William Wayne “Bill” Miller
May 22, 1947 – August 31, 2021
William Wayne “Bill” Miller, 74, died August 31, 2021 of pancreatic cancer at home surrounded by his family. Visitation and funeral services were held at Peace Lutheran Church in New London with burial in Lebanon Cemetery. A scholarship fund has been established at Peace for second-career seminary students.
Bill was born May 22, 1947, the oldest son of Alfred and Florence (Holme) Miller. He grew up on the family farm south of Sauk Centre, MN and attended a country school until 9th grade. Following high school and two years of college at Crosier Seminary in Onamia, MN and a year at monastery, Bill completed a Bachelors degree in music education at Saint Cloud State University and a Masters of Fine Arts in Choral Conducting from the University of Minnesota.
Bill married Mary Elizabeth Kleber on December 30, 1972, and for thirty-six years they made their home in New London where he served as choral music director. From 1971-1990 Bill was the accompanist and assistant for the MN All-State Lutheran Choir.
After 17 years as organist at Bethel Lutheran Church in Willmar, he was named Lay Minister of Music and Prayer at Peace Lutheran Church in New London, and prepared for pastoral ministry through Pacific Lutheran Theology Seminary and Luther Seminary. Ordained to the ministry of word and sacrament on July 31, 2011, he served Kerkhoven Lutheran Church for 6 ½ years, with another 3 ½ years as chaplain at Bethesda Grand in Willmar.
A faithful servant of the Lord, Bill was a compassionate husband, dad, teacher, mentor, pastor and friend, with a playful sense of humor and boisterous laugh. He loved sunsets by the lake, cards, feeding birds, his wife’s cooking, day dates at the movie theater, and going for coffee and pie with friends. He is survived by his wife, sister, three sons, and five grandchildren.