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Bud Miller Memorial Service


In the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Ghost, Amen!


Well if you are here today for the funeral service of Bud Miller then you are at the wrong place.  We are here today to celebrate the life of Bud Miller, not to remember Bud, for we will never forget him and he will continue in our thoughts and prayers, even though he has entered into the near presence of God.  This is not a funeral or burial service but a celebration, just as Bud requested.


As you drove up to Good Shepherd church you had to notice our location; 1000 N. Broadway.  They say in real estate it is “location, Location, location“.  Well, after many years of looking and Bud telling me “Father, be patient” and always encouraging me. Bud would always say, “In time we will find the spot“, this location Bud and I found together, we recommended and consulted to our vestry, made an offer, and here we are.  We moved in, in 2002, Christmas Eve 2002 was our first service.


Now, the next thing you notice when you drive up is the beautiful brass steeple with the cross on top.  Guess where that came from?  Here is a hint, Copper!  Bud miller built it, and if I had not stopped him, at 80 years old was going to climb up and install it by himself.  I had men here to put it up and restrain him from going up on the roof, my point?  Good Shepherd is Bud Miller’s church.


Inside the church we have the copper cross, Bud, the shadow box for St. Francis, Bud, the Processional Cross, Bud, and of course the copper buckets Bud made for all the men of our church to put their loose change in for the church.  You cannot say Good Shepherd without saying Bud Miller.  Bud was my Senior Warden for many years and then “Senior Warden Emeritus” until his death.  He loved his family dearly and they loved him back!  Quoting from his obituary, (a copy is in your folder) “While Bud was proud of his accomplishments, he was a humble man who found the greatest joy when he was with his children, family and dear friends.  His love was immense, his laughter contagious.”


I would like to recognize his sister Juanita, his son Clint Jr. (Clint, I won’t tell your nickname “Spunky” whoops!), his son John who was just transferred by his company from Chicago, what great timing.  His son David, St. Paul’s cathedral is still looking for you to replace the vase you broke when you were a child!  And of course two special lovely daughters, Lynda and Jacque whom Mary and I taught in Sunday school 50 years ago.


Would all the members of Bud’s family stand!  Now there is a wonderful living tribute and legacy!  At the reception following this service, we can visit and share stories and good memories.  Bud never complained and kept the seriousness of his illness from me for some time. When I finally found out, the girls called me and I went to see Bud immediately after church.  He said “Father, I am ready to go meet our Heavenly Father, No worries.” it was several weeks later before he got his wish, during my last visit it was difficult for him to speak,  I asked Bud, do you know me?  He almost sat up and said, “Of course I know you Father, what kind of a question is that“?  I held his hand we said the Lord’s Prayer together, I gave a final blessing and said good bye.  Now as I left, I told Jackie he was ready, he had told everyone good bye and would probably depart soon.  Jackie grabbed my arm and said, “No, dad told me he was going to wait until after the election Tuesday (this was Monday), he said he wanted to make sure Harry Reid was no longer senate majority leader, Bud had voted absentee.  


He departed to his heavenly father, the following Sunday.  Did you notice the bottle of scotch, by his ashes? That‘s Bud, he was taught to drink by a Roman Catholic priest, Father Waldi at Corpus Christi church while on the job many years ago and had a ritual of one not more than two drinks in the evening.  Will Rogers said he never met a man he did not like, I can say no man or women ever met Bud Miller and did not like him.


It has been 6 years or so, I saw a book, a motivational and devotion book titled “The Dash” and my first thought was Bud.   I ordered this book and it has been on my shelf unopened for all these years.  I did read it to Bud in one of our visits before he died, and told him I would share a little bit today.  The dash is about all the years between birth and death, I am going to ask our Senior Warden Larry Fenity to share a few passages.


Bud’s family knows without doubt that death is not the end of life but the beginning of eternal life.  Death is but a momentary separation for us and that we will be re-joined together in the country of paradise. Life is not ended only changed, but knowing these things as we do still doesn't make this moment any easier does it?  We are separated and left without our, father, grandfather, uncle, cousin, loved one, parishioner and wonderful friend and that hurts.


The finality of death is always a shock perhaps even fearful and frightening for us, and that hurts.  So right now we are dealing with so many emotions, we are thankful for the gift of Bud’s life but sad and heart sick at his going from us.  We rightly may feel very sorry for ourselves.  St. Paul reminds us the separation is only for "a little while".  Christians face death without anxiety and fear, not because of something noble about ourselves but because we know that the life of the world to come is what we are made and redeemed for.  We know we will pass through the shadow of death but it is only that, a mere shadow and a little darkness upon life's journey to God.


We are here today, also to renew and reaffirm our faith in the resurrection and our firm belief that with death, life has not ended; only changed.  And we are here to give thanks for a life well lived, a Godly example for us all.  Christian burial is a service of victory, of overcoming this life joyful that our loved one is with God.  To those of us who are left there is the challenge to live so that we may be found acceptable in God's sight and also enter into the kingdom prepared for those who love and serve God.



Christian burial marks not the end of, but the beginning of a new life to be taken up, freed from the restrictions, frustrations and limitations of human existence, into the realm of the spirit where human passions and weaknesses are no more and the reign of love is seen as it only can be seen in closer nearness to the divine.  The laying to rest of the Christian man or women is but the falling asleep in death to awake to the joy of everlasting life.


St. Paul told us: “Now therefore ye are not mere strangers and foreigners but fellow citizens with the saints and of the household of God" (Ephesians 2:19), St. Paul also told us in his letter to the Philippians (Philippians 3:30) "For our citizenship is in heaven”.  Bud’s passport has been validated he has claimed his heavenly citizenship.


J.R.R. Tolkien the Christian author of the trilogy “The Lord of the Rings", and one of those who had a profound influence on the life of my mentor C.S. Lewis, he wrote at the end of his trilogy; Gandalf says “end?  No, the journey doesn't end here; death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back and all turns to silver glass and then you see it. See what? Pippin the Hobbit asks.  White shores, and beyond a far green country under a beautiful swift sunrise.”


Bud miller, has passed into life to the white shores and green country of Paradise with his Heavenly Father.  Amen!

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