Delma Justine Starcher Miller

Delma Justine Starcher was born on Daniels Run Calhoun County March 3, 1929, the daughter of Allen Brown and Icie Mae Duvall Starcher. She was the youngest of a family of nine children. Three older siblings died in childhood and one younger sister died in infancy.

Justine, as she was known, ("Teenie" as close family members called her), attended school at Daniels Run, and graduated from Calhoun County High School in 1945 at age 16, having been "double-promoted" somewhere along the way.

From 1945 she lived away from Daniels Run, worked at Paden City pottery for a while, lived for a time with her brother Victor in Sistersville WV, and perhaps had a few other adventures. She was back at Daniels Run with the illness of her mother in 1949 or so. Icie had suffered a stroke some months before her death. Justine helped care for her in her final months.

Justine's mother Icie died April 21, 1950 at age 62. Justine married Corley Miller a few weeks later on June 11, 1950 in the front yard of the home on Daniel's Run. Justine had met Corley at Church (Footnote**).

Corley Miller was born on Tanner Creek (Tanner #4), Shock West Virginia in Gilmer County on November 6, 1922, the son of Grover Cleveland and Oe Minney Miller. Corley attended Gilmer County schools through the 8th grade, did some farming, managed an Ox team, dug irrigation ditches in Idaho with the Civilian Conservation Corps, worked for a while in a defense plant, served in the Navy during the latter part of World War II in Hawaii and Midway Island, came home and learned the mechanic trade at Nashville Auto Diesel College, passed his GED test but never bothered to pick up his certificate, preached in the Church of Christ, and met Justine.

Upon hearing of the upcoming marriage of Corley and Justine, Allen B. Starcher, Justine's father, reportedly had only one question regarding Corley: "Is he a Democrat or a Republican?" Upon learning that Corley was indeed a Democrat, the marriage reportedly was immediately blessed. An image of their marriage certificate is available AT THIS LINK.

Corley and Justine lived at the Allen B. Starcher home on Daniel's Run for a short time after they were married on June 11, 1950. They were living there during the "big snow of '50." Corley worked as a mechanic at the State Road Commission in Calhoun County. They soon moved to their four room home (four rooms and a path) on Phillips Run on Rt 16, two miles south of Grantsville. The home was located between the Hunter Huffman and Ada Hosey Nutter home, was remodeled through the years, and burned down years after the Millers moved away.

Through the 1950's up to the early 60's, Justine was a stay-at-home mom. Corley worked at the State Road Commission. Sharon Lou Miller came along February 15, 1952, and Timothy Charles Miller appeared October 1, 1954.

Justine was quite ill at the time of the birth of Tim, requiring gallbladder surgery at a clinic in Elizabeth WV. Tim stayed with Justine's brother Victor and Rose Starcher for a short time after his birth. It was a rough patch, and Corley had bills that were piling up. Corley often remarked that during this rough patch he went to Poe Gunn who owned a general merchandise store in Grantsville. Inquiring if it would be possible to buy groceries and other items on credit, Poe responded, to the effect of, "If there is anything in this store you need, you are welcome to it. And if there is something you need that I don't have, I'll get it for you. Pay me when you can." (As an aside, Poe Gun was a second cousin of Allen B. Starcher, through Jacob and Nancy Booher).

In 1956, when Governor Underwood was elected and the Republicans took over state office, there was apparently a concern, whether real or imagined, that all the Democrats working at the State Road Commission would soon be out of work. Poe Gunn advised Corley to drive down to Brooksville and see Irish Williams about getting a job with the Eureka Pipeline Company. Corley took his advice, and worked for Eureka from 1956 until his disability and retirement in 1984-85. He advanced to assistant foreman, foreman, and southern district superintendent in 1969, the position he held at the time of his retirement. Eureka was a "union" outfit - OCAW. (Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers Union). Benefits were (for the time) reasonable.

The property on Phillips Run did not lend itself to farming. It was 10 acres, 9 of which were straight up the hill behind the house. Two gardens were maintained, and a pig was kept for a time. Perhaps Justine got tired of having to run all over the place to catch the pig when the pig got out of the pen, which was rather frequent. Pig chasing was often aided by the Huffman boys next door, Ronnie and Roger, and a boat load of Hathaway boys just down the road, Ernie, Dave, Wesley, Carlton, and others. They went out of the pig business about 1960.

Kathryn Rose Miller came along October 16, 1960. The family augmented their income for a time by Corley selling "Choremaster" lawn mowers and garden tractors. He was known as the lawn mower/roto-tiller repairman of the area, did automobile mechanic work, but often did such repairs for his friends and neighbors for nothing. The family dabbled in the strawberry business and the door-to-door potholder and Christmas card sales business.

Things started looking up. In 1960 Corley purchased a pickup, which meant that now Justine had use of the car during the day while Corley was at work. (Prior to that, they were a "one-car family." Justine would call in grocery orders to Alta Stump at Garland's Grocery. Mrs. Stump would put the groceries in a box, set the box in the front of the store, and Corley would pick them up on his way home from work. The grocery bill was paid once a month, and the Stumps always gave the Millers a treat - a gallon of ice cream or a package of cookies - when the monthly bill was paid.)

In 1962, an addition was made to the house on Phillips Run, and indoor plumbing was installed. Prior to that, water was procured from a pitcher pump on the back porch, and baths were taken in a wash tub on the kitchen floor. But make no mistake, NOBODY EVER WENT DIRTY. Furniture and appliances were often obtained - at bargain prices - from Justine's brother Victor who had a furniture store in Sistersville. Victor was Justine's "big brother" in every noble sense of the term. There was a special relationship between the two.

It can be noted that, true to West Virginia form, Corley and Justine had a TV set with an antenna way back on top of the hill long before they had indoor plumbing. Boys from the neighborhood used to come to the house to watch baseball games on TV.

Along about 1964 Justine became a working mom, getting a job at Rubber Fabricators in Grantsville. She ran some kind of sewing machine which sewed some kind of strap or webbing for a life vest or life raft or something.

Corley was elected to the Calhoun County Board of Education in 1964. Allison Lea was born on Friday the 13th, May 13, 1966. The Millers were now a two income family, and Corley, now a foreman, had use of a company truck to drive to work. He continued preaching, and performed marriages from the 1950's until his death. Many many marriages of family, friends, and just plain strangers took place in the living room at the home on Phillips Run.

In 1969 Corley was promoted to southern district superintendant with the Eureka Pipeline Company. That required a family move to Spencer, which was headquarters for the southern district. Noted in passing, it seem curious that the family was required to move to Spencer, only about 45 minutes from Grantsville, when many today commute an hour or more to work daily. But, that's the way it was.

When they moved to Spencer, they lived at 527 Church Street, renting from the Kincaids. Justine worked for a while as a clerk at G.C. Murphy's, then took a job at Spencer State Hospital as a ward clerk, a position she held until the hospital closed in 1989.

Corley, no doubt going through withdrawal over the lack of a garden to work in, struck up a friendship with Roy "Happy" Cooper, a retired Eureka employee, who lived on Scaffold Run just outside of Spencer. "Happy" turned his garden on Scaffold Run over to Corley. Happy later sold Corley and Justine a few acres of his farm just up the road on Scaffold Run, on which Corley and Justine built their new house in 1973.

Corley suffered a stroke, from which he recovered, while at work in 1984 at age 62. He was able to stretch his disability time to his retirement, and retired in 1985. Justine retired in 1989 at age 60.

Corley and Justine lived their remaining years on Scaffold Run, thoroughly enjoying their marriage and family. Corley stayed busy in his woodworking shop up until a few years before his death. He continued preaching here and there, served on the Board of Directors of the Western District Guidance Clinic for a time, and loved Justine. Justine loved Corley and her family.

Corley died August 27, 2008 at Roane General Hospital in Spencer, age 85. Justine died at home on Scaffold Run April 7, 2009, age 80.

A family tree is available AT THIS LINK


Justine Starcher Miller, 1949


Corley Miller, 1949


The home on Phillips Run, circa 1952

Supper time on Phillips Run, circa 1959


Corley and Justine, 35th wedding anniversary, 1985

Corley and Justine, 50th wedding anniversary, 2000


The family in 2005.
Seated: Justine and Corley
Standing L to R: Allison Miller, Timothy Miller, Sharon Miller Burns, Kathy Miller Phares


Corley Miller, of Spencer, West Virginia, died August 27, 2008, at Roane General Hospital, Spencer, WV, after an extended illness. Corley was born November 6, 1922, in Shock, WV, to Grover C. and Oe Minney Miller.

Corley was a member of the Church of Christ and worshiped with the congregation at Spencer. Throughout his life he served the church by teaching and preaching the Gospel of Christ at various congregations of the church in West Virginia.

In 1939, Corley spent five months in the Civilian Conservation Corps. He also served in the United States Navy during World WWII and was stationed at NTS, Great Lakes, IL; NAS, Barbers Point, T. H.; NAS, Midway Islands; and NAS, Hilo, Hawaii, T. H. In 1947, he graduated from Nashville Auto-Diesel College and worked as a mechanic in Glenville, WV, and for the State Road Commission in Calhoun County, WV. He served on the Calhoun County Board of Education from 1964-1968, and was on the Board of Directors for the Western District Guidance Clinic during the 1970's.

He retired from Pennzoil Company after having served as the Superintendent of the Southern Division of Eureka Pipeline Company. After retirement, he preached for the Church of Christ at Millstone, WV, for several years. He enjoyed gardening and woodworking.

Corley is survived by his wife of 58 years, Justine Starcher Miller; a brother, Marvin Gale Miller, of Stumptown, WV; a sister, Luanne (Carl) Conrad, of Elyria, OH; three daughters; Sharon Burns and Kathy Phares of Fayetteville, WV, and Allison Miller of Spencer; one son, Dr. Timothy (Mary Kay) Miller of Kingwood, WV; six grandchildren, Andy (Nellie) Burns of Lansing, WV, Nathan and Daniel Miller of Kingwood, WV, Michael (Heather) Phares of Fayetteville, Mark Miller of Baltimore, MD, and Jenny (Teddy) Johns of Honolulu, HI; six great-grandchildren, Eli and Isaac Burns of Lansing, Madison Phares and Braxton Satterfield of Fayetteville, Xander and Xaylen Johns of Honolulu; several nieces and nephews; and a wide circle of friends.

Corley was preceded in death by his parents; seven brothers, Orbert, Obert, George David, Hurley Bon, Colby Ossle, Ray, and Arlyn Bly Miller; four sisters, Minnie Elmira Norman, Carrie Mamie Frame, Jessie Brady, and May Miller; and a son-in-law, Mike Burns.

Services will be held 2 p.m. Sunday, August 31, 2008. at Stump Funeral Home in Arnoldsburg, WV, with Carl Conrad and Blaine Cook officiating. Burial will be in the Barr Cemetery in Calhoun, WV.

Visitation will be Saturday, August 30 from 6 to 9 p.m.

"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints" (Psalm 116:15)

Delma Justine Starcher Miller, of Spencer, West Virginia, died April 7, 2009, at home after a brief illness. Justine was born March 3, 1929, in Millstone, Calhoun County, WV, to the late Allen Brown and Icie May Duvall Starcher.

She was a member of the Church of Christ and worshiped with the congregation at Spencer.

Justine graduated from Calhoun County High School in 1945. She was a wife and mother for most of her life, but also held other jobs including Paden City Pottery, Rubber Fabricators in Grantsville, and G.C. Murphy in Spencer. She retired from Spencer State Hospital in 1989. She enjoyed sewing, reading, gardening, and her grandchildren.

In addition to her parents she was preceded in death by her husband of 58 years, Corley Miller, eight brothers, Melvin, Delbert, Aldine, Victor, Ray, Vere, Richard, and Denver; three sisters, Opal Nitz, Beulah Burden, and Pauline Starcher; and a son-in-law, Mike Burns.

Justine is survived by a sister, Nina Boatright of Atlanta, Georgia; three daughters, Sharon Burns and Kathy Phares of Fayetteville, WV, and Allison Miller of Spencer; one son, Dr. Timothy (Mary Kay) Miller of Kingwood, WV; six grandchildren, Andy (Nellie) Burns of Lansing, WV, Nathan and Daniel Miller of Kingwood, Michael (Heather) Phares of Fayetteville, Mark Miller of Baltimore, MD, and Jenny (Teddy) Johns of Fayetteville, WV; six great grandchildren, Eli and Isaac Burns of Lansing, Madison Phares, Braxton Satterfield, Xander and Xaylen Johns of Fayetteville; several nieces and nephews; and a wide circle of friends.

Services will be held 1 p.m. Saturday, April 11 at Stump Funeral Home in Arnoldsburg, WV, with Gene H.Miller officiating. Burial will be in the Barr Cemetery in Calhoun County.

Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Kanawha Hospice Care. Inc., 1606 Kanawha Blvd. W., Charleston, WV 25302 or Roane County Committee on Aging/Meals on Wheels, 811 Madison Avenue, Spencer, WV 25276.

"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints" (Psalm 116:15)


Footnote **
This would be the Church of Christ which meets at Millstone, the building located at the top of Millstone Hill in Calhoun County.

A bit of history concerning this congregation: This writer interviewed Mr. Blaine Cook in August 2010. Mr. Cook, age 89 in 2010, has been a minister with the Church of Christ for over 70 years. In 1939, Mr. Cook was invited to preach in the Millstone area, and did so in the home of one J.S. (Simpson) Allen who lived near the location of the Church of Christ building at Millstone. Mr. Allen later donated a portion of his property for the construction of the building which still stands today.

Mr. Cook's sermons were apparantly well received in the community, and it was soon determined that a larger room was needed to accomodate those who wished to hear Mr Cook's sermons. Thomas Watson "Watt" Everson lived just north of the location of the present day church building on Rt 16, and he operated a store located across the road from his house. Mr Everson volunteered the use of a larger room in the basement of his store for use as a place to hold services. From this beginning, several were baptized, the congregation at Millstone was established, and the building was constructed.

Blaine Cook named several who attended services of the Church of Christ at Millstone soon after the congregation was set in order. These included ...
Watt Everson: Watt was a brother of Bertie Everson Duvall Price, and thus was Justine's great uncle

Ralph and Arvella (Everson) Maffett: Ralph Maffett was the son of Hannibal Maffett. Hannibal Maffett was a half-brother to Jack Starcher, Justine's grandfather. Thus, Justine and Ralph Maffett were first cousins once removed on the Starcher side of the family (Justine's great grandmother Aseneth was Ralph's grandmother). Arvella Everson Maffett was the daughter of Watt Everson. Thus, Justine and Arevella Everson Maffett were first cousins once removed on the Everson side of the family (Justine's great grand parents Ruth Ice Everson and Thomas H.B. Everson were Arvella's grandparents).

Delia Wilmoth Gunn: Delia was a daughter of Francis Marion Wilmoth and Melissa Everson Wilmoth. Melissa Everson Wilmoth was a sister of Watt Everson and Bertie Everson Duvall Price. Thus, Melissa was Justine's great aunt, and Delia Wilmoth Gunn would have been Justine's first cousin once removed. Delia was married to Eddie Gunn. Delia died in 1958.

Allen B. and Icie Starcher: Justine's parents. Icie attended regularly. Allen B., not so regularly.

Work in progress
tmiller@mountain.net



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