While we have lost a dear friend and a vibrant energy, the memory of Darrell Gene Miller will last for the rest of our lives. I personally was moved by your comments about this unforgettable man who we all love and cherish. His unique sense of humor, skills at nurturing relationships, and quick wit made him a joy to be around, and he will not be forgotten.
In the next few weeks, I will share some of the comments you made about Darrell and how he impacted your life. Please make new observations that I will post on a daily basis. And use this blog to organize get-togethers to honor Darrell’s life. I know that Mary Ann Snyder from Pittsburgh plans to do that.
Today, I would like to share Chuck “you’re not blood” Cowger’s comments about Darrell and the postive impact that Darrell and Bob made on his life. It reads as follows:
“At some point I have to put away the tears and grief and focus on the fun and crazyness of this passionate and loving man. Though I’m not there yet, a few things stand out; For those who don’t know me, I’m Chuck, husband of Jan, Gene’s sister. Twenty one years ago Memorial Day when I made my first visit to Matherville to meet the family, I first noted the big sign attached to a tree in the front yard next to the road that said among other things “Welcome Chuck,…just remember you’re not blood.” Though Marlene was apparently responsible for that, Gene was not to be outdone. Standing on the front porch to greet us as Jan and I walked up, was Gene and Scott (Marlene’s son), with their flys open and their thumbs sticking out, and of course most everyone else gathered around doubled over in laughter. After everyone had their laugh, Gene, with that accepting smile that we all know so well, gave me a genuine bear hug and said “welcome to the family.” However, shortly thereafter everyone was sitting out in the yard and when Jan and I went out (I was wearing a white shirt and white pants) Gene ask me if I sold ice cream.. and I had just sat down when he said, “Are you staring at my crooked face?” When everyone roared, it of course took the pressure off. All this happened in a way that let me know that he cared deeply about Jan, but also he was accepting. I left that day feeling welcome in the family even though I “wasn’t blood.”
Jan and I were fortunate to be a part of the Pittsburg brunch some 15 years ago when Gene had the family all dressed in spandex pants and florescent sun glasses as the guests arived and Gene made his grand entrance with a towell in his spandex. Mix this crazyness with his intense caring and commitment to those around him and you have the kind of person that we won’t see again.
Bob, if you are reading this now or will some day, know that we love you. Peace be with you. I have noted that you are an important member of the family even though you too are not blood.”