Miller continues family tradition with gift to Christmas Happiness Fund

Published 12:09 am Sunday, December 5, 2021

By Natalie Anderson

SALISBURY — Judy Miller said having parents who grew up during the Great Depression allowed them to value the time they spent together each Christmas even more.

Continuing a nearly 70-year-long tradition, the Salisbury Post each year collects money from the community before passing along those donations to the Rowan Chapter of the Salvation Army, which distributes the money to assist families with Christmas presents for their children.

Dewey and Julia Miller, both born in 1906, spent their lives in Rowan County. Dewey worked at Buck Steam Station, and the couple regularly attended Bethel United Methodist Church.

“We weren’t rich, but we had enough,” Miller said. “We did what we could for others.”

Judy said her father, Dewey, died in 1989, while her mother, Julia, died in 2005. Judy recalled beginning Christmas Happiness Fund donations with her parents, who always gave. Judy now continues that tradition in their memory.

“They always tried to give as much as they could,” Miller said. “It’s about making a difference for people less fortunate than I am.”

Last year, the Christmas Happiness program raised more than $42,500 to help local children. Since beginning donations this year, the fund has reached $6,775.

Contributions can be brought to the Salisbury Post, located at 131 West Innes St., weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or mailed to Christmas Happiness, c/o Salisbury Post, P.O. Box 4639, Salisbury, NC 28145. Checks can be made payable to Christmas Happiness Fund and donations can also be placed in the Salisbury Post front door mail slot.

The latest donations are as follows:

• In memory of my parents Leroy and Laura Neely, my son Anthony and my husband Vernon Thomside, a donation of $100 from Phyllis Thomside

• In memory of Mrs. Janette Hawkins, a donation of $50 from Friends of St. Luke Missionary Circle

• In memory of Howard E. and Norma Jean Fetterman, a donation of $250 from their children

• In memory of our son Randall Gore, a donation of $25 from Steve and Malynda Peeler

• In memory of Lucille, Fred and James Sifford, a donation of $100 from Joyce, Thomas, Anamarie, Sutton and Alexander Ervin

• In memory of Wilbur and Jane Boltz, a donation of $200 from Jeanne and Jim Gilreath

• In memory of Kevin Smarr, a donation of $50 from Mom

• In memory of Odell and Georgia Henderson, a donation of $50 from Kay Harviel

• In memory of Joe Stirewalt, a donation of $50 from Kay Harviel

• In memory of Dewey and Julia Miller, a donation of $25 from Judy Miller

• In loving memory of my wife Margaret Simmons Kirk, my daughter Wendi Kirk Hamilton and son-in-law Jeremy Hamilton, a donation of $100 from Phil Kirk

• In honor of Sue DeCamp-Freeze, a donation of $25 from Jean C. Lefler

• In memory of my wife Ruby Watson, a donation of $50 from Brent Watson

• In memory of our beloved cat “Stripey Boy,” a donation of $150 from Georgette and Conan Thompson

• In memory of Denise Voignier, a donation of $250 from the Lockharts

• In memory of Judy Bringle, a donation of $50 from Jennifer Bringle Handy

• In memory of Earl C. Alexander, a donation of $100 from Carolyn Alexander

• In thankfulness for my neighbors Becky, Levi, Jerry and Drake, a donation of $100 from Sue Bruce

• In honor of the “Special 10,” a donation of $200 from Julia

• In loving memory of my parents we have lost, our nephew, our beloved “Spuds,” other fur babies, family and friends, a donation of $25 from James and Karen Wilkerson. “We miss you so very much.”

• A donation of $50 from David and Anne Hoffman

• A donation of $1,000 from Ronald and Lisa Phipps

• A donation of $100 from Jim and Nina Burton

Daily total: $3,100

About Natalie Anderson

Natalie Anderson covers the city of Salisbury, politics and more for the Salisbury Post. She joined the staff in January 2020 after graduating from Louisiana State University, where she was editor of The Reveille newspaper. Email her at or call her at 704-797-4246.

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