded in death by her husband of almost 64 years, Chas, her parents Harry and Emma Clark, her brother Laddie Clark (Alice), her brother-in-law Ned Howard, her sister-in-law Adelyn Racine Daly (Owen) and her brother-in-law Alfred Welcome (Lillian). She is survived by her Sister-in-law Marjorie Howard, daughters and sons-in-law, Alfred and Carol Dunten and Gary and Marjorie Defenbaugh; grandchildren Ross and Anna Defenbaugh, Robb and Liz Corbett, Mitzi Defenbaugh, Tad and Rosemary Dunten and, Seth and Anne Johnson; great-grandchildren Alex, Kassi, and Logan Defenbaugh, Alaina, Olivia and Chas Corbett, Jake Frates, Kaylyn McClintock (Victor), Megan, Jake and Josh McKelvie, and nieces and nephews.
Donations may be made to the Chas and Norma Miler Scholarship Fund in care of LaFollette’s Chapel, PO Box 488; Burns, Oregon 97720.  LaFollette's Chapel is in charge of arrangements.

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