Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Dennis Miles (March 16, 2016)

Dennis Miles, 55, left this world peacefully on March 16, 2016. Born in Greenville, OH on May 4th, 1960 and is the son of Virginia and the late James Miles.

Dennis was an accomplished Blacksmith and Knife smith. His works are in the hands of many around the world, and in several museums and can be seen in the movie “Gangs of New York”. He owned and operated his own business Double Edge Forge. Dennis graduated from Greenville, Class of 1978.

Dennis was a great good friend to many. He was a big man–big body, big mind, big heart, big soul. A curmudgeon who was full of humor, bravery, and unquenchable intelligence, a terrible tease and a multifaceted lover of many things.

He loved great food and great art, beautiful music, the quiet of the outdoors and a good fire–whether at the forge where he worked his ancient magic or around a campfire with his AMM brothers. A lover too of the poetry of Robert Burns and of Robert W. Service, he was the only man I knew who could quote “The Cremation of Sam McGee” in its entirety. He loved to talk history, gardening, fishing, hunting, making things, recipes, the pups–and Gwen.

He had a soft heart for the helpless and for animals–woe betide anyone who was cruel to small creatures. He had a fondness for dragons and the legends of the Forge, and could talk the Old Ways with the best of them.

He served his country with honor, courage and pride in the 82nd Airborne Division, “jumping out of perfectly good airplanes” as we often said.

He had no patience with hypocrites, liars, cowards or cheats–an honorable and honest man himself, he simply didn’t understand those attitudes, and wasn’t shy about saying so. But if you were fortunate enough to gain his friendship, it was yours for life–many of us treasure that great gift. If Dennis said he had your back, he had your back. Period.

He loved his home and family, his friends, his dogs, and his beloved wife, Gwen. He left a very big curmudgeon-shaped hole in the world and in our hearts. At 55, he left us far too soon.

Dennis is survived by the love of his life, his wife Gwen (Cook) Miles, and his precious dogs, Cait and Bell. His sister Peggy (Karl) Halley and his nephews, Kurtis (Krista) Halley, Nick Halley and Miles Halley. He is also survived by his mother-in-law, several sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law and numerous nieces and nephews. In addition, his aunts Margaret Miles, Ella Sue Shannon and Marilyn Sue Shannon, numerous cousins and a host of amazing friends.

The family will have a private celebration of Dennis’s life at a later date. He would love to have his friends and family raise a glass of scotch in his memory.

In lieu of flowers, we are asking that donations be sent to Zechar Bailey Funeral Home in Greenville, OH to help with final expenses. Condolences for the family may be expressed through www.zecharbailey.com