Glendale Springs Volunteer Firefighter Donnie Miller
Updated: 2-7-2014 – 9:42pm
A volunteer firefighter from Ashe County died after taking part in a department training exercise. Donnie Miller died within 24-hours of a”department sanctioned training session.” We will posts updated info as it becomes available.
By Dustin Dixon via Facebook
Our FD lost a legend. Growing up I always wanted to be a fireman. And I still remember that red bicycle with a jump rope tied around the bar I used as my pretend fire hose. I had a hand held scanner on the handle bars and a red flashing light on the front. The whistle would sound and I would watch my uncle Charles run out to the truck and come flying down the road headed off to some fire somewhere. I remember one time I heard the whistle trip and I realized the house across the street had a chimney fire. A fireman pulled up in the truck and got out grabbed a ladder and with no fear went straight up on the roof. He fought hard and he seemed so brave. He wouldn’t stop he just kept going. By the time he came down the ladder he was covered in soot and solid black. Of course this was the coolest thing I had ever seen. I saw him years later directing traffic for an accident involving power-lines. I walked up and asked him questions about how to join the FD. He surprisingly encouraged me to come to the next meeting and said they needed some young bloods they were getting to old for this mess. I asked him why he had a rock in his hand and he said it was for the back glass of the first car that passed through his traffic stop. You gotta love Donnie he was a straight shooter and didn’t take no BS. He was your toughest critic. And a hard man to live up too cause his shadow was so big. All of us knew back in his day he was a force to be reckoned with and one heck of a firefighter. He was one of the original smoke eaters back before they had SCBA. Tuff as a pine knot. I learned alot about fire from Donnie and I still use his advice to this day! We’re gonna miss you Bro. Im sorry but i’ll laugh more than I will cry cause I always thought you were hilarious. And i’ll forever tell the stories about what all I saw you do or say. You were definitely a legend in your own time. Rest easy Brother, until we meet again.
Miller, who had been a member of the GSVFD since 1981, was preparing to leave his home to attend an emergency medical care class at the department when he died, according to GSVFD Assistant Chief Andrew Cox. “We had a class scheduled at 6:30 p.m.,” Cox said. “He was fixing to leave and attend the meeting.” Miller’s cause of death is unknown at this time, and funeral arrangements are incomplete, Cox said. “We are working with the fallen firefighters foundation and the Ashe County Honor Guard,” Cox said. “The family has also requested privacy at this time.”
Mr. Donald Ray “Donnie” Miller age 61, of Glendale Springs died on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at his residence. Mr. Miller was born on February 24, 1952 in Ashe County, to Gaither and Florence Mash Miller. Mr. Miller was preceded in death by his father, daughter, Brandy Suzette Miller and sister, Linda Moretz. Mr. Miller was an avid hunter and worked for almost 20 years at Piedmont Wood Products in Taylorsville. He served his community for 33 years in the Glendale Springs Volunteer Fire Department where he had held the position of Assistant Chief. Donnie was a loving son, husband, father, brother and friend.
Funeral services will be held on Sunday, February 9, 2014 at 2:00 pm at the Calvary Freewill Baptist Church, 3044 Old Wilkesboro Rd, Jefferson, Ashe, North Carolina 28640 by Rev. Russell Sheets and Pastor Sonny Thomas. Burial will follow in Claude Mash Cemetery.
The family will receive friends from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm on Sunday, February 9, 2014 at Calvary Freewill Baptist Church.
Mr. Miller is survived by: his wife, Rose Marie Dillard Miller daughter, Marti Miller and fiancée Thomas Ring of Jefferson, his mother, Florence Miller of Glendale Springs, brother, Ronnie Miller and wife Sally of Moravian Falls, two sisters, Brenda Roten and husband Ricky and Pam Potter and husband Kerry all of Glendale Springs. Also surviving are several nieces, nephews, great nieces and one great nephew.
Flowers will be appreciated, or memorials may be made to the Glendale Springs Volunteer Fire Department, c/o Greg Chatham, PO Box 61, Glendale Springs, NC 28629.
Words of comfort and remembrance may be viewed or sent to the family through our website at www.badgerfuneralhome.com