RETIREMENT CELEBRATION – Staff members celebrate with Rebecca Miller last Friday at JJ Wynn’s Restaurant in Holiday City. Pictured (left to right) David Miller (husband), Rebecca Miller (retiring writer), Casey Church (office manager at The Village Reporter), and Forrest R. Church (publisher at The Village Reporter). PHOTO BY JACOB KESSLER, STAFF
By: Jacob Kessler
THE VILLAGE REPORTER
The Village Reporter’s very own Rebecca Miller has moved on to the next chapter of her life, retirement. Her final day at the Village Reporter was on Friday, March 3rd where she was able to spend some time in fellowship with some of her co-workers who wanted to wish her well during her next chapter.
Rebecca was born in Maine where she lived for a portion of her childhood. Her parents were steadfast Christians who had just accepted Christ five years before her birth.
She was raised from birth in prayer meetings, bible studies, and worship events. Her father even received the call and became a preacher.
This led to the family moving to several additional areas which included Kentucky, Florida and Georgia. Due to the frequent moves her family experienced, Rebecca attended 15 schools in just 12 years.
Her path eventually led her to York High School, which she graduated from 40 years after her father.
Following High School, she attended college at William Jennings Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee.
After her junior year she transferred to the Eastern Mennonite College (now a University) in Harrisonburg, Virginia. There she met her now husband David Miller who was from Archbold.
The two were later married just 3 days before Rebecca graduated from college. Together they then moved to Sarasota, Florida where Rebecca was hired to teach at a Christian School.
There they lived for seven years before moving back to Ohio. Once in Ohio, Rebecca worked as the Stryker area preschool teacher administrator for five years before moving on to homeschool their children.
In 1998 they moved again, this time to Upstate New York. There David graduated from Bible College before they moved back to Ohio for the final time in 2002.
Rebecca had known for a long time that she would like to have an opportunity to write. “My dad was an eloquent speaker.”
“I grew up listening to really good speaking and English. I started writing stories as a kid and I had always thought about becoming a writer throughout most of my life,” said Rebecca.
In 2005 she was given the opportunity to write for The Advance Reporter, now The Village Reporter. A mutual friend of Rebecca’s from Christ’s Community Church, who worked at the Advance Reporter, told her they were looking for new reporters.
A phone call was made, and she was able to get in and start working on stories. Following one year, she left and worked at the Bryan Times for five years before taking some time off for a year and a half.
Then in 2013 she came back to work at The Village Reporter where she has been ever since.
A lot of news takes place within the area that is Fulton and Williams County. Rebecca has been able to see and report on many pieces of news/history that has taken place since she began.
Not only that, but she has been able to meet a great deal of different people in order to help tell their stories.
“I think one of the greatest aspects of being a journalist is all the people you get to meet. Getting to know people, Mayors, Commissioners, leaders of the community, and people running for office, has been fun.”
“I would never have been able to know most of these people if I didn’t work with them. Some of them have even become personal friends,” said Rebecca.
Journalism is about telling a story to readers in a way that lets them know what took place, or is going to take place, in a way that is completely factual and has no personal input from the writer themselves.
Rebecca explained that this was one of the aspects she also liked while writing her articles.
“I loved doing features and writing in a way that no one could tell what I thought during a meeting or event. I was able to put in just what happened and only what the story was about.”
“One thing I always told anyone I was training was that you need to write an article like it will be something the family will want to cut out and keep forever.”
“It is history and in fifty years someone may be doing research and may come across your article. It is important to make sure we do it right.”
Throughout the years, many articles have been written by Rebecca. Numerous pieces of local history will be preserved and looked at by future generations.
Three of these such pieces are remembered by Rebecca as some of her most favorite to work on. These would be the first concert held at the Amphitheater in Bryan, being able to interview three of the Ohio State Supreme Court Justices when they were running for office, and most recently the Jacob Young Cabin in Kunkle.
With so many good and interesting stories under her belt, it was difficult to make the decision that led to her retirement.
But like with all other things, the time did indeed come. Rebecca plans to spend time with her husband, four children, ten grandchildren and three foster grandchildren.
She will be missed by many in the community and by those at The Village Reporter. Following a retirement party held in Rebecca’s honor, The Village Reporter Publisher Forrest Church had the following kind words for her.
“We’ve appreciated her efforts over the years. Because she was a person of good morale values, we didn’t have to worry about her digging up dirt like some in the media do.”
“Rebecca always did a good job of reporting both sides of the story which I think our communities appreciate.”
“When it comes to the way the media has gone worldwide, I think there is a lot they could learn from her style.”
“We are a small family-owned company and when people from the community join us it’s a shoulder-to-shoulder scenario. She has been with us long term, through the good times and the bad times.”
“Any success we enjoy now she had a part in, whether big or small. We wish her well with everything going forward and with retirement, she’s earned it.”
Rebecca has been an integral part of the paper for quite some time. Though we are sad to see her go, we take pride in the time she has spent with us, and we wish her luck with retirement.
Jacob can be reached at email@example.com
NEW SEASON OF LIFE – David Miller (husband) celebrates with wife Rebecca Miller (retiring writer) who has reported large volumes of news throughout the greater Williams County – Fulton County areas of Northwest Ohio for years. (PHOTO BY JACOB KESSLER, STAFF)