Howard Millis, 68, of Plankinton, SD, formerly of Sioux Falls, made his final jump to the ultimate carnival location in Heaven Monday, September 5, 2022, the same day his father died 35 years earlier. He passed after losing his fight with Heptocellular Carcinoma (Liver cancer which had spread to his bones) at Sanford USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls. Funeral services will be 11:30 AM Friday, September 16, at New Home Lutheran Church in Mitchell. Howard will be buried in Elgin, IL at a later date. Visitation will be Thursday from 5-7:00 PM at Bittner Funeral Chapel.
Howard Anthony Millis was born to Margaret LaPrairie (a member of the Red Lake Band of the Ojibwa tribe a/k/a Minnesota Chippewa) and Gordon Millis in Seymour, Indiana on January 31, 1954.
Howard wanted his death from liver disease to serve as a cautionary tale to people who use acetaminophen, and alcohol to combat chronic pain. As well as, to people who use vancomyacin or other strong antibiotics, and those who may have had blood transfusions in the years before or places where the blood was not carefully screened. All these above contributed to the shortening of his life.
Howard attended Hawthorn School and Washington High School in Sioux Falls before spending ages 14-16 in the Sioux Falls Crippled Children’s Hospital and School after he broke his hip on a rodeo horse that was not saddle broken, while his parents were vending concessions at a Pow Wow/Rodeo/Carnival. Howard spent his entire life working in live action amusement show business (being “with it and for it” as it is known in the industry). It was working as a “poster biller” with Circus Vargas that he met his life companion of 30 years, Linda Heath. In his last few years more for nostalgia than anything else, he would spend around 6 weeks on shows owned by family friends, in and around South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa helping out at Amusement Attractions with Doug Vinson, with Goldstar Amusements and on various shows with Dorman’s Concessions.
Always “full of the funnies” those left to mourn his love and humor are, his life companion of more than 30 years, Linda Heath; sister-in-law Carmen McLendon; sister Noel Neuroth; nephew Victor Neuroth, his former niece-in-law Connie Carlson, and grandnieces Novia Neuroth and Zenobia Kaengieter; nephew Gordon Millis III and wife Monica, grandnephew Chris Millis, and grandniece Maria Millis; brother-in-law Douglas H. Jarosh and niece and nephews Kenneth, Cynthia and Steve and their respective families. As well as Howard’s bonus mom Doris Berscheid, Bonus sister Bonnie Berscheid and Bonnie’s children and grandchildren.
Waiting to welcome Howard to his heavenly spot are his parents, Gordon Sr. and Margaret; his Mother in law Florence Heath, his Brother and sister in law Gordon Millis Jr. and Bonnie Millis, and sister Joan Jarosh.