Don’s nature is humble, and although he wouldn’t describe himself this way, truth be told, he is an extremely savvy businessman and it’s no surprise that he continued to add new locations expanding the business. For years he and wife, Wendy, owned and operated the Innisfail, Olds, and most recently, the Carstairs, UFA Petroleum Agencies. The couple cast a wide net, serving customers along the QE2, and as far east and west as the eye can see. And it goes without saying, that the customers are what they will miss most in retirement. "We will miss the daily contact with our customers, people who have become friends, and many of who we see every day," says Wendy. "Small things like having a coffee together, have been a big part of our day for so many years," she adds that many of those customers started out very young. "When you’ve been around for as long as Don has, you even have customers who come in and say, I remember you from when I was a little kid." The couple says it’s always funny when a customer knows us, but we don’t remember them, and its especially funny when they recount some of the teasing that went on. "Often kids would come in with their parents and I’d point to the mop in the corner and tell them it was time to clean the washrooms," laughs Don. "The look on their face was always priceless, and lots of those kids bring it up years later. Hopefully we didn’t traumatize them too much!"
Don and Wendy will also miss their work family, people like Darwin, Trish, Brian, Cheryl, and many others who they couldn’t have done without. "There hasn’t been a day in 40 years that I didn't want to come to work, because I loved my job and I enjoyed the people around me. What a blessing to be able to say that," says Don. "They have been our second family and have supported us not only in our career but in our personal life. We have enjoyed every moment of working together as a team."
The couple’s son, Jeff, has also worked alongside them for many years and naturally, has taken over the helm. Don and Wendy know, customers and staff alike, are in good hands. "Jeff has been in the business for a long time and we know he will do extremely well. Now, instead of catching up on the day’s stories with Jeff at the agency, they’ll have to catch up over coffee at Jeff’s home in Olds, just around the corner from them.
UFA Area Manager, Tim Church, has also known the Millers for many years and adds that they are leaving a legacy of hard work, stellar customer service and easy conversation. "I was rewarded for working with, and for knowing, Don and Wendy. Not only did they represent UFA in the best way, going above and beyond for customers and their community, but I was rewarded in kind and in friendship. I was privileged to support their professional dreams and I am blessed to call them lifelong friends."