Lona Miller, 84
Lona (Weld) Miller was received into the arms of the Lord on Feb. 9, 2019. Her family was by her side. Lona was born on May 18, 1934, in Neenah, Wis. She was raised in Minneapolis, Minn. Her parents were Lyle and Lila Weld. Her father worked for a large wholesale hardware company and her mother taught chemistry, geology and home economics in the Minneapolis School System for 35 years.
Lona was an only child. She was everything to her parents. Their family was very patriotic and did their part in the World War II efforts. They supported their country with a victory garden and paper drives. Lona and her parents enthusiastically attended many of the sports activities at the University of Minnesota. She maintained her interest in football her entire life.
Lona attended Margaret Fuller Elementary and graduated from Washburn High School in 1952. She had a special group of girlfriends from kindergarten that she cherished all the way through her life.
When Lona was a senior in high school her parents took her to a dude ranch in Tucson, Ariz. This is where she met her husband of 28 years. They were married in August of 1954 and made their home at the Wild Horse Ranch. Lona assumed the responsibilities of office manager at the ranch. Howard W. Miller III was born on March 1, 1956. Cathy Lynn Miller was born Dec. 28, 1957. They raised both of their children on the ranch.
In the off-season, Lona and Howard would travel with Howard and Cathy up the California coast and visit all the western national parks. Unfortunately, after the end of the ‘70s the ranch sold and Lona and Howard divorced.
Lona continued a career in the hospitality industry, working for Canyon Ranch, Hilton and Marriott Hotels. These employers took her from Tucson to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Billings, Mont. Her only grandchild was born in Billings on Dec. 11, 1992. Sarah Jane Lingard was such a bright spot in her life. Many years later she returned to Tucson to work for White Stallion Ranch. Once again, she worked in the office and embraced the dude ranch experience.
Lona traveled all over the United States, as well as England, Scotland, Slovakia, Italy, France, Germany and Switzerland. She loved horseback riding, hiking and reading books. Lona’s love for God was very important to her.
Lona is survived by her son, Howard W. (Deborah) Miller III; her daughter, Cathy M. (Jimmy) Penley; granddaughter, Sarah Jane (James) Ost; her friend, Lee B. Lingard and his children; as well as a special mention of her sweet friend, Laura Jorgenson at Orchard Ridge, who was so loved by Lona.
The family sends a special message of love and gratitude to all the friends and employees at The Village at Orchard Ridge, as well as Hospice of North Idaho.
Lona requested that no services be held and that ashes be spread privately.
Yates Funeral Home is entrusted with final arrangements. Please visit Lona’s online memorial and sign her guest book at www.yatesfuneralhomes.com.