Melvin R. Miles, 84, of rural Potomac passed away Wednesday. October 26, 2022, at home surrounded by his family after a short battle with cancer.
Mel was born at home July 6, 1938, to Russell and Etta Hargan Miles in Pilot Township. As one of eight children, Mel grew up working hard on the family farm and had many adventures with his three sisters and four brothers that he loved to tell his own family about! Mel was a proud graduate of Ellis Grade School and Armstrong Township High School class of 1957.
On August 26, 1961, Mel and Sara Prillaman of Rossville were united in marriage at the Rossville Methodist Church. The young couple lived in the Rossville & Penfield areas prior to moving to the Potomac countryside where they raised their family of four children: Doug, Dave, and “the twins,” Ellen & Martha.
Over the years, Mel worked in long-haul trucking, farming, and was a proud, loyal 47 year-member of the Local 841 Operating Engineers. He was well-respected
co-worker whose knowledge and skill were valued. The laborers loved seeing Mel working on a job because they knew their day just got a lot easier. After retirement, Mel enjoyed spending time with his family, including helping his sons get parts for trucks, working on building projects, sitting at the woods, rides on his Harley on the country back roads of the Potomac, Armstrong, and Penfield areas, and trips to Just Hamburgers in Paxton with anyone who would want to go with him. Mel enjoyed spending time with his Penfield buddies Chuck and Cora Massey, and Marshall Fairfield, along with childhood friends Duane Moore and John Frederickson and too many friends to mention.
Mel provided examples of resilience in overcoming life challenges and also a strong work ethic embraced by his children and grandchildren. Mel’s words of wisdom, sense of humor and colorful storytelling whether on the porch, the dining room table, or his chair provided numerous hours of fun and laughter for his family. His greatest joy, without a doubt, was just spending time with his family doing whatever.
Mel leaves behind many to cherish his memories: Sara, his wife of 61 years, children Douglas of Rossville, David (Jean) of Hope, Ellen (Monte) Howard of Potomac, and Martha (Pat) Beadle of Galena. Mel was blessed with grandchildren Hanea (Dustin)
Hicks, Zach Miles, Preston (Jenna) Miles, Jordan (Amy) Miles, Austin Miles, Clayton (Lacey) Miles, Dr. Rachel (Brady) Breymeyer, Jake Howard, Michael Beadle, & Brody Howard. Four great-grandchildren brought additional fun and laughter: Harper, Miles, Colton, & Aubrey. Also surviving are siblings Bob Miles of Penfield, Linda Post of Houston, TX, & Harold Miles, Potomac and In-Laws Lenice Miles, Janet Miles, and John Masengale. Mel leaves behind numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews who also benefitted from his humor and wisdom.
Preceding Mel in death are his parents, Russell & Etta, sisters Darlene Seaman and Donna Masengale; brothers Bud and Rich Miles; In-laws Don and Geraldine (Dick) Prillaman, brothers & sisters in-laws Don Seaman, Mary Miles, Richard Post, and Sue & John Johnson. Greeting him in heaven also include nephews Brian Masengale and Brant Miles.
Many thanks to our family and friends who provided anything and everything that was needed during Mel’s illness. Your love, kindness, and support will long be remembered and appreciated.
A Celebration of Life Open House will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Friday, November 4, 2022, Potomac Community Building, 310 W. State Street, Potomac, Illinois. The family has asked that you please wear casual attire in honor of Melvin. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital or donor’s choice. The family has entrusted the Blurton Funeral Home, in Potomac, to assist them in honoring Melvin’s life. Condolences may be shared with the family on Melvin’s everlasting memorial page at: www.BlurtonFuneralHomes.com.