JOPLIN, MO — Tripp Miller passed away early Monday morning, May 23, 2011, after sustaining severe injuries from the tornado that hit Joplin on Sunday afternoon. Tripp was the son of Patricia Gray Miller and Ray Donald Miller, Jr. of Joplin and was born at St. John's Hospital in Joplin on July 20, 1961. He graduated from Collegeview State School in 1982. After graduating, Tripp began working at the Sheltered Workshop in Carthage for two years and then joined the work force at Joplin Workshop, Inc. and worked there for the last 27 years. He was a lifelong member of the First Presbyterian Church in Joplin and attended regularly his God's Fellowship Sunday School class. Some of Tripp's many loves in his full life were living with his childhood friends, Rick Fox and Mark Farmer, at their home at 2302 Iowa; his special friends, Penny Morehouse, at Joplin Regional Center and James Newman, case worker of connections case management and Tripp's support staff of Community Support Services; bowling weekly with friends at 4th Street Bowl; meeting with friends at 1st Presbyterian Church; his title of "Number 1 Uncle" to his five nieces and four nephews; traveling to see his brother and sisters; going to Mizzou football games with his family where he was a very proud member of the University of Missouri Alumni Association; and rooting, as a life-long fan, for his St. Louis Cardinals and then calling his Dad to let him know the results of the game. Tripp loved sports. He was an enthusiastic fan of local high school sports teams, particularly the Parkwood Bears and Joplin Eagles. He was a participant in the Special Olympics since his school days. He excelled at bowling and in his early years, swimming. He won his last of many gold medals at the State Special Olympics in the fall of 2010 at 4th Street Bowl in Joplin by bowling the best game of his life. Tripp was a happy, gentle, kind, and loving man. He didn't know a stranger. He was your friend for life even if he just met you and was always so glad to see you. He touched the lives of so many people, and we were all better people having him in our life. His family will miss him terribly every moment of every day. Tripp is survived by his sisters, Melinda Miller Crowe and her husband, Lawrence Kerdolff Crowe, of Overland Park, Kan.; Rebecca Miller Gurley and her husband, Curtis Raymond Gurley, of Farmington, N.M., and Mary Elizabeth Williams of Galena, Kan.; brother, Thomas Gray Miller and his wife Patti O¹Sullivan Miller of St. Louis, Mo.; nephews, Lawrence Kerdolff (Kert) Crowe, Jr., Nathan Miller Crowe, Jackson Miller Gurley, Davis Cummins Gurley; nieces Laura Elizabeth Crowe, Elizabeth Leigh Williams, Riley Grace Miller, Molly Ann Miller and Madison Rose Miller; uncles William R. Gray and family of New Berlin, Wis., Thomas R. Gray and family of Columbia, Mo.; aunt Patricia Miller Righthouse, of Broken Arrow, Okla. and many additional cousins and relatives. A celebration of life memorial service will be held at the 1st Presbyterian Church located at 509 South Pearl, Joplin, at 2 p.m. Friday, May 27, with a visitation following in John Knox Hall at the church. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions to the 1st Presbyterian Church or the Joplin Sheltered Workshop.
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Brian R. Giebler
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