OBIT Miller webFern (Arnold) Miller, 92, of Talent, passed away June 13, following only a few days when life was no longer fun for her, interrupted on her way to see her beloved Mariners play some home games.

Fern was born March 4, 1922, to Ben and Blanche Arnold at their ranch near American Falls, Idaho, and lived with her parents and three brothers in Jerome, Idaho, throughout her school years. She was a long-time Harney County resident and hard-working ranch partner with her husband, Howard, and brother-in-law, Neil, at Crow Camp Ranch.

A mother of seven, Fern befriended scores of her children’s friends on their way through Crane grade and high schools, taking in hundreds of ball games, school dances, road trips, last day picnics and potlucks, 4-H and grange events and county fairs. She and Howard provided a temporary “home for boys” after the school and dormitory burned down in 1967. She was a good and cheerful neighbor to adults in the ranching community.

No matter how hot the summers, Fern kept a steady flow of brownies and other goodies coming from the old wood stove. Summer vacations and Sunday and holiday gatherings at Crow Camp remain fond memories to many nephews and nieces who recall Fern’s unfailing kindness to them.

Fern’s kindness extended to anything that grew. At Crow Camp, where gardening was a constant battle against drought, her garden was a tablefull of luxuriant houseplants that she fed with the dregs of her cold coffee. Later, digging in the earth gave her a peace that she called “dirt therapy.”

Fern “retired” to Hawaii with her youngest daughter, Ada (Derek) Rivera, where she continued to work hard for many years alongside Ada, Derek, and their son, Sam, operating Paradise Inn Bed and Breakfast in their Kauai home. Vacationing family and friends could always find a nice room, good times, comfort food and happy memories waiting for them, often for free. Always happy working in the  garden, she enjoyed the tropical life with its profusion of beautiful flowers and plants. She appreciated the gentler climate, but called riding out and cleaning up after Hurricane Iniki in 1992, “an experience,” which wasn’t all pleasant.

Returning to live in Oregon 15 years ago, Fern is survived by her daughters, Carol (Ron) Waterman, Laura (Tom) Munkres and Ada; sons, Dave and Evan Miller; as well as several grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nephews and nieces.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Howard; her parents; brothers, Bill, Fred and Earl Arnold; sons, Tom and Eric Miller; and grandson, Daniel Ausmus Waterman.

There will be no public ceremony. Instead reflect for a while on happy memories of your own, and send your good wishes with Fern along the next stage of her journey. She lived well, with strength, grace, generosity, and a great sense of humor, and we remember her joyfully and lovingly, always.


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