On Nov. 30, 2010, William “Stan” Stanley Miller passed away in Turlock. He was just three months shy of his 90th birthday.
Stan was born in Escalon and proud of his Swedish and Lutheran heritage. He grew up in the San Jose area, attending San Jose and Campbell High Schools. Stan served in the National Guard for a period of six years, and saw combat in three major campaigns of World War II in the Pacific. Stan was actually on the beach in the Philippines when he witnessed General Mac Arthur’s triumphant return in person. He left the military as a Sergeant First Class, and returned to San Jose where he worked as an insurance adjustor and then as part owner of City Auto Wreckers in San Jose and Milpitas. He also worked for Harrah’s Casino in Lake Tahoe for a period of time, and as a service advisor for the Mercedes Benz dealership and Smythe Buick in San Jose/Santa Clara.
Stan’s passion was old cars. Antique and collectible autos consumed his daily life for over 40 years. He was a Master Mechanic and owned several dozen cars over the years. At the time of his death, his 1909 Buick was, according to him, “what keeps me alive.” His last DMV road test was waived because he took his 1951 Oldsmobile…and since it did not have seat belts for the instructor, the man could not ride along! He got a kick out of “besting” the DMV! Stan had great mechanical expertise, and many people
sought him out for advice — one of the many reasons that he will be so sorely missed.
Stan was one of the “founding fathers” of the Northern California Chapter of the Buick Club of America which began in 1972, and is still active today. Club members were like family to Stan. Lately, his health kept him from attending car shows and club events, but he was there in spirit. He enjoyed the Club Newsletter, and phone calls and visits from club members.
Stan was a private person, but once you became his friend, it was for life. He enjoyed sharing holidays and dining with friends, and loved spending time with them. At various times, he belonged to the Elks Lodge, VFW, NRA, and the Turlock Senior Club.
Stan always had a story to tell. A certain phrase or comment would invoke a vivid memory, and prompt him to share one of his many experiences. Stan’s other passions were his music (especially from the 40’s and 50’s) and his church. He sang in the choir and taught Sunday school when he was able to
attend church, where he was known as “Bill.”
Stan is survived by sons, Robert of Gardnerville, Nev. and William of Pilot Hill, Calif., and their families.
Those of us who knew and loved Stan have a void in our lives without him. We will treasure his memory, and think of him whenever we see old cars or soldiers.
Services will be held for Stan at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 15 at Burwood Cemetery, 28320 East River Rd., Escalon. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to your favorite charity.
Please share your memories at www.allenmortuary.com.