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Obituary: Allen Dewey Miller

December 27, 1941 ~ October 15, 2022

Allen Dewey Miller, 80, died on Saturday, October 15, 2022.

He was born in Chicago on December 27, 1941, to Dewey Benton Miller and Doris Elizabeth (Osborne) Miller. They lived in Bellwood, Illinois. In 1955, his parents bought a cottage on Tacoma Beach Road in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. After his father’s untimely death, Allen and his mother moved to Sturgeon Bay. Allen graduated from Sturgeon Bay High School in 1960. Post graduate education was at Coyne Electrical School. In 1970, he married Donna Marie LeMere from Egg Harbor. Their children were Steven and Ann Miller. In 1976, Allen and Donna rescued a woman from a burning house while they were taking an after-dinner walk. For their act of heroism, they were awarded the Award of Valor from Fort Howard Paper Foundation. Donna succumbed to cancer in 1981.

Allen worked at Potawatomi State Park and Peninsula State Park prior to his permanent position at Whitefish Dunes State Park, where he served from 1979 until retirement in 1999. Seasonally he served as a Special Warden. At Whitefish Dunes he personally handled the development of the park, laying out the trails, creating boardwalks to Old Baldy and the beach, constructing the parking lots and toilet facilities, creating the picnic area and shelter building (with much assistance from the Friends of Whitefish Dunes), and constructing the park Nature Center. It was the Nature Center project that brought Wisconsin DNR archaeologist Dr. Victoria Dirst to the park in November 1985. She found prehistoric artifacts in the proposed construction site and determined that further investigations were warranted. The next year brought extensive archaeological excavations which then allowed the construction to proceed. The site was found to be larger than previously thought and it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Allen and Victoria married in 1988. They took many vacations in Mexico as well as in the US, often with close friend Mary Ripp. In 1992, Victoria was awarded a Wisconsin Humanities grant for additional archaeological work on a project entitled “The People of the Dunes.”  Archaeology became a major focus of the park, and together Victoria and Allen produced an eleven-minute video about the project. After retirement they both became Door County Master Gardeners and enjoyed spending time with new friends. Allen’s other interests were fishing, target shooting and woodworking.

Allen’s survivors include his wife, Victoria Dirst; children, Steven Miller and Ann Miller; and grandchildren, Zachary Miller and Roxanne Miller.

Those who have passed are both his parents; his sister, Marilyn (David) DeJonge; wife, Donna; and grandchildren, Talhia Heroux and Bo Miller Johnson.

Allen’s life will be honored with a memorial service on Wednesday, October 19, 2022 at Huehns Funeral Home at 11:00 a.m. He will be laid to rest in Bayside Cemetery.

Visitation for family and friends will be held on Wednesday at the funeral home from 9:30 a.m. until the time of service.

Expressions of sympathy, memories, and photos of Allen may be shared with his family through his tribute page at www.huehnsfuneralhome.com.