Candra Kay (Smith) Miller, 60, passed from this earth on Sept. 17, 2013.
Known as Candy, she was born Feb. 19, 1953, in Iola, the daughter of Altie Wayne and Lula Bell (Bair) Smith. At the age of 3, her parents moved to Springer, N.M., for employment on the Red River Ranch. The family later returned to Iola in 1968. Her Western upbringing fueled her love for horses, nature, and adventure.
On Aug. 16, 1980, she married Ronald W. Miller, Yates Center. Each brought a young child into the union from previous marriages, and together they raised Jonathan W. Miller, Topeka, and Jarred A. Henry, Oskaloosa. Occasionally, Jeremy A. Miller, Winfield, would join the family, and Candy mothered each of them as her own.
While her children were growing, Candy was active in their development as a “home room” mother at school, Cub Scout leader, Vacation Bible School and Sunday school teacher, and by serving as a deacon, then later elder of the First Christian Church. As the wife of a volunteer fireman, for 25 years she assisted with fundraising and community projects sponsored by the Yates Center Volunteer Fire Department. In 1990, she took employment as office manager of the Woodson County Road and Bridge Department, retiring in Nov. of 2012.
Candy lived life. Together with Ron, she camped, hiked, toured, rode and explored much of the United States, beginning with their honeymoon in the Rocky Mountains. Throughout their marriage, they took in the skyline of New York and explored forts along the Hudson; drank tequila on a dinner yacht in San Francisco bay when the Giants won the pennant; and were among the crowd in Washington, D.C., for the Fourth of July fireworks celebration. They hiked and photographed the Durango and Silverton Railroad high-line above the Animus River Canyon, danced to Zydeco music in New Orleans, and explored Indian ruins in the San Yuan Mountains. They rode horses throughout the Black Hills, motorcycles throughout the U.S., coasters at Disney World, and bicycles down Pikes Peak; they showered by moonlight under a waterfall on the Chisholm Trail; white water-rafted mountain streams; and boated among the ’gators in the Louisiana swamps. Candy also broke two horses to ride, and achieved a black belt ranking in Tai Quan Do.
Candy is survived by her loving husband Ron, Yates Center; her sons, Jonathan and Jarred; stepson, Jeremy; five grandchildren; her brothers, Rodney and DeWayne; and her parents. She was preceded in death by a child from her first marriage, Amy Dawn Henry.
Funeral services for Candy will be at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the United Methodist Church in Yates Center. No formal visitation is planned. Burial will follow in Highland Cemetery, Iola. In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorials to the Yates Center Volunteer Fire Department equipment fund.
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