James Miller (1945 - 2016)

Obituary
3 entries
  • "Jim was my Stepdad and Grandpa to my children for 26 years...."
    - Laurie Walker
  • "Jim Miller was a man who was larger than life. I have..."
    - Mike Babb
  • - Mike Babb
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James (Jim) Cornell Miller Passed away unexpectedly in his sleep Monday August 9, 2016 in Orlando.
Jim was a "Go Big or Go Home" kind of guy whose life's accomplishments in many different fields of expertise mirrored that attitude.
He was born in Oakland California and received a B. A., Mechanical Engineering from California State University in 1972, his M. S., Civil Engineering from the University of California in 1973, his M. B. A., International Management from California State University in 1977 and his J. D., from Georgia State University College of Law in 1993.
In 1969 Jim joined the army reserve with the 19th Special Forces Group. He was called up to active duty the same year where he was sent to jump school and eventually got top secret clearance.
Jim worked 28 years in management in the heavy construction industry. He managed and supervised a telecommunications project in North and South America, including the Intelig Long Distance Project throughout Brazil, the Southern Cone Project in Argentina and Chile as well as the Flag Telecom Undersea Cable Project around the Pacific Rim. He was the acting senior manager on the Fifth Runway Expansion Project at Atlanta's Hartsfield International Airport. He had lead responsibility in the project and construction management of an entire new city in the center of Manila, Phillippines. He also managed the construction of a $250 million hospital outside Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, a hospital in Turkey and the PhaseIII/IV expansion of the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. Other notable projects Jim was involved in are the Construction Management of the Fulton County Judicial Center and the Fulton County Government Center in Atlanta, Georgia, and the design and installation of instrumentation and computer systems for the King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia before joining the Orlando Law Office of Greenberg Traurig in January 2001 where Jim's Practice was specialized in Construction Law.
While living in Crystal River, Jim was an active volunteer in the community. In the early 2000's he was appointed to the Community Redevelopment Agency in Crystal River. He was later elected chairman of the CRA. During his time on the board, the CRA began its redesign of Citrus Ave and made significant improvements to the downtown area. Jim also served as a volunteer board member and president of the Springs on Kings Bay community association. He led the effort to pave roads and make security improvements to the community.
Jim loved Wednesday Date Night in Orlando with his wife Lynn and he enjoyed going to Rocco's Italian Restaurant on Friday evenings to dance and listen to Dominic sing and play guitar. He loved to reminisce with Thom and Nancy, Bobby and Shar his dear friends and colleagues from overseas. They told true stories (like smuggling an entire airplane into Saudi Arabia one piece at a time) that would rival any espionage novel. Sadly, Bobby passed away 3 days after Jim. The loss of both of them in the same week has been devastating to those who worked, played with and loved them.
Jim was a collector of cobalt blue glass, Persian rugs, Chinese furniture, antique trains and old engineering books. His wife, Lynn also had a large collection of silver and together they enjoyed learning about each other's passions. One day early in their relationship, Jim pronounced on an intellectual level that "Collectors" buy AND sell and "since we only Buy, I think we must be hoarders!" He was rarely if ever wrong in a debate based on facts.
One of his proudest and happiest moments occurred December 12, 2014 when his son Jae, daughter in law Melissa, step daughter Kendra and son in law were married with he and Lynn in a triple wedding in the Bahamas. He was unashamed of the tears that would roll down his cheeks every time he spoke or thought of that beautiful day. Jim and Lynn were both so proud their children supported and wanted to share their important day with their parents. Jim treasured that day and the family and friends that attended the nuptials.
Jim was a romantic at heart. He gave his wife flowers twice a week. Once on date night Wednesday's in Orlando and once on Saturday afternoons in Crystal River. They both enjoyed the beautiful arrangements that Waverly Florists created and appreciated that they sometimes stayed after the store was closed if Jim was running late picking them up.
He enjoyed golfing with his brother in law Colin or at least as much as he could enjoy losing at anything! He also consistently lost at Cards Against Humanity when he played with the kids. Mostly because no one understood his dry humor and because he was the only one who actually knew what all the words meant! He also played backgammon tournaments and kept detailed score cards of every game he ever played and in every city he was playing it.
Jim never stopped learning new things. In the short time he and Lynn were together he learned ballroom dancing, how a treadmill actually worked, the difference between flat leaf Italian and curly parsley and that dress shirts, socks and shoelaces can match! He used to think they were all unimportant but took great pride in the end on how he had mastered all of the details!
Jim transitioned easily to the role of step dad to Kendra and Carly although there were times when there was too much estrogen in the room for even him to handle! He was patriotic, believed in the first amendment and instigated lively political debates with anyone who would take the bait. Christmas celebrations with his Canadian invasion of relatives was deemed "Completely Over The Top" after he was forced to pose for photos on his front lawn with 9 family members and 8 dogs all wearing matching pajamas.
He affectionately nicknamed his bulldog Kizzy, BUD which stood for Big Ugly Dog and he purposely did not replace the muffler on his cherished Corvette so he could drive his neighbors crazy!
Jim spent a large part of the latter period of his life trying to prepare his home, family and friends for "The End of The World as We Know it" but those who loved him were never prepared for that to happen on August 9, 2016.
Predeceaced in life by his father and mother, Edgar and Jill Miller, his cherished late wife Margrette Miller and their trusted canine companion Wylie.
He leaves behind his loving wife Lynn, brothers Dave (Patty) Miller, Rob (Michelle) Miller, and much loved baby sister Sue (Colin) Poole, son Jae (Melissa) and grandsons Shepherd and Audi Miller, step daughter Kendra (Steve) and grand daughter Soleil Ramos, step daughter Carly Hurrell, brother in law Lee (Jan) and mother in law "Eadie" Restorick, granddaughters Alexa and Tyler, nephews Rob, Micheal and Ryan and niece Heather.
He will be missed by Lisa Shelnut his assistant, confidant and friend from Greenberg Traurig, his friends Paul and Laura, his neighbors Jay and Marcy, Jerry and Janet and Ann. Jim really appreciated their friendships and support especially through the last few years. His loss will be palpable to many other friends and colleagues around the globe as well.
Thank you, Jim for all the contributions you have made to our lives and communities throughout your lifetime. You inspire us all to strive for and aspire to the potential of greatness within each and every one of us!
A celebration of Jim's life will be held Monday August 29 at 1130 am Rocco's Italian Restaurant, 6612 W Gulf to Lake Hwy, Crystal River, Florida.
Funeral Home
Roberts Funeral Home And Crematory Of Dunnellon Inc
19939 E Pennsylvania Ave
Dunnellon, FL 34432
(352) 489-2429
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Published in Citrus County Chronicle on Aug. 21, 2016
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