August 6, 1939 – December 26, 2020
Homer Miller, 81 of Joplin, MO passed away at Freeman Hospital in Joplin on Saturday, December 26, 2020 after a brief illness. Homer was born in Joplin on August 6, 1939 to Raymond P. “Dick” and Geneva Miller. He was a lifelong resident of Joplin graduating from Joplin High School in 1957. He was a member of the Joplin High ROTC, and served in the US Army Reserves from 1958 to 1960. He graduated from the former Joplin Junior College in 1959.
Homer married the former Sallye Sue Elliff on November 25, 1960, and they recently celebrated 60 years of marriage together. He was a lifelong member of First Baptist Church in Joplin where he made friendships that lasted a lifetime. Those friendships included coffee in the mornings and lunches with the men in the church. Homer served as a teacher, deacon, trustee and in many other capacities over the years. Standing at the top of the steps, he welcomed both old and new church members every Sunday morning.
Homer opened the Joplin Hearing Aid Center in 1966 and was its sole proprietor for over 50 years, until his retirement in 2017. He loved being able to help his customers improve their hearing, and became locally famous for his motto, “Homer Helps Hearing”.
Homer had an iconic presence around town with his larger than life personality and lived life to the fullest. This presence was known from the church steps, to the restaurants he frequented. Homer could make his friends laugh hard and could make strangers laugh harder. He was the greatest example of God’s sense of humor. He was well-liked by everyone who knew him. Headstrong and outspoken, he always said what he thought and was often very witty. Sallye describes their marriage as “never boring” and full of laughter, as was all of his relationships. Homer also had an extremely comforting presence. Acts of service was a cornerstone in who he was. Homer was who he was and never wavered from who God made him to be.
He was active in the Joplin Lions’ Club and was a proud member of the Abou Ben Adhem Shrine Ring Club and the Joplin Masonic Lodge, wearing his 50 year membership pin with pride.
Homer was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Dennis William Miller and David Lee Miller. He is survived by his wife Sallye, of Joplin; son Todd Miller, of Rome, Maine, Todd’s wife Melissa and their children Ethan and Lydia; and son Derek Miller, of Joplin, Derek’s wife Alyson and their children Emily and Luke. Homer was immensely proud of his family and considered them his greatest accomplishment in life.
A memorial service to celebrate Homer’s life is planned at First Baptist Church on Thursday, December 31 at 10:00 a.m., with a graveside service to follow at Ozark Memorial Park Cemetery in Joplin.
Serving the family as pallbearers will be D. Mitchell Stinnett, M.D., Jack Lowry, Tony Killion, Van Palmer, Luke Miller, and Ethan Miller.
The family will receive friends at First Baptist Church on Wednesday from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.