HOWARD MILLER

Year graduated: 1970

Favorite subject at Lake:  H.S Math

Favorite teacher: Mrs. Schiffbauer

Family: Wife of 44 year, Marsha (Combs); children, Jill (Jade Liechty), Karen, Howard (Megan Petroccia); grandchildren, Grace , Isabelle, Emme and Jack.

Hobbies: Reading and theology

What makes Howard notable

For Lake High School grad, Howard Miller, it was growing up in the hardware business that got him started in the hardware business. Sounds confusing, but as a member of the Miller family that owned Hartville Kitchen, one thing led to another.

"When I graduated, I bought a backhoe and started doing excavating," said Miller.

It was in 1972 that the local hardware store came up for sale.

"My father asked me if I wanted to buy it," Miller said. "He needed to know the next morning because someone else wanted to buy it."

Miller was 19 at the time and he and his wife, Marsha, decided we would like to try retail. It was a 5,000-square-foot store with 3 employees. 

"My brother, Wayne, was still in high school but he came in and worked after school," Miller said. "Today, we are 305,000 square feet and have over 250 people on our team."

Miller is the president of Hartville Hardware.

Question and answer 

Q: What was your favorite memory about Lake High School?

A: Playing football on one of Lake’s greatest teams; being voted friendliest; meeting my wife

Q: How did Lake High School help shape you into the person you have become?

A: I think it helped me feel like part of the community.

Q: At 17 years old, what is it that you thought you would be doing when you were an adult, and how is that different than what you are doing?

A: My dream would have been to be an architect, but growing up in a conservative church setting, college was discouraged. I think the ability to see things as they could be, which is a skill an architect needs, has helped me with the vision of Hartville Hardware.

Q: What is the most rewarding part of your job/what makes you notable?

A: It has been very rewarding to be part of a team that has built America’s largest hardware store. We take pride not only in being the largest but also the best!

Q: When it is all said and done, what is the legacy you hope to have left behind?

A: I hope that I have made a positive difference in the lives of others and our community.