A Company 1968 – 1970
STEVEN CRAIG “BEAR” MILES
Steven “Bear” Miles, 61, passed away Monday March 9th, 2009 after a long and courageous battle with lung cancer.
He was born December 13th, 1947 in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine, the second of five very beloved children born to Kenneth Miles and Winifred (Moulton) Miles. Steven attended Piscataquis Community High School in Guilford, Maine and graduated in 1967. Shortly after graduating from high school, Steven joined the U.S. Army and served 3 tours of duty in Vietnam as part of the 101st Airborne Rangers.
During his service in Vietnam, Steven was a highly decorated soldier earning numerous prestigious medals for bravery and valor as well as many campaign awards and citations. Like many soldiers who had experienced combat, he rarely shared those experiences with even his family and closest friends. Nicknamed “Bear” for his large hands, burly 6’ 4” frame, and penchant for hunting, Steven joined the 76th Training Group in the Army Reserves and became a senior instructor. He conducted training classes at West Point, Tacoma Washington OCS, and numerous other military posts throughout the United States.
Upon returning home from Vietnam, Steven worked at Guilford Industries for many years in a variety of positions and supervisory roles. Additionally, he worked for the Piscataquis Sheriff’s department, and on the Guilford Voluntary Fire Department. For the last 20 years, Steven worked at Bath Iron Works in the Carpenter and Maintenance Shop earning various certifications in welding, fabrication, and crane operation. He also held the post of Shop Steward for the Local S6 Union for a number of years.
In his spare time, “Bear” enjoyed a wide variety of recreational activities embracing almost any outdoor sporting event. He thoroughly enjoyed long motorcycle rides with his wife Barbara, and trail-riding on his 4-wheeler. Some of his favorite pursuits were canoeing, bird hunting, fishing, ice fishing, and sharing deer hunts with his cherished Uncle Roger and many close friends. Rarely did Steve and his friends come home empty-handed from a hunt, but if they did, it only meant that the stories of the “one that got away” and the jokes at the evening card game would get more colorful.
Telling jokes was a trademark of “Bear”. He enjoyed telling tall tales for a laugh and tried to leave those he met with a smile and a warm place in their heart for having met him. This characteristic would hold true even as he undertook his battle with cancer. Through long hours of doctor’s exams, CAT scans, treatments, and therapies, Steve continued to pull pranks and tell jokes even up to his final hours of life.
Steven is survived by his devoted wife Barbara Kivlin-Miles of Lisbon Falls, ME, his loving mother Winifred Miles of Guilford, ME, brother Dennis Miles and his wife Shirley of Sioux Falls, SD, sister Kenene Wintle of Manchester, NH, brother Jerris Miles and his wife Glenda of Yankton, SD, brother Tallus Miles and his wife Anita of Lewiston, ME; 4 children: son Brian Miles and his wife Deanna of Newport, ME, son Jason Miles and his wife Amanda of Sangerville, ME, daughter Kendra (Miles) Hovencamp and her husband Paul of Canaan, ME, and son George Miles and his wife Rachel of Abbot, ME; 7 much loved grandchildren: Logan, Lucas, Caleb, Saia Mae, Emma, Ethan, Aydan; and many special nephews, nieces, aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws, and close friends.
He was predeceased by his loving father, Kenneth Miles, in January of 2000.
The family would like to extend its sincere appreciation to all of the staff at Central Maine Medical Center for their professionalism and heart-felt care during “Bear’s” last journey. The family would also like to extend a special thanks to Dr. Stephen Anderson, Dr. Dick A. Versendaal, and Gail Randall for all their warmth, encouragement, and self-less care.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to benefit the Oncology Department at Central Maine Medical Center c/o The Development Office, 300 Main Street, Lewiston, Maine 04240.
Served in Vietnam from later part 67 – Aug 70. Was with A Co 2/327 68 – 70.
Turned “Lifer”. Retired in 1995, it was a total surprise I did that.
Worked at Guilfard of Maine after returning home, a woolen mill. Went from worker – foreman. Became a dead end job . . . got done.
Went to work at Bath Iron Works building warships for the Navy. Retired from there.
Retired from the military 1995. Was a Senior Instructor . . . taught at West Point in New York 7 years. Also taught in Tacoma, WA OCS for 3 years. Retired Deputy Sheriff also.
Wife’s name is Barbara, a true sweetheart.
Steve “Bear” Big Miles