Richard Rudolph Miller, “Rudy”, age 79 years, was welcomed into the arms of his Lord and Savior in the early hours of May 24th, 2021 where he was once again made whole. Rudy was a Christian and had no doubt where he would spend eternity and Who he would spend it with. He was surrounded by family as he took his final breath. Rudy was born to parents Roy Douglas and Clara Barton Jackson Miller on July 5, 1941 at the Navarro Clinic, in Corsicana, Texas. He may have been a day late, but he was still a firecracker! They were living on Caney in Streetman, Texas. Rudy entered the elementary school in Streetman and then moved to Salem Hill in Wortham when he started 3rd grade. He attended Wortham ISD and graduated from Wortham High School in 1959.
Rudy married Mary Alice Taylor in 1962. They were married for 20 years and had 4 children together. Douglas, Susan, Matthew, and Marshall Miller. Rudy married Cynthia Rose Tubb Heil in 1986. She brought 3 children into his family. Deanna, Sheila, and Ronny Heil.
Rudy attended Sam Houston State University to study radiography and then entered the workforce at Mexia State School, working in the x-ray department and the lab for several years. He went to work at what would eventually become Parkview Regional Hospital in Mexia where he spent the next 34 years in the x-ray department until retirement. Rudy was known for not only his kindness and empathy when one was sick or in pain, but also for causing the occasional burst of laughter as he rode down the halls on the arm of a wheelchair or his play on words and jokes. When asked what he did for a living, he said he made “X-rated pictures”.
Rudy never met a stranger, and many conversations started with “looky here”! If you wanted to know where he was, you could follow the laughter. His family likened it to his “holding court”. He fancied himself as sort of a “McGuyver” kind of guy and a tinkerer. He could figure out how to build or recreate anything. One of the most interesting things he built was a metal detector that he saw in an issue of popular mechanics in the early 1970s. He took it to Vicksburg Mississippi battle field and caught the attention of one of the park rangers, who had him mark where he was finding things so they could retrieve them later. He also built an electric fence charger out of a Model T coil and a gazillion other things.
Rudy developed a love for flying during his teens. He worked at the Corsicana Airport and took flying lessons in lieu of payment. His passion for flying has led to numerous family and friends learning to fly. His grandchildren cherish the memories of going to airshows with their papaw and hearing about his flying days.
He is fondly known for his musical ability. Rudy never took formal lessons but played by ear and often said after playing, it gave him “sore ears”. Rudy’s honkytonk style of church music could make even the staunchest churchgoer at least tap their feet in time with his “whamping” on the keys. Once, when Rudy was in a facility for physical rehabilitation in Waco, he told the nurse he smelled a piano. She said there wasn’t one that she knew of. He persisted, (go figure), and told her the direction he “smelled it” and asked her to take him there. Lo and behold! There was a piano up against a wall. He whamped out a few tunes before tiring and left all in tears. He also may have commandeered a piano in the lobby of MD Anderson when the scheduled volunteer was playing what he considered boring, classical, calming music and drew crowds to the 2nd and 3rd floor balconies with his honkytonk playing. He said you wouldn’t believe the clapping and cheering he got at the end of his impromptu concert.
Rudy was a proud member of the Longbotham Lodge of Wortham and The Sons of the Republic of Texas.
Rudy was preceded in death by his parents, Roy Douglas and Clara Barton Miller, 2 infant sisters, brother- K.W. Oliver, brother-in-law James Gregory, son-Ronny Heil, and daughter-Sheila Heil Fautt.
He is survived by his loving wife of 35 years Cynthia, children Doug Miller and wife AmyJo of Wortham, Susan Miller Carine and husband John of College Station, Matthew Miller and wife Amy of Wortham, Marshall Miller of Wortham, Deanna Heil Abraham and husband John of Wortham, and son in law Mike Fautt of Wortham. Rudy is also survived by his sisters, Emily Sue Gregory of Streetman and Spring Miller Johnson and husband Tom of Wortham, 16 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews, a host of other friends and family, and a sad little dachshund named Fred. Special thanks go to granddaughter, Brittany Hill, for her expert nursing skills and loving care of Rudy during his final days.
Visitation will be Friday, May 28, 2021 from 9:30 – 10:30am at Victory Church in Wortham. Funeral will follow starting at 10:30am with graveside shortly after in the Wortham Cemetery. The service will be conducted by Brother Mike Fautt of the Victory Church, Justin Colquette of Wortham First Baptist Church, and Longbotham Lodge of Wortham. Pallbearers are: Rickey Ridge, Larry Haynes, Billy Ray Patterson, Cal Johnson, Joshua LeFevre, and John Hunter Miller. Honorary Pallbearers will be members of the Longbotham Lodge of Wortham.
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