Homer couple celebrates 60th anniversary

Ralph and Betty (Clendenen) Miller

Ralph and Betty (Clendenen) Miller will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary on June 17, 2011. There will be a celebration Saturday, June 18th at Kachemak Community Center from 2 to 5 p.m. For friends unable to attend, the Millers’ family would be pleased to have you share any special memories or events you may have shared with Ralph or Betty by sending them a card to P.O. Box 316, Homer, Alaska 99603.

After graduation in June 1950 from Lebanon Union High School in Oregon, Ralph completed his two year course at Oregon Technical Institute in heavy duty diesel mechanics, which was located in Klamath Falls. He then worked on and drove logging trucks in Oregon. Betty completed her cosmetology licensing in Klamath Falls and Eugene. They married in June 1951.

They moved their girls, Sandy Miller and Cris Beachy to Anchorage in April 1956 towing a house trailer over the primitive Alcan Highway.

Betty’s parents, Bill and Verna Clendenen, Betty’s sister Shirley and her husband, Willie Chernoff were already in Anchorage. Her brother, Larry Clendenen and his wife, Inez, were homesteading at Anchor Point. Ralph did various jobs operating heavy equiptment, while Betty worked at the Anchorgae Westward Hotel beauty salon. With the building of the highway into Homer from Anchorage, they decided to move down in January 1957. Betty opened the first full service salon in Homer: Arctic House of Beauty. Ralph worked as a civilian at Ohlson Mountain Air Force Base operating heavy equipment.

In 1958 they purchased a home two miles out East Road, which would be the family home until 1978. It was a great luxury to the family, as we had been living in a 36-foot trailer house for two years!

In 1959 Ralph and Betty made a commitment to the Lord with their lives and became involved with Grace Baptist Church in Homer, now Glacierview Baptist Church. They felt the call of the Lord to attend Omaha Baptist Bible College in Omaha, Nebraska for 3 1/2 years, at which time the campus moved to Ankeny, Iowa in 1967. After Ralph’s graduation in 1971, they returned to Homer with both girls in Homer High School. When both girls graduated in 1971, Ralph and Betty started spending one month and eventually the winters in Apache Junction and Gold Canyon, Arizona.

In the spring of 2008 they sold their home in Arizona moving back to live in Homer. This time of their life they decided to be closer to family and doctors. Sandy, their three grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren are all in Homer. “Grampa” is usually kept busy helping all of them with their vehicles or running them places. “Grammy” still cooks for them when she is up to it.

Ralph retired in 1988 owning Millers Welding since the early 1970s and Betty retired in 1985 from the hairdressing business.

Their family writes, “We as a family are so happy to celebrate our wonderful parents, grandparents and great-gradparetns. They have truly been our example and anchor. Since they have traveled to visit so many friends, in so many parts of this country, they too have opened their home wherever they have been to reciprocate to so very many guests in return.”

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