Longtime Community Volunteers Moving On


Colleen Slater, KP News

Loyd and Sharon Miller are returning to their roots in Tacoma. Photo: Colleen Slater, KP News

One night many years ago, when both of them were at a dance at the Spanish Castle in Des Moines, Loyd tapped Sharon on the shoulder and asked for a dance.

“I don’t tango,” she said, as the music played.

“Neither do I,” he said. But they danced.

Now, Loyd and Sharon Miller, Palmer Lake residents and stalwart community volunteers for 26 years, have moved back to Tacoma. Both Loyd and Sharon grew up there in different areas.

When they were considering a move in 1991, Sharon’s dad said “You guys ought to check the Key Peninsula.” He had visited a few times to pick up a man who worked for him.

Her dad drove them around the area and they opted to buy 18 acres that had been logged a few years prior adjacent to Palmer Lake.

“It was like a huge meadow,” Sharon said, “Ox-eye daisies all over.”

They built their home and both had their gardens. Loyd had the berries and fruit orchard; Sharon had flowers.

After living here a couple of years, Sharon realized the advantages of community—people who know and care about each other and want to make where they live a better place.

Sharon was the major force behind the founding of the Lakebay Fuchsia Society and was the first of the two to volunteer for the Key Peninsula Civic Center Association.

Marge Radonich invited her to help with the Flavors of Fall event. Claudia Loy met them and invited Loyd to attend a civic center meeting.

“I agreed to be involved and was immediately elected to the board executive committee, as they were short a member,” Loyd said.

He also became a member of the Key Peninsula News publishing board.

“Loyd and Sharon were pretty low key,” said Phil Bauer, a former KPCCA president. “They did contribute to the center for many years with little fanfare. Loyd was our maintenance guy and spent many hours keeping our old facility running.”

Loyd helped Nancy Lind organize the founding of Volunteer Park and worked on passing local levies.

“One year we got a levy passed,” Loyd said. “I’m so glad it’s (Key Pen Parks) now in the Metro Park system.”

As much as they love their home here with their gardens, decent neighbors and lots of birds, “It’s getting to be too much for us,” Sharon said.

The other negatives are the increased traffic, long distances to places, limited shopping, local gunfire and deer eating their plants.

Their new home is the former house of Sharon’s recently deceased sister. “It’s a comfortable home with a smaller yard,” Sharon said. Loyd will have much less mowing.

They plan to spend the first year getting the roof and electrical panels replaced, then putting their personal touches on the interior.

A big plus is being closer to their family and not paying bridge tolls.

Their friendships and involvement in the community will be missed, but Sharon said, “We’ll still subscribe to the KP News.”