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Mary & Dave Miller Named Family of the Month for April 2024

While she is from Boston and he is from Indianapolis, they met at Home Depot in Orange Park.  They say you can find anything in Home Depot.  They were married by Rev. Fr. James R. Bodie, Jr. here at St. Catherine and have been married for 10 and a half years.  Who knows how long it may have taken them to get married, if not for Sadie Hawkins Day.  On that day, she tested the waters and asked him if he wanted to marry her and he replied, “Sure, why not.”

They have been parishioners at St. Catherine of Siena for 14 and a half years.  His first parish was Immaculate Heart of Mary in Indianapolis IN. Upon entering the Navy, he had many parishes both on land and at sea; including six years at St. Edwards Chapel at NAS Jax and later, Sacred Heart in Green Cove Springs. She started at Gate of Heaven in South Boston MA and passed through many parishes due to her many moves. Prior to joining St. Catherine, she was at Sacred Heart in Jacksonville.

After high school, he worked part-time as the advertising photographer, while attending Purdue University night school.  He spent twenty years in the U.S. Navy; first as an Aviation Aircrew Survival Equipmentman, the navy’s way of saying Parachute Rigger. During Viet Nam, he changed to Photographic Intelligence. Serving with Commander Carrier Division Five (Commander Task Force Seventy-Seven) in the Gulf of Tonkin.

From there, he had a flurry of assignments, which finally led him to Fleet Intelligence Center Europe, based at NAS Jax. During this time, living in Green Cove Springs, he also worked his spare time as a Reserve Deputy Sheriff in the Clay County Sheriff’s Department Mounted Patrol. This sparked his interest in Law Enforcement and service to his community.

An opportunity presented itself in 1972 when Congress mandated that the Navy institute a professional Law Enforcement Rate of Master at Arms. He was one of 360 senior ranking Petty Officers selected to fulfill that mandate. After serving in a variety of capacities, including Criminal Investigator and Patrol Shift Supervisor for the newly created Armed Forces Police Dept., he was informed that he was an Associate Degree Completion Program (ADCOP) selectee and was to report to Florida Junior College Jacksonville, Florida where he received his Associate of Arts – Law Enforcement, Magna Cum Laude. Naturally he received a new assignment to the USS Inchon, LPH-12 (a Helicopter Landing Platform based out of Naval Operating Base Norfolk as the Chief Master at Arms. After more than four years floating around the world, he received orders back ashore for his final three years of service at the Naval Corrections Center (Brig) at NAS Jacksonville; where he eventually retired to a quiet civilian life as a Deputy Sheriff with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office. He retired as a Sergeant with over 43 years serving the citizens of Clay County.

Her career was not as hop-scotch as his.  She worked in the computer field for 25 years in Boston and then for the Home Depot for 22 years.  She is now retired and writing her legacy, “Honey Do’s for Dave” in her spare time.

He has been a member of the Knights of Columbus since the late 1980’s. He is active in the Council and is a member of the Color Corps for the Assembly.  He has held offices in both.  He is an Usher at the 5:00 pm Vigil Mass on Saturdays.  He has been instrumental in the seamless continuance of the Knights of Columbus Rosary Initiative, by faithfully leading the Rosary prior to the Mass.

She fills in as an usher at the same Mass when needed, which turns out to be quite often.  And, you will see her smiling face as she distributes bulletins after Mass.

Both are regular helpers at the Council’s Bingo. He sells the 50/50 raffle tickets.  He prints and delivers the “Bingo Flyers” to locations in the Orange Park area.  She sells Bingo books.

He is a Charter Member of the Blue Knights Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club, FL VIII in Orange Park, which raises money for multiple charities including Food Pantry, Think Pink, a breast cancer group as well as other community charitable groups.

They enjoy shooting sports, swimming, and when the opportunity presents itself, watching their granddaughter’s soccer games.  Hobbies include hand-loading, carpentry, riding motorcycles and just plain “tinkering.”

An interesting fact: During the time he spent stationed in Jacksonville, he performed alongside the Blue Angels as a member of the Vapor Trails Parachute Exhibition Team, performing parachute exhibition jumps at air shows.

For their hard work and dedication to their parish and their community, the Knights of Columbus recognizes Dave and Mary Miller as our Family of the Month for April.

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