WEST SALEM, Wis. – Alvin “Wimpy” Miller, 72, of West Salem died Friday, Oct. 18, 2002, at Vernon Memorial Hospital, Viroqua, Wis.
He was born Nov. 2, 1929, in Barre Mills to Emil and Lilly (Oldenburg) Miller. Wimpy was a 1948 graduate of West Salem High School. After graduation, he chose the profession he had always dreamed of by attending the Reisch School of Auctioneering in Mason City, Iowa. Wimpy continued his auctioneering profession for the next 54 years until his unexpected death last Friday while conducting a sale in Viroqua. He served in the U.S. Army from 1953 until 1955, being stationed in Fort Gordon, Ga. Upon discharge from the military, Wimpy was employed at Sears & Roebuck selling farm equipment. In January 1959, he married Myrna Rae Jevne, and together they have celebrated over 43 years of marriage. They had no children. Wimpy served on the West Salem School Board from 1965 until 1970. He and Myrna lived on a farm in Holmen for 25 years, and during this time Wimpy also served on the Holmen School Board for 17 years.
He was an avid Chicago Cubs fan and faithfully followed the team, being a member of the Die Hard Cub Fan Club and always hoped for a team pennant. Wimpy’s interest in this sport lured him to Mesa, Ariz., to watch Cubs spring training, where he and Myrna would spend their winter months. Sports have always been a huge part of Wimpy’s life. He managed the West Salem City Baseball Team for many years and also played city team basketball and softball. Wimpy served on the La Crosse County ASCS Committee from 1974 until 1992 and continued until the time of his death to be a director for the Shelby Mutual Insurance Co. of West Salem.
Wimpy was happiest when he was working auctions. He was a member of the Wisconsin State Auctioneers Association, being inducted into their Hall of Fame in 1991, an honor he was always very proud of. Wimpy was also a member of the National Auctioneers Association. He has touched the lives of many young people in the area as he conducted the La Crosse County Junior Interstate Livestock Sale at the fair since its beginning over 30 years ago, a job he truly enjoyed.
Survivors include his wife, Myrna Rae; two brothers, Eldor of La Crosse and Gordon (Sylvia) of West Salem; a sister, Florence Brave of West Salem; along with several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Emil.
Funeral services will be Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2002, at 11 a.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church, W3565 County Hwy. M, Barre Mills. The Rev. Andrew Schultz and the Rev. Mark Bartling will officiate. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Friends may call at Jostad-Jandt Funeral Home, 121 N. Youlon St., West Salem, today from 4 until 8 p.m. and at the church Tuesday from 10 a.m. until the time of service. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the American Diabetes Association-La Crosse Chapter.
“Wimpy,” the name he was fondly called for nearly 70 years, is a legend in the West Salem community and will be sadly missed by all who knew him. Now it is time to rest. God Bless.