Behind every great man is not a woman, she is beside him, she is with him, not behind him.
The recent loss of our founder, Bill Miller, has rekindled discussions centering around the early days of NATH. Bill has been the undisputed face of NATH and understandably so. I’m willing to bet his name is the first thing that enters the minds of many of you when you hear or read about NATH. For the old timers, two names enter our minds when the topic comes up; Bill and Carol. Many of you may not be aware of how instrumental Carol was in the early days of NATH. Carol was chosen as the volunteer I was tasked to write about in the August of 2013 edition of NATH Notes. I do believe that was the first time I went over my 500 word limit, but it was about Carol so I got away with it. This month it is again my honor and privilege to share an updated version of that article.
Carol, who was born in Rhinelander, is a well-known member of our community. Now that I know a little more about the amazing woman she is, I thought I would begin this article by sharing a little history of Carol’s life prior to NATH and Frederick Place.
Carol has practiced as a registered nurse in a wide array of healthcare settings including; operating rooms, labor and delivery, emergency rooms, public health, home health, and as a parish nurse. Carol has also taught emergency medical technicians at two community colleges, and she has taught paramedic and nursing students at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Carol keeps her license current and volunteers for the American Red Cross disaster relief. On January 1, 2016, Carol arrived in Texas to help tornado victims for her 13th national deployment with the American Red Cross.
Carol has also spent 30 plus years in the Army Reserves Unit and achieved the rank of Colonel. Colonel Miller’s military career is awe inspiring. Carol has been on missions to Japan, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy, and Africa. She was also deployed as a “Civil Affairs Officer” in Bosnia and Kosovo.
Carol and Bill met at Glacier National Park in 1965. Carol was on a camping vacation, and Bill was employed there as a park ranger. They married in 1966 and have three children and eleven grandchildren.
We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men. ~Herman Melville
When Carol and Bill retired in Rhinelander, it was second nature for them to look for ways to serve in the community. In 2009 Carol joined Bill and assisted him with research and community outreach. Their data showed there was a definite need for a shelter. Carol and Bill prayed for guidance as they took those first leaps of faith. They had no idea how the community would react or if they would get the necessary support. They spent a lot of hours educating members of our communities about the very real need for emergency housing in the area. Their dedication and hard work paid off, and NATH was born.
Carol was instrumental in the development of NATH’s bylaws and initial incorporation. She also served as a member of the Board of Directors, Secretary, Chair of Bylaws, and Publicity
Coordinator. The birth of NATH Notes came about when Carol volunteered to write and edit a monthly newsletter as a means to educate committee members and the community. Today NATH Notes remains a very vital means of educating the community about our mission, goals, plans, needs, and accomplishments. On a personal note, if it were not for Carol, I wouldn’t be writing about her, and you wouldn’t be reading this. Thanks to Carol my decades long dream of writing came to fruition, and for that I am eternally grateful.
Leadership is based on a spiritual quality; the power to inspire, the power to inspire others to follow. ~Vince Lombardi
Carol and Bill are remarkable people in their own light. Together they have the spiritual quality of which Saint Vince speaks. Frederick Place simply would not exist if it weren't for their leadership and recruitment of others to join their cause. Today the members of NATH and my Fred Family continue to follow their example and are always planning and envisioning ways to improve the invaluable service that has helped so many people.
Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Others stay for awhile and leave footprints on our heart and we are never, ever the same.
Although neither one of them is physically in Rhinelander their essence can be found within the walls of the home that started as a dream, turned into a vision and became a reality. They have left footprints on countless hearts thanks to their faith and dedication to their cause. I know they left a marathon of footprints on my heart and I will never be the same.