Peter Miller

Obituary of Peter Nicolai Stahlfest Miller

Peter was born 12.25.1939, a Christmas baby. His mother was 38 years old at the time and his father was 42.  They were doting parents based on the pictures.  Peter spent summers in his youth working on the family farm in Denmark.  When he retired to Fort Collins he continued to go for years to help with the harvest.  One conversation we had about his youth revealed that Peter spent his teenage summer years sitting on the porch of his parent’s cabin in New Jersey drinking beer.  One semester while he was in university at Lehigh University he didn’t skipped classes so that he could learn how to play bridge which become a lifelong activity.  The boys who taught him to play bridge  also introduced him to handles of gin. He paid for all of this by coming down with mononucleosis as a college senior.  When I became a teenager I thought my Dad was a rather boring individual.  He would come home from work, eat a brownie and read the paper.  He was a lifelong reader.  It was only in later years that I came to appreciate that habit.  I can still picture him in his brown leather chair with the footstool reading the paper.  As a child I didn’t know any different, but looking back both my brother and I were treasured and adored by our parents.  We went to Denmark to visit family often, and traveled extensively through Europe.  In our teenage years, Peter took us on various trips.  I remember traveling to Hawaii, France, Denmark and across the Atlantic with him.  One trip to Hawaii, I complained that he was boring, because the only topic that I thought he found interesting were stocks and mutual funds.  A trip to France, I planned the itinerary and then he told me he didn’t think it looked all that interesting.  Half way through it, he announced that I had done a great job and he hadn’t realized how much of France he had not seen and how diverse it really was.

Peter took my brother, Thomas  and cousin, Karen  on a trip to New Zealand one year.  From the photos it looked like they had a fantastic trip.  He was a man who was ruled by the clock.  It didn’t matter what time zone he was in, if it was noon it was lunch time.  We were in the car once and the clock struck 12.  Off we went to lunch, we got back in the car and kept driving.  We crossed a time zone and it was 12 o’clock again.  We had to stop for lunch again!

A few weeks ago I told him that I was going on a trip to visit National Parks in Arizona because I wanted to see the Saguaro cactuses outside of Tucson.  He told me I should go to the Air and Space Museum in Tucson to find the F-111 that he flew in when he was in the Air Force.  Sure enough I found it.  It had been housed at Upper Heyford in England. He was so excited to see a picture of an airplane that was similar to one that he had spent a lot of time in.

About 15 years ago, Peter was asked about his life in the Air Force.  He disappeared for a few minutes and came back with his Air Force flight log book.  There went the whole evening studying flights, airplanes, good trips and bad.  That was when I learned that he had spent years on a C-130 ferrying payroll, newspapers, and all kinds of supplies into Saigon.  He was responsible for opening the cargo doors, and tossing the stuff on the runway, then off the plane went to reload and do it again.  Touch and goes in a war zone.

When I was telling Peter that I was going on a road trip a few weeks ago, he told me that he had driven most of that and all the way across country in the early 60’s in a red VW bug.  It had been winter and the heat and defrost didn’t work very well. He taught my mother how to drive in that car.  Sixty years later he said he wished he had kept it.


Peter’s first car was a used Volvo PV544, which looked like a post World War II Ford. It was a stick shift. As he was driving it home from where he bought it he came to a stop sign and a guy stopped close behind him. Peter wasn’t familiar with the floor mounted shifter. Instead of putting it into first he slipped into reverse. Just as he started to move backwards the guy behind moved forwards and they collided. Apparently the driver behind him was drunk and didn’t realize Peter backed into him. That guy’s insurance got stuck with the bill.


Peter was reliable to a fault.  He had a standing date at the Fort Collins Club three days a week for exercise.  Listening to him, I think he exercised his mouth and his ears more than his legs. In January he wished that all the newbies would find different parking places because all of his favorites were always occupied when he got there.  He was always up to listening to what was new with his buddies.  There were small celebrations when someone returned to the group after being gone for a while, or house visits to pay when someone had an ailment.  His neighbors said the same thing.  Up until a few years ago, everyone on the street would get together on a regular basis for this reason or that.  For years Peter was involved with his local HOA and was responsible for the money.  No surprise there.  After all, money was the subject of study while he was in University.  He was not happy when car dealerships stopped negotiating over car prices.


Did you ever play a game with Peter?  It didn’t matter if it was bridge, the cross word puzzle, Words with Friends.  He played to win. As a kid, handball was popular.  I can still see him sitting at the kitchen counter discussing each play and what went right and what went wrong.


Was he perfect?  No, not by any stretch of the imagination.  He had his faults and flaws like all of us have.  In the end, Peter was an honorable, reliable, moral man, veteran, father, grandfather, brother, son, friend and member of his community who will be missed. He died in peace in the morning of  March 21, 2023.  Peter leaves a small, strong and resilient family and many friends and neighbors.  Rest in Peace.


Peter will have a military funeral with honors at Viegut Funeral Home in Loveland Colorado at 11am on April 28, 2023.  All are welcome.

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Memorial service

11:00 am
Friday, April 28, 2023
Viegut Funeral Home
1616 N. Lincoln Ave.
Loveland , Colorado, United States
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