Cover photo for John George Miller's Obituary
John George Miller Profile Photo
1938 John 2024

John George Miller

January 28, 1938 — January 28, 2024

John George Miller, Green Bay, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on his 86th birthday, January 28, 2024, at Unity Hospice. He was born January 28, 1938, to Mabel (Brost) Miller and Edwin Miller in Cleveland, WI at the family farm. He was the third of five sons. During his childhood he lived in Maribel, Larrabee and Green Bay. He attended St. Phillips and graduated from Green Bay East High School in 1956. In high school he participated in track where he was given the nickname, “Miller the Miler.”


Following high school, he served in the U.S. Navy aboard the U.S.S. Des Moines as a radio operator during the Suez Canal Crisis. Upon returning, John and a friend traveled to Florida in hopes of making it to the big league trying out for major league baseball teams and ended up supporting themselves as carnival workers and grapefruit pickers. When back in Wisconsin, John played two seasons with the Manitowoc Chiefs, a semi-professional football team. His passion for sports led him to being a longtime coach of basketball and football at St. Phillips school.


John met Clare Finnel at the 616 Club in 1959 and they were married at St. James Church, Cooperstown on August 20, 1960. John and Clare lived in Green Bay, Cooperstown and at the Circle Tap in New Denmark while starting their family. Together they had 5 children.


John was destined to become an entrepreneur, gaining experience working various jobs throughout his childhood. John worked for 7-Up Bottling Company as a route driver from 1958-63. He then owned and operated a Rahr’s beer distributorship from 1963-68. It was during this time that he purchased Circle Tap in January 1967, and proceeded to build a softball diamond (so that he could play) that continues to host the top fastpitch teams in the world. He owned Circle Tap until he sold it in 1986 to Darren and Craig. In 2012, the diamond was dedicated as John Miller Field. John owned Denmark Coin during the 1970’s and 1980’s. He was also involved in other businesses including Video Doctors and Pocket Change Arcade. It was in 1972 that he and John Duckett formed The Bar on Lime Kiln in Green Bay, and expanded to other areas later when his sons became involved. Any success in business, he attributed to his mentors (Eddie Whipp and R.O. Miller), partners (John, Gary, Mike, Dale, Brice, and Milt), employees and family.


John enjoyed many trips to Las Vegas and playing Blackjack, winning three tournaments. He even won his last big bet moments before passing. His other hobby and love was supporting and sponsoring local sports teams; including Circle Tap, Denmark Dukes, The Bar, Denmark Devilbears, and Denmark Youth Baseball & Softball. His passion for softball earned him an induction to the ISC Hall of Fame as a contributor in 2012. There is nothing that brought more joy to John than cheering on his own children and especially his grandchildren in all their sports and activities at Denmark, De Pere and West De Pere.

John gave back to the community in many ways including belonging to the VFW, American Legion, Denmark Lions, FFA Alumni, Knights of Columbus, Denmark School Board and Sting Cancer.


Survivors include his wife of 63 years, Clare and their children, Mark Miller, Jess (Patti) Miller, Bill (Kris) Miller, Lora (Mark) Matzke, Kate (Brent) Mathews, 14 grandchildren, Madeline, Margaret, Lizzie (fiancé Max), Elena Miller, Hannah, Brennen, Luke Miller, Amelia, Grace, Cal Matzke, Nolan, Maisie, Hugh and Graham Mathews, brother-in-law Allen Kadletz, sister-in-law Carol Miller, and many nieces, nephews and godchildren.


He was preceded in death by his parents Edwin and Mabel Miller, brothers Bob, Jim, Jerry and Dick, parents-in-law Richard and Elsie Finnel, sisters-in-law Carol Miller, Patty Miller, and Jane Kadletz.


Friends may call at Cotter Funeral Home, Denmark from 4-7 pm on Sunday, February 4. Visitation continues between 9:00–10:45am at Prince of Peace Catholic Parish, 3425 Willow Rd., Green Bay with a mass of Christian Burial to be held at 11:00 am with dinner to follow. John’s funeral mass can be followed live on Facebook at https://facebook.com/popgb54311. A celebration of life will be held at The Bar on Lime Kiln from 3:00–7:00 pm.


The Miller family wishes to thank the doctors, nurses and staff of Bellin Hospital, Aurora Bay Care Medical Center, Oddfellows, County Rescue, caregivers Casey, Brenda, Nolan and Luke, and Unity Meng Hospice, especially Lori, for their care offered. Blessings to all the great friends and good neighbors wherever John & Clare lived. The children would like to thank mom for all the exceptional care she gave for so many years so that he could continue to live at home.

In lieu of flowers, donations will be accepted in John’s honor to Sting Cancer, Unity Hospice and St. John’s Homeless Shelter.


Yes, he REALLY was at the Ice Bowl (we have the 30 yard line marker to prove it)!



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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Monday, February 5, 2024

9:00 - 10:45 am (Eastern time)

Prince of Peace Catholic Church

3425 Willow Road, Green Bay, WI 54311

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Mass

Monday, February 5, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

Prince of Peace Catholic Church

3425 Willow Road, Green Bay, WI 54311

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Burial

St. James Catholic Cemetery

, Denmark, WI 54208

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