It is with tremendous sadness that we announce the passing of Ian Miller on Saturday, April 15, 2023, in Ottawa, Ontario. Ian lived and loved life to the fullest, and he spent his final days surrounded by family and friends after a heroic battle with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.
Ian is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Brenda Miller, their daughter Karen Ivany (Craig) and their son Scott Miller (Holly). Ian was the best “Grampa” in the world to his Grandsons Christopher, Erik and Jackson and they loved him deeply. Ian was also loved dearly by sisters Gwen (David “Tuffy” Ratcliffe), Marilyn (Steve Naydiuk) and his amazing brother Jack. Ian’s Nieces and his Nephews, Cousins, extended family, and numerous friends are also saddened to lose such a wonderful man.
Ian was born in 1941 in Tisdale, Saskatchewan and grew up on a family farm in the nearby town of Sylvania. Ian was the youngest child of Alvin and Murl Miller both originally from Ontario. Ian grew up in an environment that somehow created the kindest man on earth. He was always surrounded by love, compassion, music, farming, and family. Ian also had a great love for the outdoors that was likely shaped by the harsh Saskatchewan winters that turned rivers and ponds into skating rinks, and summers that would weave the wheat and canola fields into gold that would blaze against the prairie blue sky.
As a young boy, Ian had chores before and after school milking the cows by hand, cutting wood, throwing bales of hay, and fetching pails of water to cook and clean with. These chores developed his unbelievable strength and character, serving him well in life. However, it was Ian’s beaming smile, shining blue eyes and incredible kindness that would capture the hearts of everyone he met. Ian made all of those around him feel so special, it was authentic, and it was one of his most beautiful gifts.
At 19 years of age, Ian joined the RCMP and he always felt indebted to the Force as this led to him being stationed in Ottawa where he met Brenda, the love of his life. Dad joked about him and Brenda being kids, raising kids, as he said that they grew up together. Ian cherished his time in the RCMP being stationed in Ottawa, Sudbury and North Bay. He even did a stint as a Regina City Police officer in the early years. Ian made lifelong friendships with the RCMP, and he loved playing with his teammates on its hockey team.
Ian was deeply devoted to his wife Brenda who cared for him so well even when it became extremely demanding in recent months. He loved their trips together at faraway beaches and spending quiet time with the girl of his dreams. Ian also loved his children so much and he was the greatest Dad. Karen and Scott have so many adventures with their Dad that it could fill a book. There were day trips to the St. Lawrence, weekends in Lake Placid, blading on the Ottawa Parkway, kayaking on the Ottawa River, hiking in the Gatineau Park and skiing slopes around the world. One of Ian’s favourite travel destinations was Hawaii, a trip he made four times. He loved spending time in this special place with Brenda, Karen, Scott, Christopher, Erik and Jackson.
Ian loved his Grandsons with all of his heart. He was always there to see them perform and he was their biggest cheerleader in sports and in life, rain or shine. Ian would often make impromptu “I just happened to be in the neighbourhood” visits where he could squeeze in a hug, have a game of catch or have a special drink in a coffee mug (don’t tell Mom). Ian also treasured the friendships he made in life from Redwood Avenue, Alboro Crescent, Orleans and their beautiful condo in Westboro. Ian also loved his special breakfasts with his friends and he loved spending time with his extended family celebrating special occasions and camping in Bon Echo.
When Ian’s health deteriorated, he still radiated joy and positivity. He never asked why me, his only ask was to stay a little longer, and with grit and determination he lived longer than anyone thought possible. Ian never wanted anyone to feel any pain or sadness around him and to ease this he would flash a beautiful smile or tell them a joke and hold their hands tightly. Ian was so thankful for the incredible care he received from his Doctors, Nurses, Specialists, allied health workers and the amazing Pearly staff. They too saw what a wonderful man Ian was and they did everything in their power to help him.
Ian was a humble man, always putting his family and friends first. Anyone who met Ian knew instantly how special he was. He was a true gem and we will all miss him dearly.
To honour Ian’s wishes, the funeral service will be small and private at the Beechwood Cemetery. If you have a story to tell, please send it or a video clip of the story to Spmamiller@hotmail.com. We will host a celebration of life at a later date where you can bring a coffee mug and share stories of this wonderful man. Until then, put on an old county music song and raise a toast in the sunshine to Ian.
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