Dr. Keith E. Miller, 84, of Peoria, Arizona passed away peacefully on April 19, 2014 after a valiant battle with pancreatic cancer. He was surrounded by his family as he joined our heavenly father. Keith was born to Paul and Joanna Miller on December 4, 1929 in Ottumwa, Iowa. He was their only child and pride and joy of their lives. Keith was a dedicated student excelling in science and music, graduating Ottumwa High School with honors in 1947, while at the same time, earning his degree in Piano from the Conservatory of Music. He had many childhood achievements, but he had some favorites which included runner-up in the Fisher Body...
Dr. Keith E. Miller, 84, of Peoria, Arizona passed away peacefully on April 19, 2014 after a valiant battle with pancreatic cancer. He was surrounded by his family as he joined our heavenly father. Keith was born to Paul and Joanna Miller on December 4, 1929 in Ottumwa, Iowa. He was their only child and pride and joy of their lives. Keith was a dedicated student excelling in science and music, graduating Ottumwa High School with honors in 1947, while at the same time, earning his degree in Piano from the Conservatory of Music.
He had many childhood achievements, but he had some favorites which included runner-up in the Fisher Body Craftsman's model car competition as a high school junior. The two-toned model he built then, transformed into today's minivan. As a senior he was proud to win first place in the science vocabulary test for the state of Iowa. As he continued his education he received the American Legion award, Bausch and Lomb Science award and University of Iowa merit scholarship during his pre-med studies.
Realizing his true expertise was science and medicine, Keith received his M.D. degree from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine in 1954. For his internship he chose the Thomas D. Dee Memorial Hospital in Ogden, Utah where he was thrilled with the birth of his only daughter, Karen Sue. Upon completion of his internship he moved back to Iowa in 1955 and opened his medical practice in Agency, a community that had been without a physician for many years. Keith truly loved being a country doctor delivering babies, making house calls to farmers, children and the small outlying communities surrounding Agency. The residents and Lions Club were so appreciative of Keith's dedication to improving everyone's health, they named a street (Miller Road) and opened Miller Park in his honor. In addition to his love of medicine and music, Keith was also an entrepreneur at heart. He co-owned Miers Buick-Pontiac dealership in Ottumwa where he helped improve the economy of his home town, and also enjoyed owning a single engine Cessna he used for leisure travel with his family.
"Doc" as he was affectionately known by many, began bowling at Ottumwa Lanes in 1960. Keith and Karen enjoyed the father-daughter tournaments where they participated and won treasured trophies. Bowlers were treated to Doc's organ music where his version of 'Alley Cat' was frequently played on the juke box at the bowling center during league play. His first National Bowling Tournament was in 1962 at the Des Moines, Iowa competition. He was hooked and thereafter enjoyed traveling to many cities for the annual event, with Bette in the stands as his biggest fan. In Reno on March 3, 2014, he was honored for his 50th appearance in the US Open Championships, an achievement that few bowlers ever realize. Doc maintained an average of 160 over his 50 years of competition. This event in Reno was very special to him and he was extremely proud of having a 3-generation team celebrate this accomplishment. His team was only the second 3-generation team in the 111-year history of the Championships. Keith, daughter Karen and grandsons, Erik and Brett competed in this monumental event. Doc was active in the bowling community off the lanes as well. He served as his local association's President for two years and is a member of the prestigious Metro Phoenix USBC Hall of Fame.
Keith moved his practice to Phoenix in 1963 and soon after met the love of his life, Bette, and together they built a family with sons, Michael Keith and Mark Christopher. Bette worked by his side in the office for 28 years as they built a successful family medical practice. He cared for his many patients with kindness and compassion which was a natural attribute of his personality. They enjoyed weekend trips to the beautiful cabin they designed and built themselves in Crown King which helped them recharge for their busy schedules back in Phoenix.
After retiring in 1993, he had more time for his music and family. In addition to playing his electric organ, he restored old pump organs, enjoyed concerts and live theater, spent time with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was active with his HOA, the American Theatre Organ Society, and Christ's Church of the Valley.
Keith and Bette enjoyed lots of travel together, and their favorite trips were aboard worldwide luxury cruise ships. Their most recent trip was a wonderful family cruise to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary with their children and grandchildren.
Keith is survived by his wife Bette, daughter Karen Wolf, sons Michael (Kimberly) Miller and Mark (Shannon) Miller, grandchildren Erik (Salina) Wolf, Brett (Chris) Wolf, Jennifer (Randy) Rousseau, Mark Miller Jr., Matthew Miller, Kristen Miller and Ashley Miller. Great-grandchildren include Madison Rousseau, Xavier Wolf, Drew Rousseau and baby boy Wolf due soon.
Keith will also be missed by his neighbors, bible study groups, coffee club gang and poker buddies. We are so grateful for the tender loving care provided by Bernie and staff at
Services will be held Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. at Phoenix Memorial Park and Mortuary, 200 W. Beardsley Road, Phoenix, AZ 85027. In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to
, 1510 E. Flower St. Phoenix, Arizona.