Richard Miller (5/22/42 – 8/25/17)

On August 25th, 2017 at 10:15AM, Richard passed away with his immediate family at his side.  This will be the last update to the WeConnectDots Blog.  Many knew him as Richard, friends called him Dick, and those who were lucky, called him Dad and Papa.

My father was born May 22nd, 1942 and was lovingly raised by Sarah and Frank Miller, along with his sister Kathy, in Ellwood City PA.  He grew up playing sports, but was identified as an intellectual.  He enlisted in the National Guard and attended some college before moving up to Greenville.

He started working for the Record-Argus in 1963, becoming the sports editor, and at age 21 he became one of the youngest writers to ever win a Pennsylvania Newspaper Publishers’ Assn. award.  In 1966 he formed his own business, and for the next four years he combined an advertising agency with periodic re-assignments at the Record-Argus.

My dad was chairman of the Mercer County Democratic Committee during the administration of Gov. Milton J. Shapp, first elected in 1970 at the age of 28.  At the time, he was the youngest county chairman in either party in the state.  He served on the by-laws committee of the State Democratic Committee in 1978 and in 2002 was a member of the transition committee for economic development for Gov.-elect Ed Rendell.

He was a former chairman of Mercer County Industrial Development Committee, was the first chairman of the county’s Solid Waste Authority, and is a former chairman of the Greenville Water Authority.  He served on many Greenville, county, and regional civic organizations over the years.  He was passionate about politics and public service.

My father acted as a mentor to many, always making time to offer guidance or input to all that asked, but most importantly, he was a great father.  Some of my best memories of him come from my Little League days.  Two moments will always stand out.  During one year of him coaching, he had broken his ankle in the months prior and had to use a walker.  Fast forward several months, still needing a walker, and coaching my team.  The umpire blew a call, causing me to be called out, and my dad hobbled right out to home plate and proceeded to tell the umpire that he has a special place in mind on where he would like to put his walker.  He was tossed from the game.  Subsequently, the assistant coach also got thrown out, and the official coach on record for that game was my sister Sara who started the game off being listed as “bat-girl”.

The other moment happened a couple of years later during one of the years I had made the all-star team.  We were playing the team from Franklin, who took baseball much more serious than we did.  My dad was asked to call the game for the local radio station and I had managed to hit a two-run homer in the second or third inning.  I can still see him leaning over the announcer’s table screaming “way to go Joseph, that’s my son” during the live broadcast.  Impartiality be damned, his son just hit a home run.  In the grand scheme of things, youth league baseball isn’t that important in life, but for those years that I played, it was important to me, which meant it was important to him.

I will forever remember my father as a generous, self-less, and caring man who loved his children and grand-child, and who always tried to help people, and I hope you will too.

He is survived by my mother Diana, his wife of 35 years, myself, my sister Sara, his sister Kathy, and one grand-child, Elliott.

 

-Joe

  • By Brad Ehrhart, August 30, 2017 @ 11:44 AM

    Dick was a great guy. I will miss him.

  • By Mark Singel, August 30, 2017 @ 11:44 AM

    Pennsylvania is a better place because of Dick Miller. I always enjoyed his perspective and his ability to speak truth to power.

    God bless the entire Miller family.

  • By John Sarandrea, August 30, 2017 @ 11:57 AM

    So sorry to hear about Dick’s passing. I suspected something was wrong when I didn’t receive his weekly email.
    I wasn’t aware that he was ill!? Your dad and I served on boards together and enjoyed talking politics. He was indeed a wonderful man. My condolences to you and your family.

    Sincerely,
    John Sarandrea

  • By Dick Mallary, August 30, 2017 @ 11:59 AM

    To Diana, Joe, Sara, Kathy, & Elliott,

    Your Dick was one of my oldest friends. A couple quick memories. First, because our names were similar, we used to take credit for one another’s achievements. And I remember some very competitive games of “HORSE” and “PIG” on the basketball “court” behind the Wurtemburg grade school. He wasn’t tall but he was, shall was say, aggressive. He loved winning and he did much of the time.

    A great laugh. A great heart. I was so looking forward to seeing him in September at our high school class’ 75th birthday party. I’ll miss him, not like you will miss him, but I’ll miss him.

    My best to you all. Take care of one another.

    Dick Mallary

  • By T Hovis, August 30, 2017 @ 12:26 PM

    thanks very much for sharing your story and I am truly sorry for your loss…

  • By dominic vadala, August 30, 2017 @ 12:38 PM

    WELL SAID FOR A GOOD MAN AND GOOD FRIEND.
    I WILL MISS HIS INPUT AND CONVERSATIONS.

    My condolences to all his family

  • By Scott Graubard, August 30, 2017 @ 12:58 PM

    Dick and I had radically different political views. But we always were able to converse. I respected him greatly. I never doubted that, although I often thought he was wrong, the believed that his positions were the best for his community.

    We would be much better off if we had more people who understood the art of politics as he did and were as motivated by the desire to improve his community.

  • By David Rimer, August 30, 2017 @ 1:31 PM

    I always will remember the talks your Father and I had. He always took the time to listen and I learned to listen to his opinion. He will be surely missed. We always parted with a smile and a handshake. Thank you Dick Miller for being the gentleman you were.

    My condolences to the entire Miller family.

  • By Lyn Weidner, LWVMC, August 30, 2017 @ 2:16 PM

    Dick was always interested in the League of Women Voters of Mercer County events and attended many of them. We will miss seeing him and his timely thoughts on current political situations and issues.

  • By Annie Pastor, August 30, 2017 @ 3:25 PM

    I’m sorry for your loss. Dick was a wonderful man and I had very much enjoyed working with him for many years in Pennsylvania’s Area Labor-Management Committees. Dick and his weekly insights into Pennsylvania’s political issues will be missed.

    With sympathy and condolences,
    Annie Pastor
    TRALMC

  • By Joe Vater, August 30, 2017 @ 4:06 PM

    My Condolences to you and your family. It was my pleasure to work with your father for many years. I will miss his wisdom and insight, a truly wonderful man.

  • By Sam Giannetti, August 30, 2017 @ 5:07 PM

    I had lunch with Dick about 2 weeks ago. He was sharp as a tack. Great conversation. I will miss his observations on life and politics. Bye Dick.

  • By Dick Davis, August 30, 2017 @ 5:14 PM

    Dick was a man with knowledge of most everything going on in Greenville, Mercer County and PA. A conversation with Dick was like a summit with the Pope, the Godfather, and the King of England rolled into one. (Yes, Dick would have a humorous comeback for that line, which is why he’ll be greatly missed)

  • By Joe Hohman, August 30, 2017 @ 5:36 PM

    Sorry to hear of Dick’s passing! What a great man and a conscientious public servant. Our prayers and thoughts are with the Miller family. I was pleased that our paths crossed during my time as Act 47 Coordinator in Greenville and appreciated his friendship and reading his “we connect the dots” which he did so well!

  • By Kathy Morningstar, August 30, 2017 @ 6:27 PM

    THANK YOU for your many words of wisdom. You truly listened and I greatly appreciated it. Dick, you will truly be missed and I thank your family for sharing you with the Northwest Democrat Alliance and myself.

  • By RB Swift, August 30, 2017 @ 7:17 PM

    I’m sorry to hear of Dick’s passing and appreciate your tribute. I met him 40 years ago as a young reporter in Mercer County and stayed in touch. His columns provided a unique and welcome perspective on Pennsylvania politics

  • By Doug Costa, August 30, 2017 @ 7:22 PM

    My condolences to the Miller family.I’ve known Dick since we were in Miss Cooper’s first grade class at The West End School.Even as a kid,I knew he was special.He was kind,funny,smart and a little quirky.I never knew anybody else who wanted to play second base and emulate Solly Hemus.Since the first grade Dick has been my friend and he will be missed.

  • By Michael Downing, August 30, 2017 @ 7:33 PM

    Thanks for this final blog. My sincere condolences to Diana and the entire Miller family. Dick was a great person who gave a lot to the community, the region and the state. We are all better off because of the contributions he made. I enjoyed our occasional breakfast discussions about the economy, health care and many other topics. Dick will be missed.

  • By Roger Smith, August 31, 2017 @ 8:12 AM

    Dick was bright, articulate, compassionate and had a keen sense of humor. I always enjoyed being in his company.

  • By Tom Dobson, September 1, 2017 @ 4:22 PM

    Thank-you. You have my deepest sympathies. Dick was a friend and I will miss him.

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