Ardyce Anna Protivinsky, 101, of O'Neill, died Sunday, April 9,2023 at Arbor Care Center in O'Neill, just six days shy of her 102nd birthday.
Visitation was held Thursday, April 13, 2023 at Word of Life Christian Center in O'Neill.
Funeral services were held Thursday, April 13, 2023 at the church in O'Neill. Rev. Jim Loutzenhiser officiated.
Burial was in the O'Neill Cemetery in O'Neill.
Memorials may be made to the family for future designation.
Biglin's Mortuary in O'Neill was in charge of the arrangements.
Ardyce, fondly known by so many friends and relatives as “Grandma Prot,” was the third child and second daughter of Clarence “Bob” Earl and Ina Estella Worth and was born on April 15, 1921, in rural Beemer. Her family later moved to a farm north of O'Neill, where she grew up. Ardyce earned the nickname of “Pee Wee,” a name her father tagged her with because of her small size, but her only living sister tells a story of how when Ardyce was just a small girl, she would run around their round dining table, saying, “Eat, eat!.” She was always ready to eat! In her youth, Ardyce resided with another family in order to earn money – this was a common practice in those days for large families. Her sister also remembers Ardyce as one of the hardest working people there was. The older sisters helped out because there never was much money and even helped to buy furniture for one of their homes.
Ardyce and Orville “Stub” Clayton Miller were united in marriage on April 15, 1941, In Atkinson. Audrey Worth and Bernard Miller were their attendants. They then began farming on the old Carrie Borg farm. To this union was born a daughter Ardyce Elaine Miller on May 13, 1942. Elaine was followed later by Michael E. Miller on June 2, 1945.
The couple farmed for 14 years before becoming disgruntled with farm prices and they placed their belongings up for auction on Sept. 28, 1955 - selling 96 head of Black Angus and Herefords along with an assortment of pigs and chickens. The sale also included several pieces of farm machinery. After completing the auction, Ardyce, “Stub”, Elaine and Michael moved to Weaverville, CA where “Stub” obtained employment in the sawmills. Ardyce gained employment at a bakery there. Pictures of the move show their trusty 1954 Buick pulling a vastly overloaded trailer full of their possessions. Ardyce kept meticulous records of their trip including distance traveled, cost of gas and meals and other pertinent information. After spending about two years in California, they concluded that the wages they had been told about were not there, and they opted to return to O'Neill.
Upon returning to O'Neill around 1958, “Stub” worked for the police department and Ardyce secured several jobs over the remaining years. She worked at Johnson Drugs and the O'Neill Lockers. She and her husband owned and operated The New Deal Produce where they purchased milk/cream and eggs for resale. Later in life, she would work at the Kraft Cheese Factory, testing milk for production, and she would retire from this career.
Ardyce was the serious member of the couple and “Stub” was always teasing her. On one occasion, he saw a bunch of donkeys on the side of the road and he asked Ardyce if they were family - her reply was “yeah, yours.” On another occasion, “Stub” joked that when she turned 40, he was going to turn her in for 2-20s (an electrical term) and she shot back at him that he was not wired right. “Stub” was an avid hunter and fisherman; he was always telling folks he had ordered Ardyce a new gun or fishing rod. Ardyce probably had the best gun and fishing equipment inventory in the state – unfortunately, she neither fished nor hunted.
“Stub” and Ardyce purchased two rural schoolhouses which had closed and with their combined efforts, renovated them to provide two bedrooms upstairs and one down. This became the first home of their own. They also built a two-car garage and it is still located on north 10th street.
Ardyce was a religious person and besides her church attendance she had the bible on tapes she listened to – but even more impressively, there is no one who ever heard her cuss – nor did she imbibe in alcohol.
The couple's first grandchild was Gail Marie Snowardt. Ardyce used to get a kick out of Gail riding in the car with them. She and “Stub” had purchased a newer Oldsmobile which used a different speed indicator and instead of it having a needle, it had a red liquid-looking indicator which increased in red at a certain point. Ardyce loved to tell everyone that Gail knew Grandpa was speeding when the red showed up and she would tell him “Grandpa – you're in the red.”
A few years after “Stubs” death in 1966, Ardyce met and married John Protivinsky on May 28, 1972. John died five years later, and Ardyce was once again a widow.
After his death, she sold their house and would eventually move into North Park Homes where she resided for 30 years until several months prior to her death.
This obituary does not begin to do justice to the life Ardyce lived; however it is difficult to cover nearly 102 years in one very short story. This remarkable woman will be greatly missed.
Ardyce is survived by her son Michael (Clare) Miller of Crofton; grandson Scott (Tonya) Miller and their children Trevor and Josie of Hershey; grandson Mark (Laura) Miller and their seven children Jack, Cole, Margo and Leo of Crofton, Dominic (Markie) of Pierce and Whitney and Lucas of Scottsdale, AZ; granddaughter Susan Miller and her four children Page, Sloan and Cate of Omaha and Clare of Elon, NC; grandson Mike (Candice) Miller Jr. of Riverton, WY and their children Kagan, Emma and Lily; sister Blanche Marie Wetzler of San Bernadine, CA; brother Clarence ‘Junior' (Dee) Worth of Bella Vista, AR; son-in-law Fred Snowardt Jr. of O'Neill; four more grandchildren Gail Owenby of Pflugerville, Texas, Scott (Pamela) Snowardt of Johnson Lake, Sheila (Shane) Johnston of O'Neill and Christopher (Angie) Snowardt of Gretna; 12 more great-grandchildren Stephanee (Andrew) Cox and Samuel Owenby III, all of Pflugerville, Texas, Jennifer (Zack) Edwards of Elwood, Nate (Jessie) Eby of West Point, Torie Peterson of Atkinson, Kyle (Skylar) Eby of O'Neill, Kaylee and Lainee Snowardt of Gretna and Cameron, Caleb, Carter and Callum Cerny of Gretna; 14 great-great-grandchildren Caleb, Owen, Barrett, Georgia, Connor, Hayley, Emily, Trey, Knox, Elle, Bernadine, Charli, Matthew and one due in June.
Shee was preceded in death by her first husband Orville C Miller, second husband John Protivinsky, one daughter Elaine Snowardt, two brothers Bobbie (Edna) Worth and Roy (Ruth) Worth and three sisters Vicki, Audrey (Daniel) Page and Ina (Adolph) Wetzler.
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