John Miller ’49

Dr. Miller was born in Gastonia NC on September 25, 1928, the son of the late Dr. Oscar Lee Miller and Rose Evans Miller. He died on October 5, 2020, peacefully in his sleep at home in Summerville, SC.

We celebrate his long and meaningful life, his love for the Lord and for his family and for his faithful service to the Church.

Dr. Miller attended Charlotte city schools and graduated from Central High School. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from Davidson College. He received his Bachelor of Divinity Degree cum laude from Union Theological Seminary in Richmond VA. Dr. Miller also did postgraduate work at New College, University of Edinburgh and Westminster College, Cambridge University. He received his Doctor of Ministry Degree from Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, VA.

Dr. Miller was an honorably retired minister of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and a member of Charleston-Atlantic Presbytery. Following graduation from seminary he was Interim Bible Professor at Peace College, Raleigh, NC. He served pastorates in Jason and Snow Hill, NC, Rocky Mount, NC and Old Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church, Laurinburg, NC.

He also served as Presbyterian Campus Minister at East Carolina University, Greenville, NC and Chaplain at The Presbyterian Home of South Carolina, Summerville, SC. Following retirement Dr. Miller served as Parish Associate of the Summerville Presbyterian Church where he was a very active affiliate member and a faithful participant in the Seekers Sunday School Class.

Dr. Miller grew up in the Myers Park Presbyterian Church, Charlotte, NC where he was actively involved in youth programs. His dedication to the church universal continued throughout his life. He was twice commissioner to the PCUS General Assembly and served as Moderator of Albemarle Presbytery. He was a longtime member of Bread for the World and supported the Lowcountry Food Bank in Charleston, SC. While at Davidson he was a member of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity.

Dr. Miller’s interests and activities were many and varied. His world travels took him to the Belgian Congo, along with several trips to Europe and a freewheeling motorcycle excursion from Cambridge, England to Jerusalem, Israel. He was a Life Scout and served as Scoutmaster of Troop 205 in Greenville, NC. He attended the 1974 National Jamboree and hiked along the Appalachian Trail.

He enjoyed various nature activities and possessed a true appreciation for God’s created world. He taught his two boys to hunt and fish with varying success. Dr. Miller was strongly dedicated to the spiritual life of children and young people. He established a scholarship in memory of his wife Dowdy Hardy Miller designated for educational ministry with children. He enjoyed the Summerville Symphony and also supported local theater presentations by Flowertown Players of Summerville.

Dr. Miller was a genuine Bible scholar who could quote chapter and verse and continued his lifelong devotional reading in the original New Testament Greek. His linguistic prowess was exhibited in his delightful ability to end family meal disputes with the Latin phrase de gustabus non disputandum (“to each his own”).

Anyone who knew Dr. Miller knows that a list of all his positive qualities would be too lengthy. There are some, however, that will always remain part of his legacy. Dr. Miller was a sweet, kind, generous and loving person. Others remember him as also quick-witted, flirtatious, (a little) stubborn and something of a rascal! He was thoughtful and supportive, patient and sincere, humble and steadfast, genuinely pastoral, a trusted friend and devoted husband, dad, and granddad.

Dr. Miller is predeceased by his wife of sixty years, Evelyn Dowdy Hardy Miller.

He is survived by two sons, The Rev. Dr. John N. Miller Jr. and Ben H. Miller (Dorothy), and three grandchildren, Martha E. Miller Reid (Will), Laura T. Miller and Benjamin H. Miller II.

In lieu of flowers, the family encourages you to make contributions to the John Neel Miller Fund through the Presbyterian Foundation at the following address: The John Neel Miller Fund, Presbyterian Foundation, 200 E. 12th Street, Jeffersonville, IN 47130.

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