William Roger Miller passed away on June 7 in Missoula at The Springs Memory Care. Known as Roger, he was born on Sept 10, 1937, in Gunnison, Colorado. Roger attended Western State College in Gunnison until 1957, when he was drafted into the Army. Stationed in White Sands, New Mexico, he saw several missiles launched. After his discharge from the Army in 1959, he returned to Gunnison, earning a degree in geology/physics at Western State College. Here he met Esther Bakken, of Royal Oak, Michigan. Roger moved to East Lansing, Michigan, in 1962, married Esther Bakken in 1963, and earned a master's degree in geology/geophysics from Michigan State University in 1964. Roger and Esther moved to Mineola, New York, where Roger worked with the U.S. Geological Survey.
In 1966, Roger and Esther welcomed their first daughter, “Kristi”. In 1967 USGS moved Roger to Billings where he evaluated ground water resources in SE Montana, NE Wyoming, and the western Dakotas. He also spent time in Glacier National Park, evaluating ground water sources there. Roger authored and co-authored several publications for the USGS. In 1968, Esther and Roger welcomed their second daughter, Dana. In 1977 Roger and Esther divorced, and Roger became a single Dad raising Kristi and Dana. In 1979, Roger married Peg Wilkins, and in 1980 the family moved to Casper, Wyoming, where he took a job with Gulf Oil until 1985. Then Roger worked as a consulting geologist until 1993, specializing in geohydrology in Wyoming, Montana & South Dakota. Roger and Peg divorced in 1987. In 1990, Roger married Cecelia Rodgers at the First Christian Church in Casper, Wyoming. In 1993, Roger was hired by the Bureau of Land Management. Roger was instrumental in establishing a professional licensing system for geologists in Wyoming and wrote some guide books for the Wyoming Geological Association. Roger retired in 2007, and became caregiver for Cecelia. In 2011, Roger and Cecelia moved to Missoula to an assisted living apartment to receive help for Cecelia. In 2015 Cecelia, who was the love of Roger’s life, passed away.
Roger was a man of great faith and was member of the First Christian Church in Missoula. He loved his family, and we loved him. Although he liked to call himself a Grump, Roger had a great sense of humor, and was always good for a joke or a story. He was pleased when his grandchildren referred to him as Grumpa.
Roger is preceded in death by his wife Cecelia, his parents, Doris and J. Ray Miller; brother Lynvale Miller; sister Janet McDonald; and first wife Esther Bakken Speidel.
He is survived by his daughters, Kristine (Roy) Handley of Clinton & Dana (Todd) Lash of North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania; grandchildren Roy William & Ryan Handley, Demi & Spencer Lash; Shante Hutton of Ontario & Great Granddaughter Lilliana Hutton; Sisters Pat Williams of Gunnison, Diana Thurmond of Westminster, Colorado; brother Loren Miller of Las Vegas, Nevada, and many loved nieces and nephews.
Two memorial services for Roger will be held: July 13 at 11 a.m. at the First Christian Church in Missoula, and July 16 at 2 p.m. at Highland Cemetery in Casper, Wyoming with a reception following at Casper’s First Christian Church. Friends and family are invited to attend both services. Memorials can be made to Central Wyoming Rescue Mission, The Gideons, or First Christian Churches of Casper & Missoula.