John Jacob “Jake” Miller, 88, of Niantic Ill. passed away peacefully on July 12, 2020 at 4:15am at Decatur Memorial Hospital. Jake died unexpectedly from a severe concussion and brain hemorrhage after a sudden fall at home on the morning of Friday July 10. He was a beloved husband, brother, father, grandfather, uncle, and friend to many.
Jake was born at home in rural Niantic on March 28, 1932, to Herman Miller and Clara (Arnold) Miller. The third of six siblings and the oldest son, Jake was very involved in the family farm at a young age and active in both 4-H and FFA. He graduated in 1951 from Niantic-Harristown High School. He was a jet engine mechanic in the U.S. Air Force from 1951-1955. He served our country during the Korean War Conflict and was honorably discharged in 1955.
Jake returned to the family farm and farmed with his dad and brother, George. He enjoyed coon hunting and fishing in his spare time. He married Marilyn Arkebauer on July 25, 1965 in Decatur. They lived in Niantic until 1969 when they moved to Hi-View Farms south of town. The couple had three children. He farmed full-time with his son Todd. Jake was a fun-loving, caring father who was a firm believer in the value of hard work and a good education. Jake was especially proud to pass down his passion of showing Chester White swine at local fairs. He made many life-long friends through 4-H.
Jake is survived by his wife Marilyn; sisters Jean Wilking and Lois Robinson of Decatur; brother Dan (Marta) Miller of Niantic; children Dena (Dave) Strehlow of Maple Grove Minn., Maria (Todd) Maull of St. Charles Mo., and Todd Miller of Mt Auburn; grandsons Jake and Ben Strehlow and Jason and Tyler Maull; many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers George Arthur and Gerald Dean Miller.
A graveside service will be held at Long Point Cemetery south of Niantic on July 16, 2020 at 10 am. The family requests casual attire.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family in care of Brintlinger and Earl Funeral Homes at www.brintlingerandearl.com.