Ralph Thomas Miller

November 18, 1933September 9, 2017
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Ralph Thomas Miller died peacefully in his home in Shawnee, Kansas, on September 9, 2017 at age 83 after a brief battle with cancer.

Born November 18, 1933 to the late Clinton Thomas Miller and the late Helen Wing Miller in Chanute, Kansas.

Ralph received his Bachelor’s Degree from Bob Jones University, Greenville, North Carolina, and his Masters of Education from Chapman University, Orange, California. After a career in education in which he served as an elementary teacher and principal, he also had a career in real estate as salesman, broker, property manager and developer. As developer, he established sewers in northwestern Shawnee.

On September 3, 1965, he married Karen Garton in his home in Huntington Beach, California with whom he celebrated over 50 years of marriage. As a young man, Ralph studied trombone under the late Alvin Stevens who studied under Arthur Pryor of the John Phillips Sousa Band. In his adult years, he returned to playing the trombone in his church brass ensemble and two city bands. Ralph had a tenderhearted love of the gospel and a firm grasp of the grace of God. Many a favorite gospel song could bring him to tears. His faith was central to his life and he taught his children a strong work ethic, love of God, family, and country. A quote from C. H. Spurgeon he recently appreciated reads, "We shall never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our doings, or our feelings; it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul." Ralph was fortunate to have many wonderful friends.

He will be remembered as a tender, affectionate father who freely expressed love and encouragement to his children. Many will agree that he loved sweets, especially ice cream, and that he also loved working outside as well as restoring houses and old cars. He had an easy laugh, an occasional ornery twinkle in his eye, and could often be heard whistling as he worked.

Ralph was preceded in death by sister, Mary Shonk, of Kalkaska, Michigan. Ralph is survived by his wife, Karen; his daughter, Marla Jane Sailors (Scott) of Salida, Colorado; his son, Richard Thomas Miller (Cindy) of Shawnee, Kansas; and his grandchildren, Ryan Sailors of Beverly, Massachusetts; Ben Sailors of Loveland, Colorado; Joseph Miller of Shawnee, Kansas, three sister-in-laws, Deb Brantner of Prior Lake, Minnesota and her children, Daniel Brantner (Joy) of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Troy Brantner (Karen) of Plymouth, Minnesota and Jackie McCoy (Shawn) Brownton, Minnesota, his sister-in-law Jeanine Arnsdorf (John) of Folsum, California and her children Jennifer Seabolt (Todd) of Fair Oaks, California and Christopher Garton of Gardenerville, California, his sister-in-law Donna Garton of Flint, MI.

Visitation will be on September 23, 2017 from 9:00 to 10:30a at Community Covenant Church, 15700 W 87th Street Parkway, Lenexa, Kansas 66219 followed by the service at 10:30a.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Community Covenant Church, 15700 @ 87th Street Parkway, Lenexa, Kansas 66219 or Olathe Hospice House, 15310 South Marion St., Olathe, Kansas 66061


  • Visitation Saturday, September 23, 2017
  • Funeral Service Saturday, September 23, 2017

Ralph Thomas Miller

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September 26, 2017

Ralph came from a truly wonderful family and he made a truly wonderful family. The world is definitely a better place because of Ralph. It would be impossible to count the people and causes he helped, always helping with no expectation of repayment, but with skills and knowledge to solve the problems.

Ralph always knew what to do and how to get it done, especially when he hired a new teacher named Karen.

Elizabeth Cook
12110 West 71st Street
Shawnee, Kansas 66216
913 631-0423

Harold & Marilyn Sampson

September 18, 2017

Karen and family: we have so many fond memories of Ralph they are too
numerous to list. They include several years of Bible study led by him. Many
Anniversary celebrations together plus all his help with real estate transactions
Over the years. We have always been so grateful for his help and friendship.
He will be greatly missed! Our love and prayers to all of you!

September 14, 2017

We cherish the short time we had with Ralph and the fond memories we made on our camping trips. Our thoughts and prayers are with you Karen,and the family during this difficult time.

Tom and Sheri Hooper (Overland Park, KS)

Joe and Carole Shipley

September 13, 2017

Oh dear Karen, my heart is filled with thoughts of you and Ralph. You have been the wife the Lord has asked us to be - till death do us part. Remember all of the good times. We love you.


1933 Ralph with his dad, Clinton


1936 Ralph


Mom and Dad Miller with Ralph on pony


Ralph with his favorite dog, Chubby