By Shavonne Walker
SALISBURY — Carl Miller met his future wife, Sallie, while working at Fiber Industries in the 1960s. The two have made a life for themselves some 49 years later.
The Millers have two adults sons, one a police officer and the other, a Kansas professor. They also have three grandchildren — Brenna, Sophie and Martha.
When asked if the Post could feature Carl and his wife in today’s paper about his Christmas Happiness Fund donation, Carl quickly remarked that Sallie didn’t know about it.
“Will I ruin the surprise if I talk to you?” a Post reporter asked.
“No,” was his response.
Carl and Sallie have been giving to the Christmas Happiness Fund for a number of years, but they’ve always given in memory or honor of family members and their grandchildren.
“I hadn’t done it before for her,” Carl said.
Carl said he just wanted to give in honor of his “loving” wife.
Sallie was born and raised in Spencer and Carl is also a Rowan native. He’d met Sallie at a time when he’d just gotten out of the U.S. Marine Corps.
The reason for his gift was simple.
“There’s really nothing that I want. Children are important and my grandchildren have all they want and need,” Miller said.
He added that it’s important to give to someone else.
“We’re glad to do it,” he said.
Each year, Miller, his son and granddaughter, Brenna, even volunteer to help deliver bicycles for the Salisbury Police Department’s annual bicycle giveaway. Three generation of Millers will gather at Gerry Wood Auto Group, collect the bikes and give them to deserving children this week.
The Christmas Happiness Fund has been continuing strong for 64 years after Post editor Spencer Murphy heard the cry from the community. There were a number of children who would not receive presents that year.
Murphy wrote an appeal to Rowan County residents asking them for a small contribution. In 1952, the first year the community donated $1,800. So far this year, residents have contributed over $45,000 and the donations continue.
Each eligible family receives a voucher for each child and can then purchase toys or clothing items from a local designated store.
Bring contributions to the Salisbury Post, 131 W. Innes St., between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays or mail them to The Salisbury Post Christmas Happiness Fund, P.O. Box 4639, Salisbury, N.C. 28145-4639. Make checks payable to the Christmas Happiness Fund and indicate how you want your donation listed.
Today’s contributions are:
In loving memory of my husband, Charles Chunn, parents, R.L. and Vera Eudy and brother, Bob Eudy by Kay Chunn $50
In honor of Cindy and Steve Martin Family, Starla and Gary Smith Family, Dena and Don King Family, Margaret and Dale Basinger Family and Nelda Rinehart/Floyd Kerr by Lanny and Jo Fowler $100
In honor of Jean L. Ray by Wilbert and Carolyn Lyerly $100
In honor of my 2 grandsons, Levi and Brayden Papham by Nana $100
In memory of Grandma and Jewel by Janet and Ken $200
In loving memory of our parents, Mary and George Blankenship and Lillian Shoaf by Bill and Becky Shives $50
In memory of my husband, John by Sarah Bame $20
In memory of George Brown by Naomi Brown $100
In memory of my husband Junior Wyatt and my son Dean Wyatt by Betty Wyatt $100
In honor of good friends, Rochelle Bost and Dinah Carpenter by Kay McCartney $40
In loving memory of my wife, Annette Morgan by Jesse Morgan $25
In loving memory of Susie and Tom Thurston and Dick Thurston by Susan and Joe $100
In loving memory of Mildred Casper, David Miller, Roy and Pearl Lear, Fred Honeycutt, Rufus Patterson and beloved Smokey by Myra Patterson $35
In memory of Inman Otey by Fleming and Yoko Otey $100
Evelyn B. Fowler $100
In memory of Roy and Mildred Arthurs and Jean A. Luther by Donald and Phyllis Heilig $50
In memory of our parents, Dighton and Trilby Fiddner and Floyd and Peggy Freedle by John Fiddner and Becky Brown $30
In memory of Geraldine Miller and Richard Miller and in honor of my children and grandchildren by Leo Miller $400
In honor of Mildred Knox by Hall and “Ronney” Steele $100
In memory of Claude and Martha Trexler, Herman and Billie Ribelin, Jess and Ruth Rankin, and Ruby Smith $100
In honor of Matthew Ribelin and Dana Ribelin $100
In memory of Dot Connor and in honor of Pete Connor and all teachers of Unity S.S. Class of St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church by Unity Class $50
In memory of Mr. and Mrs. Mott Price, Sr., Mott Price, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. John Peeler, Jr., and Darrell Shive by Family $50
In memory of my parents, Polly and Dave Graham, and my sister, Patsy by Nancy G. Corriher $100
In memory of Buck Hurley $1,000
In memory of my parents, Jim and Betty Shuping, my first Christmas without my Mom, but I know her and my Dad are back together and honor of our three grandsons, Emmett and Owen Correll and Jack Schnepper by Terri Shuping Correll $100
In memory of our mother, Eunice McKinney Sapp Dwiggins, on our first Christmas without her by Kathy Sapp, Barbara Sapp Moose and Family $50
In memory and in honor of our loved ones and friends by Jake and Barbara Moose and Family $50
In loving memory of my parents, Henry. H. Chilson, and Ruby Simmerson Chilson, and my nephew, Nathan Eric Raymer by Melanie Chilson $25
In memory of Helen Little and Blanche Hefner by Charlie and Phyllis $100
“Serving for a Purpose” by DRC Pickleball Tournament $2,940
In honor of the children of Rowan County with love and smiles from the children of St. Luke’s Mother’s Morning Out $60
In honor of Sallie Miller, my loving wife for 49 years by Carl Miller $100
In memory of all Veterans past and present and in honor of members of the U.S. military now serving by AMVETS Post 565 $50
Merry Christmas! from the congregation of Rock Grove United Methodist Church $207
Running Total $45,983.57
Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.