Harold L Miller
April 16, 1946 – June 3, 2020
Harold L. Miller, 74, of Austin, Texas, passed away on June 3, 2020.
Harold was born in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, in 1946, to Oscar and Eunice Murphy Miller. A few months later they moved to Pyote, Texas, and Harold always liked to say, "I wasn't born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could!" He would recall fondly his early years at the “Rattlesnake Bomber Base” in Pyote. He was baptized in 1953 at the Pyote Baptist Church.
Harold’s family, including big sister Elaine and baby sister Alice, later moved to San Antonio, where he excelled in academics at Hot Wells Junior High and Highlands High School. He played trombone in the Highlands band, and fell in love with classmate Deanne Kuba before graduating in the top ten of his class in 1963.
Harold and Deanne were married in San Antonio in 1965. They both attended the University of Texas at Austin, and Harold graduated with honors in 1968 with a B.A. in chemistry.
After graduation, Harold joined the U.S. Air Force, where he trained to fly the F-4 Phantom and earned the distinguished WSO Top Gun award at George AFB. During those early Air Force years his daughters Monique (1969), Kirsten and Ashley (twins, 1970) were born.
In 1971 Harold flew combat missions in the Vietnam war and returned home to become a flight instructor at George AFB. There he also discovered a love of black-and-white photography and produced many beautiful prints of his family and southern California.
In 1974 Harold was selected to attend UT Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, where he completed his MD in 1978 and earned membership in Alpha Omega Alpha, the national medical honor society. He completed his medical internship at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi.
In 1980 he left the Air Force and moved the family to Alpine, Texas, where he began a private practice in general medicine. In Alpine he was an active member of the Kiwanis Club, and he and daughter Monique also played trombone in the Alpine Community Band. Harold and Deanne made lifelong friendships in Alpine, and even though they moved away four years later, Alpine always held a very special place in their hearts.
In 1984 the family relocated to Snyder, Texas, where Harold practiced internal medicine. Snyder was a special place, too, with a wonderful extended family of aunts and uncles to reconnect with, and fun Miller family reunions every summer in Ira.
After the girls graduated from Snyder High School and moved off to college, Harold and Deanne moved to San Angelo for a few years, and then finally returned to their beloved Austin in 1991. There, Harold worked as an ambulatory care physician at Austin Medicenters for a year, and then specialized in Emergency Medicine, covering community hospitals around Texas for 13 years. Ever the renaissance man, he also enrolled in graduate studies in philosophy at UT, spent many hours creating beautiful wheel-thrown pottery, and even ran a small organic farm.
Harold was a man of deep faith, and he and Deanne raised their girls in the Lutheran and Episcopal churches. Having been drawn to the Roman Catholic church for years, he was confirmed at St. Mary’s Cathedral in downtown Austin in April 1995. More recently, while living at a skilled nursing facility outside of Austin, he transferred his membership to St. Martin De Porres Catholic Church in Dripping Springs. He was grateful to the parishioners who brought Holy Communion to the facility residents each week.
In January 2005, Harold opened a small private practice dedicated to serving low-income and uninsured Austinites, which he called “Texas Country Doctor in the City.” Unfortunately, later that year Harold was stricken by a mysterious case of encephalitis and was hospitalized for three months, followed by several more months of rehab. The illness left him with neuropathy, which weakened and eventually disabled him, and he retired from practicing medicine in 2006.
Harold passed away on June 3, 2020, after a two-week battle in the COVID-19 intensive care unit of Ascension Seton Main Hospital, Austin, Texas. He is survived by his daughters, Monique Snyder of Wimberley, Kirsten Miller and husband Kevin Brady of Austin, and Ashley Hand of Austin; sister Alice and husband John Lindley of San Antonio; grandchildren Philip and Cosette Snyder of Wimberley; one nephew and three nieces; numerous cousins and special friends; and the love of his life, Deanne Miller of Wimberley.
He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Elaine Campbell.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Harold’s memory to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul at https://www.ssvdp.org/donate, or the Seton Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund at https://bit.ly/COVID19-ResponseFund.
A private memorial service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, June 26th, and will be viewable online at https://vimeo.com/kirstenmiller
Friday, June 26, 2020
Harold L Miller
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June 3, 2021
I loved Harold and his family dearly. We looked forward to their visits when they attended the Episcopal Conferences in Amarillo. He added a special joy to our family, and we miss him. I hope to see some of his family at the Miller arReunion next weekend at the Lakehouse. 💕💕Love, Donna and family
July 5, 2020
I am so sad to learn that Dr. Miller has passed away. He was my dads roommate at Stonebridge. He was always so kind and understanding with my dad. My dad has dementia and hasn’t always been easy to live with. Harold never once complained and he was always friendly when I visited. He would let me know about how my dad was doing since he couldn’t always tell me himself. Blessings to your family. He was a wonderful person.
June 12, 2020
I did not know Harold well, but hold his family close to my heart at this time of loss and send my sincere condolences to Deane and the girls and their families. May there be peace and comfort for all in the days ahead. God bless.
June 11, 2020
In the fall of 1974 our freshman medical school class at UT Southwestern was assigned laboratory space alphabetically, giving me the great fortune to be seated next to Hal Miller for the entire year. We were all good students, but thanks to his time in the Air Force prior to medical school Hal was a bit more mature than the rest of us, and we all looked to him for advice. I still recall the weekend before the first big biochemistry exam, when all of us were planning to study day and night on Saturday and Sunday. Hal casually remarked that we needed some perspective, and that there might be more important things in life than trying to make the highest grade in the class. He explained that one of his old Air Force friends was coming to town for the weekend, and that spending some time with him was more important than his grades. Hal still did as well as the rest of us, but I never forgot that lesson, and it has helped me with my work-life balance since. I stayed in Dallas after graduation and saw Hal and Deanne only intermittently, but we kept up at a distance, and he remained a role model for me. Hal definitely left Texas, and the world, better than he found them, and it was my great privilege to have known him.
I send my deepest sympathy to Deanne and Monique, Kirsten, and Ashley. He loved you all dearly.
June 10, 2020
What sad news of Hal’s passing from the Covid virus. We have such dear memories of the five years we were across-the-street neighbors with Hal and Deanne in Carrollton. Hal was in medical school and Bob at Southwestern too, in residency.
Our three kids were fast friends with Monique, Ashley and Kirsten. If they weren’t at our house, they were at the Millers. Those years were very special. With the demands on the dads, we shared and supported each other. I know that many patients in Texas benefited from this bright, caring doctor’s treatment.
Our love and condolences to Deanne and the girls. Peggy and Bob May
June 10, 2020
I didn't realize Harold was just a few months older than me. He always seemed a lot older than me. We were very good friends with his sister Alice - doing everything together during our years in school and especially after high school. Harold was the very, very smart one and much more dignified than the rest of us. I think Harold just tolerated me, and he was always a little grumpy with me. But the very last memory that I had of Harold is the memory that always come to mind when I think of him.
I went to visit Alice and my sister. Harold was home from college and answered the door. He looked me over and all of a sudden a big smile came to him. He was so friendly and sweet to me; just remember seeing him standing there with a beautiful genuine smile on his face and looking so handsome. My whole perception of him changed in that moment. I have to admit that I was a little bratty, but Harold had definitely grown up to be a sweet charming man.
I knew Harold was very talented and smart, but his life was full of amazing achievements. What a fulfilled life he had accomplished. I will always remember him as a childhood friend and loved his family very much.
June 9, 2020
Harold and I shared a common link, both Oakies, and he was my doctor while in Alpine. We also shared an interest in photography. His daughters and mine were good friends. Lots of good times for a short time. Kind man and caring doctor. Sorry to see him go. Love to Deanne and the girls. George Bradley
June 9, 2020
Harold and I were best friends at Hot Wells during our 8th and 9th grade years. We would often spend nights together on weekends watching scary movies, riding bikes and talking about girls. After starting high school at Highlands we moved in the middle of the year to Lytle. We lost touch after that but there was always and still is a place in my heart for those wonderful and informative years. My wife and I went to school at Sul Ross in Alpine. I am glad that he lived there and knew the beauty of Alpine in the way that I did. My sincere condolences to his family and I must add, that although we lost contact, I believe once friends, always friends. Ward Sanders
June 8, 2020
To Deanne and family, know of our prayers and fond remembrance
Jimmy and Kay (Rutledge) Towers
June 8, 2020
I was privileged to know Hal during both our high school and college years, and I feel fortunate that he and Deanne were my good friends. His quirky sense of humor and his gentle manner are two things that I remember fondly. Our sincere sympathy and prayers go out to Deanne, the girls, and their extended family.
~ Cheryl (Neitzke) and Denis Dwyer
Judy and Ken Wallis
June 7, 2020
Harold was a dear high school friend. We shared many happy occasions with him and the family. We are saddened by the loss and extend our love to Deanne, Monique, Ashley, and Kirsten.
June 6, 2020
My best friend died.
I was befriended by Harold Miller when I arrived back in the United States in 1959 and became a student at Hot Wells Junior High. We became best friends and now my friend for life has died, I feel a terrible loss even though we have lived far apart for many years and our meetings have been very sporadic.
Harold was one of the most brilliant people I knew. Obviously, he was the 9th grade valedictorian at Hot Wells and graduated in the top 3 of his class from Highlands High School. Many did not know he received a full ride to Trinity University but after a year left for a NROTC scholarship to UT. While at Trinity he took Greek as an elective because he wanted a challenge! After UT, he transferred to the Air Force and served as a navigator in the F-4 serving in Thailand during the Vietnam War. After returning to the US, he was selected by the Air Force to attend medical school at UT Southwestern graduating in the top 10 of his class. He practiced as a doctor for many years but as a true Renaissance man he delved into pottery and photography. His proudest accomplishment though was raising, along with Deanne, his 3 daughters, Monique and twins Ashley and Kirsten. Unfortunately, later in life he suffered from depression and a bout of encephalitis left him with neuropathy and many other challenges. Needing assistance, he lived in a care facility for the last several years. He was taken to the hospital on May 21st with low oxygen and died on June 3rd of the COVID 19.
I hope that all of us have best friends. For me, Harold was an inspiration and forced me to do my best just to keep up with him. I am very saddened by his loss and will miss him dearly. In these trying times we need to be in contact with those we cherish no matter how often we are physically with them. Rest in peace Harold.
Anna Powell (nee Irwin)
June 4, 2020
The news of Harold’s death from Covid 19 brings sadness to my heart as we were classmates and special friends throughout high school. He was smart, kind and funny. So pleased to learn he lived a rich life with his wife Deanne (also a classmate of mine). My heartfelt sympathy goes out to all of Harold’s family. I knew he had become a doctor. Am wondering if he was on the front line fighting the disease.