William Joseph Miller, 89, died Tuesday, March 3, 2009 at Heritage Hospital in Tarboro, North Carolina. He was born December 18, 1919 to the late Mary Gertrude Brett Miller and James Rufus Miller of Hertford County. Mr. Miller was preceded in death by his wife of 54 years, Elizabeth Armstrong Miller and brothers, James Everette Miller of Raleigh, North Carolina and Abner Holloman Miller of Rock Ridge, North Carolina.
Mr. Miller, a lifelong resident of Ahoskie, North Carolina, was a graduate of Wake Forest College, class of 1941. Upon graduation he enrolled in Officer Candidate School with the United States Navy. He was sent to Midshipman School, Prairie State, New York and was commissioned to the rank of Ensign. He completed training at Chemical Warfare School, Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland, and served as the Engineering Officer aboard the flagship for the Commander of Transports in the Atlantic Fleet, participating in three battle operations in the European Theatre during World War II. Mr. Miller was later promoted to Lieutenant and assigned to the Ferry Command Crew which supervised delivering newly constructed ships from the Great Lakes area via the Mississippi River to the Gulf Coast. It was during this time that he met his bride-to-be.
Returning to Ahoskie, Mr. Miller was a founder and co-owner of Ahoskie Meat and Provision Company serving as its Vice-President.
Mr. Miller was active in the community, serving on various boards, including the Hertford County Farm Bureau, Ahoskie Library Committee and Ahoskie Advisory Council to the Hertford County Board of Education where he served as a past chairman.
Mr. Miller was a longtime member of St. Thomas Episcopal Church serving several terms as Junior and Senior Warden. He also served on the Finance Committee of the Diocese of East Carolina and later on the Diocesan Executive Council.
He was a charter member of Beechwood Country Club and a member of the Society of the Cincinnati. He was also a member of the Ahoskie Kiwanis Club for 64 years and received the Outstanding Kiwanian Award.
Throughout Mr. Miller‚??s life he enjoyed the outdoors. He was a keen observer of nature, and especially enjoyed his game of golf, winning many trophies including three holes-in-one. Mr. Miller was a true Southern gentleman. He will be remembered for his kindness, his loyalty and devotion to all.
Mr. Miller is survived by his three daughters, Barbara Miller O‚??Herron and husband, Kennedy of Raleigh, Constance Miller Mehta and husband, Kiran of Charlotte, and Anne Miller Daniel and husband, The Right Reverend Clifton Daniel III of Greenville. He is also survived by nine grandchildren, Edward Michael O‚??Herron II of Raleigh, Sarah O‚??Herron Hogan and husband, Michael of New York, New York, Katherine Miller O‚??Herron of Aspen, Colorado, John William Mehta and wife, Rebecca of Ashland, Oregon, Coleman Armstrong Mehta and wife, Tamara of Arlington, Virginia, Emily Stafford Mehta of Charlotte, Margaret Daniel Pickron and husband, Norman of New York, New York, Elizabeth Daniel Zajac and husband, Jared of New York, New York, and Charlotte Holloman Daniel of Greenwich, Connecticut, and one great-grandchild, Osha Kiran Mehta, of Ashland, Oregon.
The family will receive friends at the home from five to seven o‚??clock on Friday, March 6, 2009. A memorial service for Mr. Miller will be held on Saturday, March 7, 2009 at 11:00 am at St. Thomas Episcopal Church.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to St. Thomas Episcopal Church, PO Box 263, Ahoskie, NC 27910 or to a charity of one‚??s choice.