Stephen Earl Miller of Surprise AZ, 70, succumbed to cancer on Saturday, June 18, 2016 with his family at his bedside. He was preceded in death by his brother Sidney Ralph Miller in 1972 and father Earl Ralph Miller in 1992. Those left to love and remember him are his mother Esther Johnson Miller; his beloved wife of 48 years Nancy Jean Carson Miller; his children Gregory Scott Miller, Anna Kay Miller Davila, Katherine Lynn Miller-Nelson; his grandchildren Noah Miller, Elsa Miller, Samuel Miller, Joshua Miller, Marcelino Davila; his daughters-in-law Imani Amparo Torruella Miller and Jeanine Ann Miller-Nelson; and his beloved dogs Maggie and Pebbles.
He was born on March 28, 1946 in Moscow, Idaho. Although his early childhood was spent living in Seattle and California, he resided in Scottsdale, Arizona for the majority of his childhood. Stephen was dependable and responsible, always looking after his younger brother Sidney. He was a model student, earning good grades and many awards. Even at a young age, he had an engineer’s mind and loved to build things and work with his hands. He enjoyed playing baseball throughout his childhood.
He graduated from Arizona State University with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering in 1968, with honors and memberships in multiple honor societies. In his senior year, Stephen met the love of his life Nancy Jean Carson. He was selling beanie hats for a school fundraiser and when he approached Nancy, it was love at first sight. She did buy the beanie. On October 19th in 1968, they were married in Costa Mesa, California. Over the course of their marriage, they were blessed with three children.
The young family settled in northern Virginia where Stephen began his 28 year career with the US Postal Service at the headquarters in Washington, DC. He started as an engineer, and eventually rose to be appointed to the position of Assistant Postmaster General, serving as the head of different departments over fifteen years. He received a Master’s in Public Administration from American University in 1980. Though he had a very accomplished career, he always remained humble and gracious.
At the age of 55, he retired to Culpeper, Virginia. Retirement afforded him the opportunity to indulge his love of learning and explore many interests and hobbies. He taught himself how to play multiple musical instruments. He enjoyed designing model train layouts, making stained glass, polishing gemstones, creating handmade wood objects, building doll houses, and exploring new technologies. With his wife, he traveled the world capturing in photographs the beauty he saw with an artist’s eye.
He was a gentle soul who was dedicated to serving others. He volunteered his time as treasurer at the Lutheran churches he attended in Virginia and Arizona. He was generous with his time and was always available to help fellow members of the congregation.
He was a sensitive man but was fiercely protective of his family. When his wife was battling breast cancer, he was by her side for every chemotherapy and radiation treatment. He returned home to Arizona in 2011 in order to oversee his mother’s care. He was also a very loving and devoted father and grandfather.
The memorial service will be held at Shepherd of the Desert Lutheran Church in Sun City, AZ at 11am on Wednesday, June 22, 2016. The family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made in his name to American Cancer Society on the website at cancer.org/donate or by calling 1-800-227-2345.Print Obituary & Condolences