Bruce Miller

Obituary
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Bruce F. Miller

LENOX Bruce F. Miller, 76, a longtime resident of Long Island, N.Y. and, for the past 20 years, of Jekyll Island, Ga., as well as the Berkshires, passed away on April 27, 2014.Bruce was born in Elmira, N.Y. He graduated from the State University College at Cortland. After completing his master's degree, he became an elementary classroom teacher for the duration of his 33 year teaching career. Throughout those years, Bruce was loved by his students, admired by their parents, and respected by his colleagues as a leader in his field. In addition to his classroom responsibilities, Bruce played an essential role in the growing teacher union movement on Long Island and in Smithtown. He negotiated the first ground breaking written collective bargaining agreement within the district. His involvement within the union movement continued through the 60's, 70's and 80's. As a union leader, he not only garnered the respect of the teachers, but of the administration and the Board of Education as well. He served as the president of the Smithtown Teachers Association on several different occasions during his career. He was also the Union's chief negotiator during bargaining for several decades. Upon his retirement, Bruce left a positive mark upon the District that remains to this day. Bruce led his life with intelligence, humanity and warmth. He had an inexhaustible appetite and appreciation for music, literature, and fine art. He spent many summers during the past three decades volunteering as an usher at the Tanglewood Music Center in the Berkshires. When not at a musical performance he was reading literary novels or one of his numerous papers or periodicals to further his serious study of current events. Any person who received a reading recommendation from Bruce was in for a very special read, never to be disappointed and sure to return for another Miller selection. Like his father before him, Bruce was a naturalist and birder. His latest project, with friend Don, was helping Jekyll Island achieve Audubon certification on its' golf courses by building and maintaining many blue bird houses and cleverly placing red ones at the 100 yard mark. He loved working on his golf game and walking the courses with his bag over his shoulders. Bruce's enjoyment and knowledge of wine was increased by 40 years of being part of a small wine "club" that was a big part of his life. That went along with his passion for good food fueled by his wife who loved to cook for him. He took great pleasure in traveling all over the US and Europe. In retirement he and Cathy traveled to most areas of the world, always learning and growing. Bruce is survived by his wife of 40 years, Cathy Miller; son, Michael Miller and wife, Maggie, of Santa Fe, N.M.; son, Todd Miller and two wonderful granddaughters, Samantha and Jacqueline Miller, all of Stuart, Fla.; sister, Sandra Cook of Elmira Heights, N.Y.; brother, David Miller of Elmira Heights, N.Y.; sister, Linda Redner and husband, Al, of Big Flats, N.Y.; sister-in-law, Georgiana Fillinger and husband, Bill, of Cary, N.C.; many loved nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, and great-great-nieces and great-great-nephews, and incredible friends. Memorial donations may be made to Tanglewood Ushers and Programmers Fund, VIM of the Berkshires, , The Audubon Society, The Southern Poverty Law Center, or the . Arrangements are under the direction of Edo Miller and Sons Funeral Home, www.edomillerandsons.com.
Published in The Berkshire Eagle on May 8, 2014
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