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Arthur H. Miller

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Arthur H. Miller Obituary
Arthur H. Miller

AGE: 76 • Highland Park

Arthur Harold Miller died on Saturday morning, May 26, 2012. He was born at Muhlenberg Hospital in Plainfield, NJ, to Bertha Z. and Leon D. Miller on September 21, 1935. His father was principal owner of Standard Plastic Products in South Plainfield, now a division of Mattel.

Arthur was the oldest of 4 children. He and his two brothers, Richard and Michael, and his sister, Joy, grew up in Plainfield, attending Hubbard elementary school and Plainfield High. In high school (class of 1953) he was Editor in Chief of the student newspaper, a student correspondent for what was then the Plainfield Courier News (he interviewed Eleanor Roosevelt for that paper), President of the Student Council, the manager of the track team, a member of which was Olympics track legend, Milt Campbell. Art earned his undergraduate degree from Princeton University (1957), enrolled in the Woodrow Wilson undergraduate honors program, triple majoring in history, politics and economics. His senior thesis was about the practitioners before the Interstate Commerce Commission; this thesis was later cited in a book about the history of the ICC. The joy of his college days was the fencing team. He was a freshman "walk-on" who excelled in foil, earning all-Ivy team honors and serving as a foil team leader. His coach, Stanley Sieja, was like a second father to him, and Art often said it was fencing that made Princeton enjoyable for him.

Art loved sports, enjoying skiing, power walking, and tennis singles and doubles, but his particular love was bicycling. He cycled regularly and avidly in NJ and in California. A highlight was participating in the Paris-Brest-Paris bicycling competition in France in 1987, which he completed in under 90 hours. Art loved the outdoors, and with his wife, Lynn (Fieldman) Miller, he took walking and/or biking trips in the US and other countries. When he wasn't doing sports, he loved to watch sports on TV, even in his illness and last days. He watched the 2011 Tour de France on his laptop computer while in the hospital last July.

In the summer of 1957 he had "re-met" the then 18 year old Lynn Fieldman at Valley View Country Club in the Watchung Hills. They'd known each other since they were children growing up in Plainfield. In September '57 Art started Columbia University Law School. Art and Lynn married on August 24, 1958, and lived in a 4th floor walk-up in a brownstone on West 107th Street. Art continued his legal studies, graduating with a JD in 1960. Art then served in the US Army, training and working for 6 months of active duty at Fort Dix, NJ and Fort Leonard Wood, MO, followed by 5 1/2 years of reserve duty, attending monthly meetings and two weeks summer training in upstate New York, all during peacetime. After his 6 months active duty, Art took the NY Bar Exam and began practicing law in New York City. Daughter, Jennifer Lyn Miller, was born in October, 1961, and son, Jonathan Daniel Miller arrived in February, 1965. Art was a wonderful, loving father. Art and the family moved to Metuchen, NJ in May 1965. Art commuted to NYC for a few more years, before founding his own office in New Brunswick in 1969 after passing the NJ Bar. In 1973, Art, Lynn and their children moved to Highland Park, where he resided until his death. Art practiced law from his admission to the NY Bar in 1961 until December 2011, when he retired because of health problems, and Lynn retired with him. He loved the law; during his last illness he often dreamed about being in court. During his 51 years of practice he tried many many cases to conclusion, arguing many jury trials, as well as appeals, several to the NJ Appellate Division and the Supreme Court and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals (federal court). Several of his cases resulted in published opinions, including State v. Levinson, 225 NJ Super. 1935 (App. Div. 1988); State v. Miller 83 NJ 402 (1980); Ibelli v. Maloof, 357 NJ Super. 324 (Ch. 1992); and Nappe v. Anschelewitz, Barr et al, 97 NJ 37 (1984). Several of his most interesting cases came from his work as a pro bono cooperating attorney with the ACLU of NJ in the area of first amendment rights.

Arthur served as President of the Middlesex County Bar Association and the Middlesex County Bar Foundation. He was a trustee of the New Jersey State Bar Association and is a founding member of its Individual Rights Section and its Consumer Protection Committee, as well as the Senior Lawyers Committee, which he chaired until his illness made such service impossible. He was Chair of the Board of Directors of what was then the Middlesex County Legal Services Corporation, now the Central Jersey Legal Services Corporation, and served as a member of that Board until his death. A natural teacher, he had been a visiting lecturer in the Politics Department of Princeton University, and gave lectures and seminars for attorneys on various legal topics, especially bankruptcy, receiverships, and related fields, in which Arthur was recognized by his colleagues as a master practitioner. His many activities reflect Art's passion for access to the courts, the ideals of the US and NJ constitutions, and civil rights. In 1996 Arthur was selected by his colleagues to receive the Middlesex County Bar Association's Lawyer Achievement Award in recognition of his activities which promoted improvements in and fostered public understanding of our legal system.

In June 2011 Art was diagnosed with a rare cancer. He fought the disease courageously, undergoing radiation and three different types of chemotherapy in succession, to no avail. He elected to stop treatment in early April 2012 and went on home hospice. When he realized he couldn't be cared for at home, he chose to enter the Parker Home in New Brunswick for 24/7 skilled nursing care.

In addition to wife, Lynn, and his children, Jennifer and Jonathan, Arthur is survived by his-daughter-in-law, Tamar Kurlaender, and his siblings, Richard I. Miller (Sandy Forbes), Michael M. Miller (Rena Wertzer), and Joy Ann Perets (Joseph). Arthur also leaves his two wonderful grandsons, Gabriel and Rain, his loving nieces and nephews, and two great-nieces and two great-nephews, all dearly loved.

This is the briefest of outlines of the amazing person who was Art Miller, a man of integrity, grit, loyalty and honor, a man who mentored so many attorneys that friends referred to the "Arthur Miller alumni/ae Association." He leaves many colleagues, friends and family members who adored and admired him. He hoped his two cherished grandsons, Gabriel and Rain, will remember him happily with love as their Grandpa. As a final note, Art joked that he was always attending "Lynn University," working on his PhD. He earned it.

A private burial was held on Tuesday, May 29. A future memorial celebration is planned. Please make memorial contributions to the Middlesex County Bar Foundation or the New Jersey State Bar Foundation.

Published in Home News Tribune on May 30, 2012
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