Malachi Patrick Miller, 12, of Gorham, Kansas entered eternity Monday, May 1, 2023 at his home after battling a year long illness.
Malachi was born August 23, 2010 at his home, in a hurry to enter this world, as he arrived just minutes after the midwife rolled in. Malachi got to work immediately with his unique personality, sense of humor, and quick wit. He loved putting a smile on anyone’s face. Malachi was the fourth of six children who were affectionately known as the “Miller 6-pack.”
After losing his father to a similar illness at the age of 6, Malachi often spoke of looking forward to the day he was able to play with his daddy in Heaven.
While Malachi was only on this earth for 12 years, he lived life to the fullest every single day. He began playing the violin at age 4, the piano at age 6, and was singing from the moment he was born until he no longer had the ability to use his voice in his final days.
Malachi’s favorite sport was baseball. He had such a love for America’s pastime, that he was back on the field only 11 days following surgery for a spinal cord tumor (despite the doctor telling him he could not do so). Surgery initially left him unable to walk, but that did not stop Malachi’s determination to get back on the field. Malachi also had a love for the arts, especially the local theater productions. He got his big break in “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” and went on to star in productions such as “The King and I,” “Rats! The Story of the Pied Piperl” and one of his all-time favorites, Hays Community Theatre’s 2022 summer production of “The Wizard of Oz.”
Malachi was a member of the Big Creek 4-H Club in Gorham where he served as a Song Leader, Recreation Leader, Reporter, and Parliamentarian throughout his 4-H career. Some of his favorite projects included Poultry, Dog Care & Training, Shooting Sports, and Foods & Nutrition. Malachi especially enjoyed learning how to properly handle and shoot a gun. He was also proud of his Grand Champion duck, Nibbles, who he made sure all the doctors and nurses knew about during his hospital stays. Malachi sang vocal solos at 4-H Days each year, and advanced to Regional Club Days 4 times, often being told his voice was “golden.”
Malachi was an award winning author, writing and illustrating four books for the PBS Kids Writers Contest. He enjoyed swimming, beginning lessons before he was 1 year old.
Malachi had a great love for animals and animals loved him in return. This past summer, he won Rooks County Grand Champion Overall Dog Agility, despite having lost function in his right arm. He also inherited his late father’s love of fishing.
In November, Malachi suffered a setback that left him paralyzed from the neck down along with a 7 week hospital stay at Children’s Hospital in Omaha. While there, he was given the opportunity to have his one true wish granted through the “Make A Wish” foundation. After serious thought, he asked for a shih tzu puppy and was granted this wish. He named his puppy, Agnes, and she arrived the day after Malachi got home from the hospital. He spent his final days snuggling with his faithful friend.
Malachi did not know a stranger. He had a gift for striking up a conversation with people of all ages. He made so many friends with nurses, doctors, rehab teams, and respiratory therapists while he was continuing his fight. So much so, many continued to keep in touch after Malachi returned home.
Malachi was a member of St. Philomena’s Chapel of Gorham where he was baptized, received his First Holy Communion, and was confirmed. He was an altar server. Learning his Latin responses was an important goal that he had been working towards this past year. He was never afraid to tell others about his Traditional Catholic faith. He lived through so many sufferings this past year, but was cheerful and could often be heard praying out loud from the confines of his hospital bed. He accepted his cross willingly, all for the love of Almighty God.
Malachi is survived by his mother, Jenna of the home, his 5 siblings, Conner (17), Christian (16), Janessa (14), Matthias (9), and Jenson (8), all of the home; Aunt, Mari Jo Stout, Plainville & Gorham, Grandparents Will and Patti Stout, rural Natoma; Aunts & Uncles Diana & Derek Schutte, Halstead, Shane & Michelle Stout, Kansas City, and Ryan & Micah Becker, Russell; 13 cousins whom he loved dearly, and his special friend Kevin Eickhoff, Natoma.
He is preceded in death by his daddy, Dru Miller, grandparents Donnie & Duane Miller, uncle, David Miller, and cousin Dyron Schutte.
A Solemn Requiem High Mass will be held at 10:30 AM Monday, May 8, 2023 at the Gorham Senior Center. Burial will follow at the St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Gorham. Visitation will be held from 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM, Sunday, May 7, 2023 at Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary in Russell. A Vigil and Rosary will be held at 7:00 PM Sunday at the Mortuary. The family has requested In Lieu of flowers a Memorial Fund has been established as Malachi Miller Memorial Fund. Contributions and condolences may be sent to Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary, who is in charge of these arrangements.