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Miller Sailboat

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The Millers, at first glance, is your typical Midwestern small-town family. But believe me, there’s much more to their story!
As with a lot of our clients, the Millers led very laid-back and unassuming lives. John operated a tool and die company and was known for having a sharp eye for detail, while Judith worked at a small-town bank with a strong grasp of finance. Their most common interest, aside from their children, was their love of sailing.
John’s lifelong passion for adventure got him into sailing and after introducing it to the love of his life, of course, Judith was on board!
They spent a great deal of time sailing on Lake Erie, but that wasn’t enough excitement for John. He wouldn’t be satisfied until he had sailed his boat all over the world!
When I first met John, he showed me photos of his boat and expressed his interest in a sailboat as the main focus for the monument. My initial thoughts went to doing a Bas Relief carving of his sailboat somewhere featured on the design. After further discussion, John said to me, “I don’t think you understand, I want the monument to be a sailboat made of Black Granite.”
From there we developed drawings from the photos of his sailboat, with John’s attention to the finer details helping guide us. After numerous revisions and discussions, we finally came together with our final design concept. As we sent the design along to have a wood model created, John commented on how much he loved the design. He did have a concern about why the sail couldn’t be the same polished finish as the boat’s hull. Even up until the setting of the monument, he would ask if I was sure it shouldn’t be polished.
As he and I watched the setting of his stone at their plot in a small church cemetery, it dawned on him why the sails needed to be unpolished. Otherwise, there would have been no contrast, and the design wouldn’t have worked out as well as it did.
One special detail I can’t help but appreciate is the verse chosen to be inscribed on the back of the mainsail, showing their devotion not only to God but to one another.


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