Harry 'Junior' Miller

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Harry “Junior” Miller, 80, of McGregor, passed away Thursday, June 20, 2019, with his loving wife, Linda Miller, and children Mary Abel, Kara Larson and Tim Miller by his side. He died at Gundersen Lutheran Hospital in La Crosse, Wis., after a short illness. 

In his final days, he was comforted by family and by faith. His grandchildren all were able to visit and share their love. Only his oldest daughter, Jo McDole, who is under long-term care in a Cedar Rapids nursing home, was unable to say her goodbyes in person.

Junior—known just as JR to many—lived a full and fulfilling life as an Iowa farmer, an Air Force mechanic, a carpenter, a son, husband, father and grandfather. To his family and many, many friends, he was a lovable rascal, known for his pranks and an impish grin that would let you know he was just teasing. He was generous with his time, pitching in on home repairs, farm chores and countless other projects. For many years, he delighted children by donning a Santa suit. For most of his life, he dismayed family by his loyalty to the Dallas Cowboys.

Harry Clarence was born Nov. 30, 1938, to Clair and Floretta (Melvin) Miller in McGregor. He graduated from Mar-Mac High School in 1955. Harry joined and proudly served in the Air Force.

After returning from military service, Harry was united in marriage with Marjorie Laufenberg on Feb. 23, 1963. To this union three daughters were born, Jo, Mary and Kara. Marjorie died from cancer in 1973. A second love entered his life and Junior was married Sept. 7, 1974 to Linda Stoeffler. They were blessed with a son, Tim, and enjoyed nearly 45 years of marriage. 

While he was limited in later years by a stroke following surgery in 2006, Junior will be remembered for a personality that could fill a room or spark laughter over a campfire.

Harry is survived by his wife, Linda Miller of McGregor; his children, Jo (Martin) McDole of Marion, Mary (Jon) Abel of Cedar Rapids, Kara (Todd) Larson of McGregor, and Tim (Andrea) Miller of McGregor; seven grandchildren; and one sister, Kay (Ron) Daubenmier of Cedar Rapids. 

He is survived by in-laws from his two marriages: LeRoy Laufenberg, Carl Laufenberg, and Carolyn Keeney of Mount Hope, Wis.; Doris Krogman of Prairie du Chien, Wis.; and Joanne (Charles “Mike”) Carroll of McGregor; William (Sharon) Stoeffler of Palm Harbor, Fla., Patricia (Terry) Winkers of Boscobel, Wis., James (Pat) Stoeffler of Dodgeville, Wis., Mary Hendrickson of Sherman, Texas, and David (Rose) Stoeffler of La Crosse, Wis..

In addition to his first wife, Marjorie, Harry was preceded in death by his parents, Clair and Floretta Miller; and grandparents, Harry and Carolyn Miller and Urban and Mary Melvin. He also was preceded in death by brothers-in-law Lee Laufenberg, Edwin Keeney and Charles Krogman, as well as Anthony Hendrickson and Joseph Stoeffler, plus sisters-in-law, Arlene Stoeffler, Ardith, Rosemary and Belva Laufenberg, and Rita Stoeffler.

Visitation will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, June 28, at Thornburg-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service in McGregor. There will also be a one-hour visitation before mass at the church on Saturday.

Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 29, at St. Mary Catholic Church in McGregor, with Rev. Nils de Jesus Hernandez as the celebrant.

Inurnment with military rites will follow at St. Mary Catholic Cemetery, McGregor. Guests are invited to return to the church for lunch. 

Thornburg-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service of McGregor is helping the family with arrangements.

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