Murrel Miller's Journey Murrel Emery Miller was born in Rankin, Oklahoma, on August 19th, 1920, to Lester and Myrtle Miller. He was the oldest of 10 children. In 1924 the family moved to Paonia, Colorado to enable Lester Miller to improve the condition of his lungs, which were damaged during World War I. They returned to Oklahoma about 10 years later. The Miller family farmed the land and Lester wanted Murrel to become a farmer. But when his boyhood friend Charles Carey introduced Murrel to radio, farming didn't stand a chance. Murrel was very skilled with his hands and could take old radios apart and fix them. At age 19 he opened a radio repair booth in the corner of a store in Canadian, Texas. One of the conditions for keeping his booth was that he had to go to church every Sunday. This led to his becoming a Christian. About 1940 Murrel went to San Diego with his sister Helen and her husband Bill Parks. There he found work at Consolidated Aircraft assembling B-24 bombers. He was inducted into the Army in 1943, and not surprisingly was accepted into radio training school. He was assigned to a troop transport ship as the ship's radio operator and made several trans-Atlantic trips to the Mediterranean. He was honorably discharged from the Army in 1946. After the war Murrel continued to study electronics through mail-order courses. Murrel began dating his eventual wife Navada shortly after he returned home from the war. He asked Navada's father for her hand in marriage while they were working together planting seed. It was rather casual, something like "Well, do you think we should go to Cheyenne and get a marriage license?" They were married August 4, 1946, in a ceremony at her parents' home. They lived briefly in the state of Washington before finally settling in Southern California in 1947. Murrel found work at North American Aviation in El Segundo eventually becoming their chief communications technician in charge of their fleet of corporate jets and helicopters. Murrel and Navada raised 2 children: Mike born in 1951 and Ken born in 1955. The family began attending South Bay Church of God in Torrance in 1952 and has continued worshipping there ever since. Murrel has had many jobs at the church over the years including treasurer, Sunday School teacher and office assistant. However, what most people will remember him for is designing, installing and operating all of the sound systems. He faithfully mixed the sound for all Sunday services, recorded them and made copies upon request. He also took the lead in installing the electrical wiring during the construction of the sanctuary in 1958. He was honored with a plaque at church naming the media center after him in recognition of sharing his technological gifts with the church for 54 years. Murrel was very handy and could fix just about anything, including the toaster that he had for 50 years. He fixed it time and time again instead of just buying a new one. His boys realize that his interests in science and technology had a positive teaching effect on them. He once had a side business raising chinchillas and also had a license for television repair. He enjoyed his Ham radio hobby and was able to contact people in over 200 countries. His first grandchild, Curtis, was born in 1986 followed by his granddaughter, Molly, born in 1988. He and Navada enjoyed watching Curtis perform in numerous plays and Molly compete in soccer and volleyball. Murrel and Navada took some well-deserved trips in retirement, touring much of the United States and Europe. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a trip to Paris. Murrel was a quiet man who led by example and was known for his cheery, good-natured personality. He had the natural ability to roll with the punches. Mike remembers leaving a restaurant following a steak dinner that was terrible and Murrel saying "that wasn't too bad." Murrel had always enjoyed good health until his stroke at the age of 85. He was paralyzed on his left side and never recovered much function. He lost his wife Navada after 60 years of marriage on November 9th, 2006. He felt fortunate to be able to stay in his home under the watchful eye of a wonderful caregiver, Pauline Smith. During the last 2 weeks of his life Pauline could hear him singing "When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder." He died peacefully in his sleep about noon on March 2, 2009. Murrel is survived by his children Mike and Ken, daughters-in-law Kathy and Dina, grandchildren Curtis and Molly, and sisters Erma Rainey and Hazel Jackson of Oklahoma and Joan Martinez of Florida. Visitation and viewing will take place Saturday, March 7th from 5 to 9 PM at Rice Mortuary located at 5310 Torrance Blvd, Torrance, California. The funeral service will be held Sunday, March 8th at 3 PM at the South Bay Church of God located at 17661 Yukon Ave, Torrance, California. A reception will follow at the church. The burial service will be held Monday, March 9th at 10 AM at Green Hills Memorial Park located at 27501 S. Western Ave., Rancho Palos Verdes, California.

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  1. What a beautiful remembrance video. Your Dad was always so nice to me. Praise the Lord, we will see him again. May you feel God’s comfort and loving arms around. Randy Struble

  2. My Heart and sadness are with you, and my joy as well at his graduation to be with our Lord and Savior JESUS.

  3. We remember Murrel with love and thank our Lord for his presence in our lives. He was quiet, gentle, ever smiling and welcoming to those who knew him.We are so thankful Curtis and Molly were privileged to have Murrel as their grandfather. Murrel and Navada are sharing their love for our Lord together in God’s presence. May you know our Lord’s presence and His special love for you

  4. What a nice write up. Murrel was so proud of getting the recognition he did after contacting all those different countries on his ham radio.He filled in for me in the Sunday Shool Office many times with little notice and I appreciated that & felt I could count on him.Sorry for your loss.He was a good friend to me.Polly Kuykendall

  5. Murrel was such a friendly person always. I recall the many years seeing him at the sound system, always with a smile.

  6. Sorry to hear about the passing of your Father. I am thinking about all of you at this time. God be with you at this time Love and Prayers to you all Deborah

  7. A quiet, humble, giving, lovable person. He, and his wife Navada, will always remain in our hearts and memories as true Christian witnesses. Love to the family and prayers of thankgiving for his life.

  8. We will always remember Murrel for his kindness, friendliness, and commitment to his family and the South Bay Church of God. He was an excellent example of a Christian man.

  9. Murrel was a great friend to us during our stay in LA and his visit to us in the UK, we will always treasure the memories

  10. What a beautiful tribute to your father. I will remember his warm smile. He was truly fortunate to have such a loving family and wonderful caregiver in Pauline. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.

  11. Our love goes out to the family. Murrel was a wonderful man. Kenny & I remember working in the Sunday School Office for many years with Murrel. He was such a joy to be with. A gentle giant! Murrel & Navada together again. Blessings to the family.

  12. To Mike, Ken and Family: Your father served as a wonderful example of what Jesus expected from men. We are to love our wife, children and the church. It seems so simple, and that is the genius of greatness. That was your dad, and I will miss him.

  13. Dear Mike,Ken,and family, We express deepest sorrow and love at this time of great loss. Murrel was our wonderful friend for many years. May God bless all of you. Much love, Joe and Charlotte Bellamy

  14. There are so many memories I have of Murrel, but the one that stands out the most is Murrel coming up the stairs to the Sunday School Office with the attendance sheets and finding baby Justin or Jon Tierney in the office with me. He would stop what he was doing to spend time with whichever one was there. He was one of the nicest, kindest and most interesting persons I’ve known. He will be missed by many individuals who were fortunate to know him. Gail Tierney

  15. Mike, Sorry to hear of your Dad’s passing. Sharon and I send our sincere condolences for your loss. Love to get together for lunch some time. Call me. Our prayers are with you – In His name, Dick and Sharon

  16. Mike, Dona and I are saddened to hear of your dad’s passing and give you you and your family our condolences. Seek strength in that Murriel was blessed with a long and happy life -a life lived well with a loving family.

  17. Dear Ken,Dina,Mike,Kathy and Family, Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you go through this emotional time. Uncle Murrel touched so many hearts, including mine. Love, Susan, Ral,Robbie, Jonathan, & Stuart Roosa

  18. Mike,Ken and Family It is a sad day when we lose our earthly Farthers,but what a wonderful thing to know that they are in the presence of our heavnly Farther. One day we will be with them again. You are all in our prayers to have a peace and comfort during this time and in the days to follow. Love you all.

  19. What a wonderful tribute and video of the funeral! Thanks for sharing. I too have very fond memories of Uncle Murrel at Aunt Irma’s house in Elk City. My brother and I, when we were little, thought Uncle Murrel was the coolest guy we had ever met because he had a “tape recorder”! He let us record and listen to ourselves on that thing for hours. He was truly a kind, patient, and honorable man. It is obvious that he lead a admirable life. He will be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with your family. Kim Leftwich (Jackie Leftwich’s Daughter)

  20. Mike,Ken, and Family, I thank you for sharing Uncle Murrel’s tribute and memorial with my family,it was wonderful. I remember when we we’re stationed in Germany and our only commuication with grandma Miller was by tape recording, you’re dad started, he would send them to us and we would record over and get to talk to grandma that way, it was the greatest thing for us. Uncle Murrel was quit the humble man, and as they all say a gentle giant. I am blessed that I have had him in my life, and very honored. my God be with you all and our prayers are with you (love) Nancy

  21. Murrel was a great example of faith, integrity, and character in Christ. I pray the memories and witness of Murrel will inspire all of you.

  22. Mike Thank you and Pauline for making Murrel’s last months as easy as you could . He was a good man and good friend and will be remembered . Jim N6TKL

  23. Ken, Mike, I have such wonderful memories of Uncle Murrel. He was so kind & sweet. Thank you for such a wonderful tribute—brought back a lot of memories to see all those “Millers” ha together. What a family! He will be able to be with his mother, dad and sisters & brothers now. I will always cherish his memory. Love to you both!!! Jackie Sue

  24. Thank you for sharing Murrel’s story. We join you in celebrating his life. God bless you and keep you. Dave and Leuan

  25. Dear Mike and Kenny – we want to offer our heart felt condolences regarding the loss of your Dad, Murrel. Praise be to God for His loving gift of eternal life – I hope this promise will bring you all comfort in this sad time. We are thinking of you and holding you and your families in our prayers. Anne and Laurie (Urquhart)

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