Commander John R. Miller USN (Retired) passed away December 20, 2021 peacefully at age 92.
He was born in Detroit, Michigan on October 16, 1929, the only child of I. Russell Miller and Sophie Brereton Miller (nee Shuman) and was baptized three months later at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey. In 1932 the family re-located to Cincinnati, Ohio in response to the 1929 depression conditions and remained there until 1942. The Pearl Harbor attack in 1941 led to the family’s return to Detroit as a result of his father’s General Motors employment. During the return to Detroit (and Pleasant Ridge, a suburb) Cdr Miller graduated from Sinclair High School in Ferndale, Michigan in 1947. At that time he was selected to enter the Naval ROTC program and was assigned to the Naval ROTC unit at University of New Mexico. He graduated and was commissioned on the same day, June 1, 1952. On June 3, 1952 Cdr. Miller and Miss Viola Chess of San Marino, California (also a 1952 UNM graduate) were married in the First Presbyterian Church in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Thereafter he remained on active duty for 25 years involving a variety of sea and shore duty arrangements including a one year tour in Vietnam.
Upon retirement from the U.S. Navy in 1977, Cdr. Miller was soon employed by the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, retiring again in 1991. Survivors include children, Victoria Miller Kight, Linda Miller Thomas, Kurt Russell Miller; granddaughter, Jennifer Chessmoore Paolucci (nee Kight); and great-granddaughter, Genevieve Davita Paolucci. Cdr. Miller was pre-deceased by his wife of nearly 61 years, Viola, in 2013 and his first great-granddaughter, Evelyn Mae Paolucci in 2018.
Cremation has taken place and Cdr Miller’s ashes are interred at St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral in Albuquerque, New Mexico with those of his beloved wife. Services will be Friday, January 28, 2022, 11:00 a.m. at St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral, 318 Silver Ave SW, 87102.
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