Dean Miller, age 69, of Sedro-Woolley, passed away May 29, 2018. He was a longtime public servant of Skagit County; suffering cardiac arrest at Skagit Valley Hospital. Dean and Karen’s 47th wedding anniversary was just celebrated on May 22.
Dean was born June 15, 1948 to Frank and Elsie (Line) Miller in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Dean’s father passed away when Dean was just two years old, and his sister, Shirley, and her husband, Larry Browning helped to raise Dean since he was ten. His father is buried in Hermiston, Oregon, where his family would travel every summer to put flowers on his headstone.
He met Karen Byrd in 1970 and married the love of his life in 1971. Karen was working at L&M Drive In, in Sedro-Woolley, at that time owned by his sister and brother in law, Shirley and Larry Browning.
He attended two years at Yakima College studying Architecture.
Dean served in the U. S. Army, serving in Seoul, Korea.
Dean’s passion for traveling took him to 30 plus states. Every year, he would take his family to the Leavenworth Ice Festival, Oregon Coast, Lake Chelan, Harrison Hot Springs, Cabo San Lucas, or Hawaii, just to name a few. Dean loved teaching his daughter, Ashley how to read maps and mileposts along the way. They also took six weeks in the motorhome and traveled all the way to Washington DC. He enjoyed camping with his family as much as he did going to Hawaii or Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
Dean loved his sports, whether it was playing, coaching or just watching. He excelled in all. In 1989, Dean’s soccer team was invited to play in England, Scotland and Wales. He also enjoyed playing Mens 40 and older flag football. When he was not playing, he was coaching or umpiring, which he did for Ashley’s soccer and baseball teams. If you knew Dean, then you know he was a man of many, many words and stories. Dean never met a stranger and would talk to you, but there was always something to be learned if you listened! Karen always said he could travel across the world and run into someone he knew. Dean was in England in a pub and what do you know, he ran into Beverly Mower, wife of coworker, Deputy Jim Mower. Dean was, by all accounts, a man that accomplished everything he set his mind to do.
In 1973, Dean would be hired by the Skagit County Sheriff’s Department. He spent six years as a Jailer before becoming a Deputy Sheriff. Dean became the first of many things for the department: he became the first K-9 Officer with his loyal partner, Mac by his side until Mac retired. He became the department’s first composite artist along with the first poligrapher. Before retiring, Dean was a Major Crimes Detective and Hostage Negotiator. He was the only person to ever receive Officer of the Year award, which was presented by a former Seattle Seahawk. Dean also sat on the Sedro-Woolley City Council for six years and was the last president for the Jaycee Chamber of Commerce. After retiring from the Skagit County Sheriff’s Department, Dean worked for the Tulalip Indian Tribal Gaming Agency, where he was promoted to the first ever in-house cop. To say that Dean was full of accomplishments is an understatement.
Dean was never one to complain about his ailing health even when he was taking care of his semi-disabled wife, Karen and daughter. Dean also shared a special love and many memories for his late sister in law, Judy Ann Byrd and late father in law, Charles “Buck” Byrd. Dean lived by this motto “positive thought followed by positive action.”
Dean was an organ donor whose corneas are helping a 69 year old person.
Dean is survived by his wife of 47 years, Karen Miller, who he lovingly referred to as “Son”; daughter, Ashly Miller of Sedro-Woolley; granddaughter, Gracie Henderson of Alabama, who he loved and adored with all his heart; sister, Sharon Miller, of Port Hadlock, WA; special nephew, Scott and Lori Browning, of Port Townsend, WA; niece, Laura and James Blake, of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; nephew, Larry Lee Browning, Jr., of Port Townsend; all very special numerous nieces and nephews, Tammy and Ben Scott, of Sequim, WA, Whitney, Rosie, Michael, Melissa, Andrea and Joey Boyd, of Seattle, Nathan, Jordan, Sara, Nick, Merejnar; half-sister-in-law, Annie Dare.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Elsie Miller; sister, Shirley Browning; half-brother, Jerry Dare.
At Dean’s request, his ashes will be scattered along the Oregon Coast. A detective case of a murdered couple that he worked on in the 1970’s, a heartfelt case, was finally solved by DNA two months prior to his death, his words were “I can finally rest in peace!”
Our everyday hero promises. Love, Karen and Ashly.