Mark Eldon Miller, 92, of Newton, died Thursday, July 4, 2019. He was born in Newton
on April 30, 1927, son of Clark and Elsie (Kimball) Miller.
Mark worked in the family business, Miller Produce, from a very young age until the age
of 16 when he was asked by John Early of Newton to run his poultry and egg business
while he was ill.
Mark joined the Navy during World War II when he was 17.
Mark met his wife, Doris Mae Gilmer, in Peabody, Kansas, the first evening he returned
home from the Navy. They were married April 3, 1949 in Newton and had two children,
Mark Allan and Brenda. Doris preceded Mark in death March 26, 2005.
Mark was a successful businessman. Upon returning from the Navy in 1947, he went to
work for Hurst Foods driving a flatbed truck, picking up poultry and eggs all over
Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa and locally. He was soon offered the opportunity to purchase a
poultry, cream and egg business in Burns, Kansas which he accepted, becoming a young
20-year-old businessman and owner of Mark Miller Produce on December 1, 1947.
Once Mark started Mark Miller Produce, he not only bought and sold poultry, eggs and
cream, but also bought and sold fertilizer, hides and wool. By 1966, the business focused
on buying, packing and selling eggs. Mark’s brother Dale from Florence went to work
with Mark, and stayed with him until the business closed in 2002 after 55 years
in operation. Mark continued in business with his son Mark Allan until the day before he
last entered the hospital on June 22. They operated Bestmark Express, Inc., a trucking
firm in Strong City, Kansas.
Mark served on the Burns City Council and served as Mayor for two and a half terms.
He was president of the Kansas Poultry Association for 3 years.
Mark’s favorite job was that of “Greeter” for 39 years at the Newton Foursquare Church,
now Hillcrest Community Foursquare Church where he was a member for most of his
life. It was most important to him to make the people coming through the doors to feel
welcome. He said the handshakes, smiles and hugs made him feel he was doing his job
He returned to Newton in 2002 and so loved all of the people he saw on a daily basis.
His life in these last years was made better by the many friends that he made on his daily
Drubers run, visits to the post office and bank, and many dominoes games. He truly
looked forward to seeing their smiles as he was able to tell his stories to these friends.
Most of all, in the later years, God blessed Mark and his daughter Brenda with Pat
Dorsett — caregiver, domino player, friend and listener. She enabled Mark to stay in his
own home and continue to drive and live life until the very end.
In addition to his wife Doris, Mark was preceded in death by his parents, sisters Dorothy
(Glenn) Ashcraft and Shirley (Bill) Hall, and brother Vern Miller.
Mark is survived by his son Mark Allan Miller of Strong City; his daughter Brenda and
her husband Steve Brackeen of Newton; three brothers, Dale Miller of Florence, Neil
(and Melva) Miller of Wichita, Sam (and Bonnie) Miller of Hesston, and sister Becky
(and Mike) Crupper of Hesston; sister in-laws, Elizabeth Miller of Hesston and Maxine
Gilmer of Medford, OR.
He also leaves 5 grandchildren, Heather Kueser (and Tommy)of Canton, Judd Brackeen
(and Jennifer) of Newton, Matthew Miller of Strong City, Michael Miller (and Michelle)
of Strong City, and Kara Miller of Kansas City. 15 great-grandchildren and a multitude
of nieces and nephews.
A funeral service in memory of Mark will be held on Friday, July 12 at 10:30 a.m. at
Trinity Heights United Methodist Church, 1200 Boyd, Newton. The casket will be open one hour prior to the service at the church.
Memorial gifts in Mark’s memory may be made to Hillcrest Community Foursquare Church.