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James “Jim” Miltner, 91 and 11/12 years old, lifelong resident of Conneaut, Ohio, passed away Wednesday, January 3, 2024 at his daughter’s home surrounded by his family after a long battle with ATTR Amyloidosis. Proud son of Fred J. (Fritz) Miltner and Lorena Bynane Miltner, Jim liberally shared words of wisdom from his father and Ray Hyland, including, “The cemetery is full of people who had the right of way.” He grew up in Conneaut with his two brothers, Robert and Richard, working in the family bakery, making among other things, the local favorite, Miltner’s Honeycream Cake (he was quite popular with the summer visitors –especially the young ladies– on his bakery delivery route). His first job, however, was a paper route that he purchased from his cousin Bill Walsh for $100 (“the biggest paper route in town”), and ever since, he worked hard and played hard. Jim did not love anything more than being with Bernie and their kids, visiting with relatives and friends. School colleagues and students were always on his mind.
Jim was proud of his service in the Korean War, drafted into the 124th Division Infantry/ 1st Cavalry in the United States Army. Throughout the war, Jim and his special girl, Bernardine Lucas, corresponded DAILY until his return. “Days after he got out of the Army,” Jim and Bernardine married on April 12, 1958, and soon started their family (Maribeth, Jim, Kathy, and Lesley Jennifer). Jim noted that his kids were his greatest achievement and joy in life, and they made memories with Dad/Poppy until his final departure. In Jim’s own words, “I never imagined my going away party would be so spectacular, and I couldn’t have asked for more.”
Jim worked at Reactive Metals Incorporated while attending Gannon University and Kent State University, where he earned his cadet teaching certificate and Master’s degree in Education. He taught at West Main, Dean Avenue, Chestnut, and Pierpont Elementary schools, he worked a lot and finished his career as the much beloved principal of Pymatuning Valley Primary School where he delighted students, staff, and parents alike. Visitors can still see “Miltner’s Magnolia” if they visit the site of the former Primary Building. A highlight for “his kids” was the annual 3rd Grade Sleepover that he hosted in the school gym. He told students they could stay awake all night if they wanted, but he knew that the black & white film, The Bells of St. Mary’s, would ensure that all of the students would get some sleep.
When not busy in one of his schools, Jim, lifetime member of Lake Erie Boat Club, was quick to take the boat out into Lake Erie to catch perch and walleye. As a young man, Jim won Hi Point Champion Trophy on the American Boating Association circuit. He also loved steam trains, fireworks, watching the ore boats turning around in the slip, and visiting all of the ships that came into Pittsburgh & Conneaut Dock Company (favorites were the Roger Blough and Arthur M. Anderson). A lifelong member of St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, Jim was devoted to his faith, his church, and God. Jim was very active in The Knights of Columbus, Conneaut Council 627 serving as Grand Knight in the council’s 100th year and winning K of C Family of the Year Award in 1992. He was really disappointed when K of C changed the uniform from tails, sword, and chapeau to the modern uniform, and attendees of calling hours will see that he is taking his chapeau with him as he completes his journey. His love and passion for and dedication to St. Mary’s Church and school and his priest friends goes without saying; nonetheless, he was recognized through awards such as the Pope St. Pius X Award for his longtime service to the CCD (children’s catechism) program.
Everyone who knew Jim agrees that he was “the sweetest guy you could ever know” and he always had a story to tell. Always. Usually a long story. Often with a point. Jim loved telling about and showing pictures of his visits to Tokyo, Hong Kong, Manilla, Mexico, Key West, British Columbia, Alaska and Hawaii. Actually, he visited every state in the United States. He was grateful to the many, talented medical professionals who helped him throughout his long illness, especially Dr. Kevin Miekelski and Dr. Samantha Keiffer; his devoted 4th floor care team at UH TriPoint Hospital in Painesville; and his Hospice “angels” Alicia and Jessica.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Robert Miltner and Richard Miltner, sisters-in-law Grace Allee and Carlie Miltner, beloved niece Vicky Heinonen, in-laws Andrew and Mary Lucas and brother-in-law John Miltner.
He is survived by his loving wife, Bernie; children, Maribeth (Bob) Davis of Andover, Ohio, James (Karen) Miltner of Hudson, Ohio, Kathy (Jerry) Parise of Wyoming, Xichigan, and Jenny Miltner of Delaware, Ohio; grandchildren: Keelia (Mitchell) Morris, Matthew James Miltner, Katie (Chris) Hauenstein, and Dominic James Parise; beloved cousins, nieces, nephews, and dear friends. He was so excited to live long enough to become “Papa Great” to Finley J. Morris.
Calling hours will be held from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Monday, January 8, 2024 at the Raisian Funeral Home.
Family and friends are welcome to attend Mass of the Christian Burial, which will be held at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church in Andover on Tuesday, January 9, 2024 at 1:00 p.m.
Burial will follow at St. Joseph Cemetery, Conneaut with the American Legion Cowle Post 151 conducting military honors.
Jim vehemently requested “NO Flowers”. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Joseph’s Cemetery for upkeep of St. Mary’s Chapel donated on behalf of K of C Council 627, 744 Mill Street, Conneaut. In lieu of flowers or donations, Jim requested that everyone appreciate and enjoy their lives, love each other, make memories, and “just get along”.
St. Joseph Cemetery Fund for upkeep of St. Mary's Chapel donated on behalf of K of C Council 627
744 Mill Street, Conneaut OH 44030