It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to Oscar Darius Miller, husband, father,
grandfather, great-grandfather, friend, and neighbor. Darius passed away on Friday
March 4 th , 2022, in Silver Cliff, CO. Darius’ family is beyond grateful for his life and
his devotion to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. His wittiness, art of storytelling, joy
and laughter will be deeply missed by all who knew him.
Darius was born on October 25, 1935, in St. John, Kansas. He attended the rural
Cleveland Township one-room schoolhouse from elementary through eighth grade.
He was a robust student athlete at St. John High School and graduated in 1953.
Darius attended McPherson College and graduated in 1956 with a Bachelor of Arts
in Industrial Arts. It was during his time at McPherson that he met the love of his
life, Ruth Elaine (Eisenbise) Miller. They married on August 19, 1956, at the Church
of the Brethren in Morrill, KS. He attended graduate school receiving a Masters in
Guidance Counseling from Ft. Hays State University. Darius and Ruth grew their
family and sons Jeff, and Joel were born.
Darius enjoyed teaching secondary education levels as an Industrial Arts teacher in
Rocky Ford, CO and Pratt, KS. After moving back to Rocky Ford, he became a
guidance-counselor at Rocky Ford High School from 1964 to 1974. As an educator
and counselor, he helped students achieve future goals, guided them in difficult
times, and cultivated important leadership qualities. He took a short break from
education to pursue a passion for gardening when he and Ruth owned Rocky Ford
Floral from 1974 to 1977. He was later hired as La Junta High School’s guidance
counselor from 1977-1991. He retired thereafter and they moved to Custer County,
Darius was a dedicated board member and trustee of the following organizations:
Rocky Ford Lions Club; McPherson College, Pioneers Memorial Hospital Board, and
the Custer County Medical Clinic Board. He was actively involved in numerous
duties at Rocky Ford Church of The Brethren, most notably for helping lead music.
He was a deacon at First Baptist Church of Westcliffe and was involved in various
roles. He and Ruth belonged to the ministry Helping Hands in which they prepared
meals for church events and for families in need throughout their community. The
relationships they made in the community and in church are that of lifelong
Darius’ hobbies included wood working and projects constructing south-west style
furniture, traveling, and visiting family, camping/RVing, fishing, music, skiing,
reading, gardening, and flower arranging. He fell in love with the art of BBQ and
visited well known establishments along the BBQ circuit. He became a certified
Kansas City BBQ judge and judged many Wet Mountain Valley BBQ events. His
children and grandchildren sure enjoyed when Papa had his smoker going.
Oscar Darius is proceeded in death by his parents Oscar P. Miller and Vida E.
(Taylor) Miller; his older sister Nora Lue Leonetti, brother-in-law Anthony Leonetti,
niece Amber Lue Boehm and nephew Tim Leonetti.
Oscar Darius is survived by his wife of 66 years Ruth Elaine (Eisenbise) Miller of
Silver Cliff, CO, his son Jeff (Paula) Miller of Fruita, CO, and son Joel (Teresa) Miller of
St. John, KS; his grandchildren and their families: Lerin (Grant) Goodan of Frederick,
CO; Rylee (Tim) D’Innocenzo and children Ezekiel and Fynlee of Colorado Springs,
CO; Dustin Miller of Kansas City, MO; Alison (Don) Strain and children Tanner and
Camryn of Windsor, CO; Grant (Courtney) Miller and child Brinley of Waxahachie,
TX; and numerous extended family members
On Saturday March 12, 2022, the family will gather at Minnis Chapel in St. John, KS
at 10:00 am. The 11:00 am., graveside will follow in the Fairview Park Cemetery, St. John.
A spring memorial service will be held at the First Baptist
Church of Westcliffe, CO; date and time to follow.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the First Baptist Church of Westcliffe:
PO Box 296 Westcliffe, CO 81252.