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William Lawrence Miles

March 4, 1934 - May 18, 2017



What a Life.  What a Man! 

William Lawrence Miles passed away on May 18, 2017 at the age of 83 surrounded by family, having lived a full, loving and productive life. A proud Oregonian, Bill was born March 4, 1934 as an only child and grew up in Ashland, where he made lifelong friends and great memories he loved to share.  He excelled in sports and school.  He met the first love of his life in high school, Leona Mae Richmond.  They married on June 10, 1953, only 1 year out of high school and 1 week before he shipped out for a year and a half of honorable service in the US Army, stationed for a year in Japan.  After discharge from the military he and Leona started a family and moved to Eugene, OR where he attended and graduated from the University of Oregon.  He worked 40 hours a week at night in a grocery store to pay his own way through college and support his family, all while attending University classes full time.  He was the first in his family to graduate from college, with a degree in accounting.  After graduation he took a job with the Division of Audits for the State of Oregon in Salem, and became a Certified Public Accountant.  With Leona and his 4 kids - Lisa, Dave, Dan and Doug - he moved into a newly-built house in West Salem, where he would live for the rest of his life.  He was a great husband, an unbelievable father, and became a great friend and trusted advisor to each of his children in their adult lives.  He rose to the position of Supervisor of the Division of Audits, and proudly served a long line of Secretaries of State until his retirement in 1992.

In retirement he took an interest in cooking.  With innate talent and his thorough approach to everything he did, he created some of the best recipes and meals any of us ever enjoyed.  He also had a chance to take up golf and reconnect and spend time with many friends from his school days in Ashland.  His greatest good fortune in retirement was to find the 2nd love of his life, Patricia Jane Miles.  They developed a relationship and bond that led to marriage and a beautiful life together.  They enjoyed cooking together, traveling together, and doting on their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren together.  Most of all they enjoyed each other’s company, support and love and were nearly inseparable for 25 years.   He was a proud Oregon Duck class of 1960, Blazer fan and enthusiastic supporter of Oregon Winemakers, local food suppliers and his favorite restaurants.  He is survived by his wife Patricia, his 4 children and their spouses, 11 grandchildren and one great grandchild.  They all will miss him dearly.

What a Man.  What a Life!

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society https://www.cancer.org/ .  In keeping with Bill's wishes, he will be laid to rest quietly by his family, without public ceremony. 

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I first met Bill some 40 years ago and knew him as a man of great thoughtfulness, humor, and integrity. Simply an outstanding human.