Christopher E. Miller, 67, of Newton, passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his family on March 23, 2021. Chris was born July 22, 1953, in Kansas City, Mo., to Eugene B. (Gene) and Merle Dean (DeDe Blacker) Miller.
In 1960, the family moved to Salina to manage the Kansas City Star newspaper route. Chris had fond memories of helping his father with the paper route throughout the years. At the age of 11, Chris began playing the bugle for the Salina Drum and Bugle Corps, which later became The Silver Sabres. He was a member of the corps from 1964 -1973. Chris made lifelong friends and would often retell stories of his long bus trips and marching in Mardi Gras in 1964.
Chris graduated from Salina Central High School in 1971. He also attended Marymount College in Salina and Kansas State University in Manhattan. Chris began work at Wilson & Co and later Bucher & Willis in Salina as an electrical draftsman.
On Aug, 23, 1975, he married Rita M. Strecker in Salina. After moving his family to Newton in 1981, Chris began work as an electrical engineer consultant for which 30 of those years was for Johnson Engineering, Wichita. In 2016, Chris was ready to ease into retirement and began working for Engineering Consultants, Hutchinson, part time.
Chris is known for his quick wit and one-liners; he loved to make people laugh. Chris had many things he enjoyed doing. His first love was spending time with family and cooking for them on his smoker and playing cards or a board game. In his free time, you could find him tinkering in his shop, involved in a woodworking project or helping his kids with a project. Chris also enjoyed working in the yard and garden. He made the best salsa, the hotter the better.
He is survived by his wife, Rita, and their three children, Jessica Senn and husband Shane of Newton, Samuel and wife Alena of Wichita, and Oliver and wife Sarah of Newton; stepson Ryan Tetirick of California; and six grandchildren. He is also survived by three sisters, Sherry (John) Peterson of Phoenix, Jenni (Brian) Holdsworth of Lindsborg and Tami (Kerry) Hardinger of Milford, N.H., and many nieces and nephews.
Chris was preceded in death by his parents Eugene B. and Merle Dean Miller.
Funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Friday, April 9, at Trinity Heights United Methodist Church, 1200 Boyd Ave, Newton, with Paster Donna Voteau presiding.
The family requests that attendants wear a mask and be mindful of social distancing. The service also will be streamed on Zoom for those unable to attend. There will be no visitation as cremation is planned.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to Trinity Heights United Methodist Church or Good Shepherd Hospice both in care of Peterson Funeral Home, 215 N. Main Street, Newton, Kan., 67114.