Clair R. Miller, 84, of McConnellsburg, PA passed away Friday, April 2nd, 2021 at Chambersburg Hospital, Chambersburg, PA.
Clair was born in Three Springs, PA on May 4, 1936, the son of the late Maria E. (Mellott) and Robbie O. Miller. He was the husband of Dorothy R. (Mumma) Miller whom he married on October 31, 1981.
Mr. Miller's strong construction career started from a family heritage of saw millers and building contractors, going back as far as his great grandfather. At the age of 12, he moved to Fulton County with his parents. He started working for a local building contractor at the age of 14 where he had to walk 2 miles to get to work. In his spare time, he made lawn ornaments and lawn furniture which he sold throughout the Community. He was considered very ambitious for an 8th grader at the time, and continued to serve his Community throughout his life. During his time in high school, Mr. Miller built a small business doing construction jobs and had considered going full time into business; however, his high school principal talked him into continuing high school and assigned him a job as an aide to the shop teacher. Mr. Miller graduated in the spring of 1955.
He was Enlisted Active Duty on November 15, 1958, and honorably released from the United States Army in May 1959 to serve in the Army National Guard of Pennsylvania. He remained as a Reserve of the Army until his honorable discharge on October 12, 1964, as a Sergeant (E5).
In 1957, Mr. Miller purchased a parcel of land near Hustontown, Pennsylvania, and constructed a building. One half of the building housed Mr. Miller's construction business and the other portion was an IGA Foodliner, which he owned and operated. Mr. Miller served the community doing construction during the day and worked the grocery store at night. He then spent 6 months in active duty, serving his Country. He spent an additional 5 ½ years in reserve status. He decided the grocery business was not for him after a few years and sold that portion of his business to a buyer who later moved the IGA to McConnellsburg. He then occupied the entire property and later expanded his business to include an additional store in McConnellsburg. His hard work and dedication to the construction industry allowed him to operate and serve the community which developed into two True Value Hardware Stores with lumber yards at both locations.
Mr. Miller was responsible for the construction of the building that housed the IGA, which is still serving the community today as the Save-A-Lot Store. Beside building new homes and remodeling homes for the community, Mr. Miller constructed several landmarks in Fulton, Huntingdon, and Bedford Counties. Some of his most note worthy projects include the Overly-Raker Building which now houses several different facilities, the Penn's Village Office of the former Fulton County National Bank Building, the former Fort Littleton Elementary School, where he was also responsible for the renovations, repairs, and conversion into the BWH Stamping building, which is now the Paige Building. The Everett IGA in Bedford County is also on Mr. Miller's list of accomplishments. He was also responsible for remodeling the Old Broad Top Theater at Robertsdale which formerly housed the Broad Top Coal Miners Museum. He owned a development, Fairview Estates, with his wife Dorothy of over 40 years which included eight residential units, 16 apartment units, and 12 townhomes. Mr. Miller also constructed several restaurants, new churches, remodeled and renovated older churches, banks and other large scale commercials works using 3 Phase Construction Techniques. Mr. Miller is responsible for the construction of over 700 private residential homes throughout Fulton County and the surrounding Communities. He was the #2 Top Sales Person for Homes By Keystone, Inc., for several years and a recognized dealer for Keystone Homes for over 35 years. He and his wife created a Scholarship Fund Award in 2009, given to students of local High Schools who did not have the finances towards their extended educations in the votech arena. In 2006, Mr. Miller built the Knobsville United Methodist Church as he was nearing retirement. He was a Director of the Franklin County Builders Association and played a key role in organizing Fulton County's Chapter of it's Builders Association, where he served as a Director and Membership Chairman. He had served as President and Vice President of the Fulton County Industrial Development Board, and served on the Board for approximately 33 years prior to his retirement from the Board. He was a member of the Pennsylvania Builders Association and National Home Builders Association. Even in retirement, Clair continued his love for construction and was instrumental in the construction of the Immanuel Baptist Church in Oxford, Florida, where he served as a Chairman.
In addition to Mr. Miller's strong and dedicated construction career, he was also a pillar in the Community. He was one of the founding members who organized and started the Hustontown Area Volunteer Fire Company, serving as President for the first eight years and was a lifetime member. He was also one of the working members of the first Lions Club formed in Hustontown. He served for 13 years on the Fulton County Medical Center Board of Directors where he played an important role as Chairman of the Building Committee during the expansion of the Skilled Care and Extended Care Units. Other Board Members and doctors relied on him heavily for consultation information from both contracting and engineering perspectives. He was a 14 year Member of the Fulton County Fair Association and volunteered time doing electrical work where and when needed. Mr. Miller was a member of the Fulton County Chamber of Commerce, the Mount Zion Masonic Lodge, Harrisburg Consistory and the Jaffa Shrine of Altoona. He was also a Lifetime Member of the Broad Top Coal Miners Association. Mr. Miller also served as the Director of the Fulton County National Bank of McConnellsburg for many dedicated years. Mr. Miller won numerous awards over the years, including Builder Member of the Year, Franklin County Builders Association 2000, several Life Spike Awards from the National Association of Home Builders, Fulton County Outstanding Citizen Award from the Fulton County Chamber of Commerce, and was honored with the Man of the Year Award in 1995.
Mr. Miller enjoyed several hobbies throughout his life. He was an amazing constructor and made woodworking projects and furniture in his home wood shop. Earlier in his life, he was an avid hunter and took several trips out West to enjoy the different hunting seasons. He loved to go on cruises around the world, and visited many places, including the Virgin Islands, Alaska, and Hawaii. He also traveled the world visiting several Countries in Europe, including Brussels, Holland, France and cities of Paris and Strasbourg, Germany and city of Rothenberg and The Black Forest Mountain Region, Hungary and it's capital city of Budapest, Austria and it's capital city of Vienna, as well as many others. He loved country music, visiting Branson, Missouri, eleven times. He enjoyed his golf cart and his beautiful secondary retirement home in The Villages, Florida, for several years.
His lovely and loving wife, Dorothy, of over 40 years, stood firmly by his side during his dedicated building career and into his retirement, as well as his major accomplishments serving the Community.
Mr. Miller was known as an all around solid, steady, dependable citizen who helped make Fulton County a great place to live and work. He will be sadly missed by all who knew and loved him.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by sons Tracy A. (husband of Yvette) Miller, of Hustontown, PA, Terry R. (husband of Robin) Miller, of Needmore, PA, Troy M. (husband of Bonnie) Miller, of Hustontown, PA, sister Almeda Nead, of Three Springs, PA, three grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Clair was preceded in death by sisters Marjorie Isett, Evelyn O'Donnell and a granddaughter, Lacy Marie Miller.
The family of Clair will be hosting a visitation on Sunday, April 11th, 2021 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the Hustontown Fire Hall, Hustontown, PA. Those in attendance are asked to follow the CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19.
Funeral services will be held at the Hustontown Fire Hall, Hustontown, PA, at 1:00 PM on Sunday, April 11th, 2021 with Lay Speaker Jeffrey Peterson officiating.
The Hustontown Area Volunteer Fire Company will lead the procession with the old Ford Fire Truck, which was purchased while Clair was serving as the 1st President of the Hustontown Fire Company, to the final resting spot at Union Cemetery, Route 522 South, McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania. A flag presentation will be done grave side by the Honor Guard.
Military services will be conducted by the Fulton Honor Guard.
Arrangements were made by the Howard L. Sipes Funeral Home, Inc., McConnellsburg, PA. Online condolences may be expressed at www.howardlsipes.com.
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