Laura Kathleen Miles 1968 - 2021

Laura Kathleen Miles, whose deep dimples and bright smile lit up the world for 53 years, died August 29, 2021, in McMinnville, Oregon, after a long illness. She was born August 7, 1968, in Coos Bay, Oregon, to Janet Ellen Cooley and Ralph Jacob Miles Jr. The family lived in North Bend at the time and moved back to Portland when she was one year old.

Laura attended schools in Parkrose and Gresham, and Lutheran High School in Portland, where she played volleyball and softball. She was the catcher for the Gresham Little League majors all-star team that won the national majors softball championship in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1981.

After graduating high school in 1986, Laura decided to strike out on her own, moving to Yamhill County, where she met Nathan Allen Green. Their daughter, Brittany, was born in 1992. In 1995, Laura and Bri moved to Ashland, where Laura worked as a restaurant server. She married Craig Dutson on May 23, 1998, in Ashland. After their divorce, Laura was married briefly to Leslie Ormanian.

Laura’s health began to fail in 2003, and in 2006 she returned to McMinnville. Her disease made it difficult to work, and she spent her days raising her daughter, reconnecting with old friends and making new ones, and crafting. A few years ago, she and partner Randy Hixon moved to Newberg, where they lived until this summer when her health began to deteriorate rapidly.

Laura was a smart, spunky child who grew into a strong, determined woman. She loved to read, often finishing a book in a day or two. She was always ready to help friends and neighbors who needed a hand, and faced her health issues with courage and fortitude despite enduring a great deal of pain. Her family is deeply indebted to Randy, who was her devoted caregiver these past few years, and to Sunshine John, PA, who managed Laura’s healthcare for more than 10 years.

She is survived by her daughter, Brittany Paige Miles (Michael Lim) of Lafayette; grandsons, Michael Jr., Isaac  and Jameson Lim; partner, Randy Hixon of McMinnville; mother, Janet Cooley McChesney of Clackamas; sister, Jennifer Andersen Gwin (Phil) of Brightwood; brothers, William Miles (Staci) of Happy Valley, Jacob Miles of Portland, and Jon Miles (Jade) of Portland; stepsisters, Lauren Furjes (Jeff) and Caitlin Liford (Blair), both of Kentucky; and several nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins. Laura was predeceased by her father and stepmother, Ralph Jr. and Becky Miles; sister, Wendy Eleanor Miles; stepfather, James McChesney; and uncle, William (Dick) Cooley.

Laura’s ashes will be placed at Womer Cemetery in Pedee, Oregon. An outdoor memorial service for friends is planned for 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 12, at Wortman Park (the McDaniel Lane side) in McMinnville. A graveside service for family will be held later. Contributions in Laura’s memory may be made to Second Street Community Church, P.O. Box 1237, Newberg, OR 97132, or online at the church’s website. Please specify the donation is for the Community Drop-in Center.

You were dearly loved by so many, Laura. Rest in peace, Sunshine Girl.


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