Lauretta Jeanne Miller, age 86, passed away on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 at St. Luke's Hospital, surrounded by family and loved ones.
Lauretta was born on October 22, 1932, to Geraldine Cashen and Lawrence Dowell in Compton, CA. Most of Lauretta’s childhood was spent working on her parents' vegetable farm and stand in Norwalk, CA. She attended and graduated from Excelsior High School, where she met and married her high school sweetheart Donald Draayer in 1950. On April 28, 1951, they welcomed their baby daughter, Donna into the world. Four years later, Lauretta and her daughter moved to San Diego, where she went on to pursue a career as an electronics engineer for Solar Turbines Inc. Her job primarily focused on the creation and maintenance of electronics used to control flow within the Alaska Pipeline. She retired from Solar in 2000, with 24 years of dedicated service to the company. In 1979, she met and married Leo Manolakos. Both were lifetime VFW members and were committed to honoring the lives and service work of Veterans. Laurie was also president of the VFW ladies auxiliary post in Alpine, CA for many years. Her contributions included fundraising and awareness campaigns around homeless/displaced Veterans. Both Lauretta and Leo were nominated by their community for “Alpine Man and Woman of the year,” and served as first runner-ups. After 17 years of marriage, Leo passed away in May 1996.
In 1998, through mutual friends, Lauretta was introduced to Staff Sargent William Miller. Married for 9 years, they enjoyed camping, fishing and traveling the Western United States. In 2015, Lauretta moved to Meridian, ID to be closer to her family. Lauretta had many lifetime interests and hobbies, some of which included acrylic painting, gardening and tailgating at SD sporting events. Lauretta was also an accomplished Lapidary artist, creating beautiful pieces of jewelry. She loved to play the organ and once assembled and wired an entire organ all by herself.
Lauretta is survived in death by her daughter, Donna (Dan) Spurlock; sister, Patricia Hull; 3 grandchildren; 4 great grandchildren; and MANY other family members she loved dearly!
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