As a bashful farmboy growing up in Loganton Borough, Miller Stamm worked on his family farm, tending to the chickens, cows and crops. As one of only two brothers in the family, Stamm worked each day on the farm until he was 18-years old.
A survivor of The Great Depression, Stamm is by far a product of our greatest generation. Born Aug. 4, 1909, the son of Cyrus and Myrtle Stamm, his life is one of major accomplishments and milestones and recently celebrated his 102nd birthday with family and friends.
He graduated from Loganton Borough High School and ventured off his family's farm onto his own, working on several other farms in the area making a modest $1 for a hard day's work. Soon after, he found a job delivering mine timbers to the Shamokin region, which ultimately kept him from harms way during World War II.
After a few years, he landed a job at Lycoming Engines and stayed in a boarding house with eight other fellas. Being the youngest, Stamm said the other men often offered advice.
"We were a close bunch," he said. "The others were always looking after me."
On April 7, 1934, he married the love of his life, a local farmgirl named Delphia. The couple's love for one another rendered two daughters, five grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren - the youngest of which is only six weeks old.
The sharp-witted senior, who has seen an immense amount of change throughout his life, said the majority began after World War II.
"Everything has changed," he said. "It started in the '40s and from there, things went wild."
According to those who know him best, the one thing that hasn't changed and has remained constant throughout Stamm's life is his devotion to his family.
"He was always a good provider," said daughter Dorothy Ruhl, of Indiana, Pa. "We never wanted for anything; he always worked very hard ever since I can remember."
The proud and appreciative daughter also said every year for Christmas, Ruhl and her sister, Norma Miller, of Lamar, would wake up Christmas morning to find a new dress under the tree.
His daughters also said there was always enough food, which wasn't the case for everyone, especially during the Depression.
"We always had something to eat," she said. "We had a big garden with peaches, corn and cherries."
According to Ruhl, if her father wasn't working his regular job, he could be found tending to the family garden.
Besides his family, Stamm's passion was rebuilding engines and working on cars. He worked as a mechanic at Royers Garage for more than 40 years and rebuilt more than 1000 Chevrolet engines.
For Stamm's 100th birthday, more than 200 family members and friends celebrated the day by holding a special gathering at the Loganton United Methodist Church, of which he is a lifelong member.
For his 102nd, which was celebrated on Aug. 4, a small family picnic-style gathering was planned. When asked what he wanted for his birthday, "a cheeseburger and a cup of coffee," he said with a smile.
Still living by himself in his own home since 1934, Stamm realizes many people in the golden years don't have the capacity to enjoy their lives. It goes without saying, he considers himself lucky.
"I'm blessed," he said. "I have so much to be thankful for."
Nowadays, Stamm spends most of his time reading the newspaper and magazines or sitting on his front porch on a bright sunny day.
After speaking with the 102-year-old in detail, it appears the only things missing in Stamm's life are regrets.
"I figure I've had a pretty good life," he said. "I wouldn't change a thing."