June (Hyer) Miller

Born: Tue., May 23, 1933
Died: Mon., Jan. 7, 2019


Memorial Service

2:00 PM Sat., Feb. 16, 2019
Location: Berean Baptist Church


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June (McNair) Miller, age 85, of Pilot Rock, died on January 7, 2019 at Suttle Care & Retirement Home in Pendleton, Oregon.

June was born on May 23, 1933 in Pendleton, and was adopted by James McNair and Lela Roach McNair.  They owned and operated a plumbing business in Pendleton for many years.  June attended the schools in Pendleton and graduated with the class of 1951.

As a young teenager she was hired to work at the Rivoli Theater, being promoted to Candy Counter Girl within a year.  It was while working there that she met a young farmer named James Miller.  He became a very good customer of the candy counter from the day he sighted June, eventually working up the courage to ask her for a date.  They were married March 8, 1952 and “city girl” June went to live on the “ranch”.

Moving to the country was completely novel!  She was scared of the cows and worried that she would not be a good ‘farm wife’.  She didn’t know the first thing about canning, planting and harvesting!  Neighbors listened, encouraged and helped June with this transition and they would become her lifelong friends.

April 1960, her son, Glen was born.  In September 1962, her daughter, Krista, joined the family.  In 1963, June was able to locate her birth parents and there was an excited reunion.  The Millers expanded the family circle to include the Hyer branch, now living in Spokane, Washington.

June had always loved horses and longed to ride them, but the ranch only had heavy draft work horses.  Jim bought her several riding horses, including a well trained Arabian stallion named Zadee.  June became a regular in Pendleton parades, cattle drives and trail rides for pleasure in the Blue Mountains.  She served as a pennant bearer for the Round-Up parade and raised gentle and well-trained Arabians to sell.
June was a member and chairman of the Pilot Rock Home Extension Group and served as a member of the Advisory Committee for Extension.  She carried petitions for various causes, served the Red Cross on the telephone committee to stir people to donate to the blood drives.  She and Jim volunteered time, talent and antiques for the new Pendleton Underground.  They specifically enjoyed the roles of Jim being a “wayward” husband and June irritably tracking him down near the brothel!

Jim and June were able to travel after their children married and settled.  They visited Germany, where Glen was stationed in the Air Force.  Next, came Turkey, then a second trip to Turkey and eventually a third trip!  Imagine these two friendly country farmers engaging with locals, visiting mosques, castles and markets.  They brought gifts, pictures and lots of memories back.  They joined a travel group to speak of their adventures and the welcoming people they met.  Traveling then took a back seat to the arrival of grandkids and the ranch bustled once more with youngsters.

June continued to contribute her time and energy.  She volunteered at the St. Anthony gift shop and was secretary of the Pendleton Prostate Cancer support group for nearly nine years.  She was a fixture on Main Street, soliciting donations to support veterans, the Red Cross, Shriner’s Hospital and the construction of the Pendleton Skate Park.  She had a booth at the Friday Farmer’s Market to raise donations and to speak to people candidly about the signs of cancer to watch for.  She loved life and people; this showed in her causes and where she spent her time.

June was recognized everywhere for her colorful homemade hats and has over 35 of them in her summer collection.  She was fondly known as “the hat lady” wherever she went, even at the mall in the Tri-Cities, where she loved to shop.

Survivors include her son, Glen (Sherry) Miller; daughter, Krista (Joseph) Hunter; eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.  Memorial contributions may be made to the Shriner’s Hospital for Crippled Children.
A memorial service shall be held for June Miller on the 16th of February, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. at the Berean Baptist Church, 8 NW 9th Street, Pendleton, Oregon 97801.

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