Avon Miller of Port Angeles will celebrate his 90th birthday this month. He was born in Port Angeles to Charles and Mary Miller in 1923. He grew up in the Beaver and Sappho Logging Camps in the west end of Clallam County. Avon attended Beaver Elementary School and graduated from Quilleyute High School (Forks) in 1941.
Immediately after graduation he enlisted in the Navy where he served aboard various vessels in the Aleutian Islands and the Pacific. During World War II he was a signalman and part of Admiral Halsey’s Flag Allowance. He was aboard the USS Missouri on September 2, 1945 and watched the signing of the treaty with Japan.
After leaving the Navy in 1946 he attended classes at Seattle Pacific College; worked as a merchant marine; worked for Middleton Motor Parts; and built a boat and tried his hand at commercial fishing; before joining his brother, Claude Miller, in Fairbanks, Alaska where they both worked for Benson Montaigne. This is where he met and married Geraldine Awe. They moved back to Port Angeles in 1951.They have two children together, Leslie and Scott. Avon worked for Aiken Oldsmobile (now Ruddell Motors) until 1955 when he started his own business.
Avon ‘s construction company worked on various projects throughout Washington State including water systems and fish hatcheries; the road to Hurricane Ridge and the tunnels when that road was built; and various projects for the National Park and Indian Health Services.
In 1965 Avon and Ted Simpson purchased the ski lift equipment at Hurricane Ridge from Larry and Tom Winters. Originally they serviced the Sunrise, Bunny, Intermediate and Bowl Slopes. In 1970 Avon aided in the organization of Olympic Ski Lifts, Inc. This corporation sold shares to finance improvements, including adding the Pomalift. He assisted Glen Brown, the contractor, with its installation. For several years Avon continued as the operations manager for Olympic Ski Lifts, Inc.
In addition to skiing he enjoyed years of hiking in the Olympics and fishing in the Straits. In 1985 he married Mary Ann Davis and added her children, Vincent and Judy Davis, to the family. After his retirement from the Construction business in 1991 he and Mary Ann made several trips across the United States visiting with family and friends.
Today he spends most of his time having coffee and conversation with friends; working on projects in his woodworking shop; and writing short stories about growing up in the logging camps at the West End during the 1930’s.
Avon claims four children, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Happy Birthday my dearest friend.