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Garner Funeral Service

10 Lawrence Ave, Potsdam, NY

OBITUARY

Richard J. Miller

November 15, 1927January 14, 2020
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Richard John Miller (known affectionately as G-Pops) passed away peacefully on January 14th, 2020. He sang, recited poetry, calculated complicated math equations, and shared epic stories until the very end. He was born on November 15th, 1927 in Watertown, NY. He was predeceased by parents George and Kathryn Miller, brother George “Bud” and wife Mary Ann.

He married Mary Ann Scoones in 1952 and carried her memory fondly after she passed in 2006. He is survived by son Michael and his wife Kelly, son Peter and his wife Sharon, son Paul, daughter-in-law Natalie, and daughter Mary Kathryn and her partner Freddie; his grandchildren Melissa, Christy, Katie, Beth Ann and her partner Sam, Megan (who cared for him later in life) and her spouse Brandon Michaud, Allison and her spouse Peter Lawrence, Taylor, and Brett and his partner Natasha; and great-grandchildren Henry, Helena, and Linley, as well as many nieces, nephews and in-laws. He had a special relationship with niece Kathleen and husband Kurt, as well as dear family friends Cindy and Amanda.

Although he denied his talents, Ric was a true Renaissance man. He was an avid athlete who practiced sailing, lacrosse, bowling, and handball; he dedicated his service to the military (which included a historic expedition to Antarctica under Admiral Byrd); donated over 100 pints of blood; was a lifetime member of American Legion Post 74, and the Firemens’ Chief Association of Northern New York. In the year 2000, he was honored as Fireman of the Year for his 36+ years of service and dedication to the West Potsdam Fire Department. He was awarded a distinguished teacher’s award from Clarkson University, from which he retired after 37 years. Additionally, he earned several degrees: a master’s in Math Education from Syracuse University, a master’s in Mathematics from University of Washington in Seattle, and a PhD in Engineering Science from Clarkson.

Ric deeply valued friends and family, and hosted routine gatherings at his residence for decades, until as recently as October 2019. All were welcome to stop by for a drink and conversation and – if you were really lucky – you were roped in for a project or two.

Over the years, Ric also enjoyed his many trips around the country with his wife Mary Ann and in-laws Ed and Nancy Crane. He enjoyed visiting his daughter Mary Kathryn in Florida, developing many special friendships on these voyages.

More recently, he enjoyed his time with his friends at the American Legion in Potsdam, where he and his family would visit regularly.

Ric’s many great accomplishments – and there were many – pale in comparison to his thoughtful wisdom, resilient spirit, goofy humor, and sharp intellect.

Friends may call at the Garner Funeral Home in Potsdam Friday January 17th 2020, from noon to 2pm, with services immediately following. There will be a celebration of Ric’s amazing life starting at 3pm at the American Legion Post 74.

Contributions in his memory can be made to the West Potsdam Volunteer Fire Department. A very special thank you from his family and friends to the staff at Canton Potsdam Hospital Intensive Care Unit for their sensitivity and care during the final stage of his life.

  • DONATIONS

  • West Potsdam Volunteer Fire

Services

  • Calling Hours Friday, January 17, 2020
  • Funeral Service Friday, January 17, 2020

Memories

Richard J. Miller

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john egner

February 1, 2020

he was my roommate at Hamilton college Clinton ny for two years We were both veterans at the time. I dont think i have ever met a more enthusiastic spirited person than Rick. those days at Hamilton I will never forget.We meshed well together, I studied late at night and he was an early riser and hit the books in the morning. That was in the freshman south dorm. As sophmores we lived in a suite with with " piggy" Banks,and Ted Mullet. 'Rick had a great sense humor, it seemed to me he always had a smile for everyone. I will miss him greatly. He gave me a copy of his diary that he wrote while adventuring to the south pole with Admiral Perry's expedition,1946 to 47'The title of the book is Operation Highjump.He sent it to me with the following line "Hi John yep there was a life before our years at Hamilton. This book is a sample of what i was doing. Its just the day to day rambling of a nineteen year old on the venture of his life. Its not always exciting but i still hope.that you will enjoy reading it." and now I will read it again. His old roommate John Egner md

Mary Ormiston

January 18, 2020

Dick was a great friend of the Wiley family for years. He was kind, funny, smart, and an all-around good guy. This picture is of him on an Algonquin Park 'fishing' expedition some years ago.
Our sympathy to his family and friends.

jerry flanders

January 17, 2020

On behalf of the Northern New York Parade and Drill Officials Association we say good bye to a former parade official who played an important part in parade judging by designing the scoring system for parades. He will be greatly missed by those members of the Association.

Robert Sanford

January 17, 2020

I've known him since I was four. All my life he let me come down to the house, sit in companionable silence, and watch football or just hang out. When I was 12 he tricked me into eating a hot pepper by passing it off as a pickle. I was not the first or last person this happened to. He let me help him hammer nails at the West Potsdam Field Days and never criticized what I'd built. When I was 18 and headed to the Navy with his son Paul and our friend Mike he danced at the going away party in the wildest pair of plaid pants I ever saw (they were even worse than Mike's). When I was 23 he gave me a two-inch stack of mimeographed calculus notes and taught me calculus even though I was enrolled in another professor's class. His notes were better than any published text I ever saw and he was a fabulous teacher. He gave me rides to college and let me hold the rope that kept the passenger door closed. He never bugged me about my dad building a house right next to his. He was a big part of my growing up and surviving into adulthood and I will always remember him.

Dale Hoffman

January 16, 2020

To the Miller Family from The Hoffman Family. Our deepest condolences go out to you one and all. What a Dynamo Mr Miller was! So sorry for your loss. Peace

Ann Fenlong

January 16, 2020

Paul and Natalie, David and I send our sincere condolences.

David and Ann Fenlong

Anne Eastman

January 15, 2020

There are so many great memories of uncle Rick. Throwing money in the grass at family parties for all us cousins to scramble around looking for, thinking for a year with the cousins of the one question we would ask at Thanksgiving that would finally trip him up ( which never happened). He was the smartest, funniest, humblest, kindest man I ever knew. I hope there's Limburger cheese, a game of pitch and a cold one waiting for you. Rest in peace Uncle Rick.

erik doty

January 15, 2020

So many great memories of my uncle Rick. My favorite was when he would call all of us cousins over to the grass and reach in his pocket and throw a bunch of coins in the air. We all scrambled and dug through the grass looking for money. What a way to keep kids occupied.

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